Want to know how much it costs to have a partition wall removed? In this article we’ll break down the cost of removing a partition wall based on different types and sizes. We’ll also dive into other relevant topics, including a closer look at the different types of partition wall and whether you can remove a partition wall DIY.
If you’re planning or even just considering having a partition wall knocked down, this guide will prove especially useful.
Removing a partition wall involves knocking down a wall between two rooms in a controlled and safe manner. Homeowners tend to have this work undertaken so that two rooms can be combined.
One common reason for removing a partition wall is so that a kitchen can be extended by combining a smaller existing kitchen with another room.
On average it costs £1075 to £1700 to have a single doorway wall removed with a length of about one metre, £1375 to £2000 should you wish to remove a double doorway of around two metres, and the average cost is £1675 to £2000 to remove a large partition wall with a length of approximately four metres. An RSJ will be needed should it be a load-bearing wall that is being removed.
As for RSJs in particular, a universal beam costs about £350 to £650 for a three metre beam or £460 to £1000 for a six metre beam. In the case of a universal column, installation costs tend to range from £370 to £1160 for a three metre column or £500 to £2100 for a six metre column.
It costs about £300 to £430 for a three metre channel RSJ or £340 to £570 for a six metre channel RSJ. If you want to have a parallel flange channel installed, the RSJ cost would land around £340 to £590 for a three metre RSJ or £430 to £870 for a six metre RSJ.
The cost of installing an RSJ in the case of a lintel RSJ is around £480 to £750 for a three metre instalment. The cost rises to £700 to £1200 for a six metre lintel RSJ. Lastly, to install a T Beam would set you back £280 to £400 and a six metre RSJ installation about £310 to £480.
On average, a builder would charge between £150 and £250 a day to remove a partition wall. In most cases, two builders will work on the job meaning that the total labour cost will come to around £300 to £500 per day.
This includes erecting the RSJs. If you need the support of a structural engineer to estimate the necessary strength of an RSJ, you’d look at paying about £50 to £100 an hour. A plasterer will be required to wrap up the work with a cost of around £150 to £250 a day.
In total, you can expect to face a labour cost of about £650 to £1000 for a one metre partition wall removal, £850 to £1200 for a two metre partition wall removal, or £1050 to £1200 for a four metre partition wall removal.
Let’s take a look at the cost of materials now. In the case of having a one metre partition wall removed, expect to face supply costs of roughly £325 to £500 with supply price estimates reaching about £325 to £500 for a one metre wall removal or £425 to £600 in the case of a two metre wall removal.
The removal of partition wall cost comes with a variety of influential factors. For instance, the size/type of partition wall is relevant but so is the condition of the wall, the materials used, ease of access, and the size and type of RSJ. Further, where you live matters given that labour prices vary across the UK.
|Size of Wall
|Fitting an RSJ
|£325 to £500
|£650 to £1000
|£300 to £1200
|£100 to £200
|£1275 to £2900
|£425 to £600
|£850 to £1200
|£300 to £1200
|£100 to £200
|£1675 to £3200
|£525 to £600
|£1050 to £1200
|£300 to £1200
|£100 to £200
|£1975 to £3200
In this section, we’ll look at the two main types of partition walls, namely non-load bearing and load-bearing walls.
As the name suggests, non-load bearing walls provide no structural support to the weight of a property. They are installed within a home. In essence, they hold up their own weight and nothing more.
These walls differ from load bearing walls visually in the sense that their joists and rafters tend to run parallel to your property’s wall. These walls may be removed without risking the structural soundness of the property.
These walls of course provide gravitational support to a home. Load-bearing walls are used to effectively distribute the property’s weight from the roof down to the foundation.
It is essential that you know when a wall is load bearing as removing one without setting up an RSJ can cause an entire property to collapse!
If existing wall beams can be found in an attic travelling directly into the concrete foundation of your property and also sit perpendicular to the foundation, then this is likely a load bearing wall. However, you should have a professional make this assessment to be sure.
We’ll now discuss RSJ types in particular. Each RSJ has its own costs and pros and cons. Let’s delve into some prominent examples.
The most common form of RSJ is a universal beam or UB. These beams are also known as double beams, I beams, and H beams. Universal beams are sturdy and durable.
In most cases, UBs come with a cost of roughly £40 to £90 per metre. Unlike universal columns, UBs do not have the same depth as width. They can work for a variety of heights in the instalment area. On the other hand, universal beams can be particularly heavy and will not provide precise engineering.
✔ Sturdy and long-lasting
✔ Very versatile
✖ Can be very heavy
✖ Lack of precise engineering
Such columns differ from universal beams in a variety of ways. Universal columns or UCs are well suited for gravitational support in construction, refurbishment, and renovation works. UCs can cost anywhere from £50 to £250 per metre. These beams are often one of the most costly types of RSJ. Universal columns are well suited when height issues exist.
UCs may be installed vertically as a column but they can also be set up horizontally as a beam. With that said, these RSJs cannot be installed in an exposed environment bar in cases where UCs have been acid bathed, grounded, or sandblasted. Further, the scaly nature of their finish brings limitations.
✔ May be used vertically or horizontally
✔ Well-suited when height is a problem
✖ Limited product choices
✖ Universal beams are not as prone to twisting
✖ Certain treatments are required if placed in an exposed environment
A double beam is like a universal beam but is, as the title infers, doubled. The purpose of using two beams rather than one is that it makes for a stronger RSJ.
Double teams are usually employed to support structures such as floors and roofs. It can cost lower than £100 a metre but it may cost more based on the dimensions, size, and weight of the specific double beam.
These beams are however used fairly infrequently.
✔ Added strength
✔ Tend not to be prohibitively expensive
✖ Large and bulky products
✖ Susceptible to rust
✖ Can conduct a lot of heat
Channels are an example of C-shaped beams. Most of the time, they see the back element of the web mounted to a distinct flat surface. When it comes to parallel flange channels in particular, their flanges exist in a uniform size on both ends and feature zero tapering.
Parallel flange channels are most commonly used with universal beams and columns for construction and manufacturing projects. These RSJs cost around £30 to £100 per metre.
✔ Two parallel flange channels can create a H-beam section
✔ Often used with universal beams and columns
✔ Only need about half as much steel as universal beams or columns
✖ More vulnerable to flexing
✖ May not be used for especially heavy loads
As for tapered flange channels, these RSJs are fairly similar in their design to universal beams and columns, albeit, they come with a C-shape, just like a parallel flange channel. However, unlike parallel flange channels, these tapered RSJs are often installed as ceiling joists and not used as columns. Tapered flange channels also generally cost £30 to £100 per metre.
They come with a particularly strong profile and may carry substantial loads. On the other hand, they aren’t especially suited to load points. Alternatively, these beams are designed to carry loads which are distributed evenly.
✔ May be used as joist support or a column
✔ Strong profile
✔ Strong load bearing ability
✖ Not suitable for standalone usage
✖ Shouldn’t be used for long durations
These RSJs have the appearance of a capital letter T. These beams are often used to support floor joists and are generally used along with universal beams and columns.
T beams usually come with an installation price of £10 to £30 per metre making them the lowest costing RSJ.
✔ Not costly
✔ Suitable alternative to using a universal beam
✖ Not as strong UBs and UCs
✖ Limited purpose
✖ Difficult to find T beams
Lintel RSJs are made such that they can stand in between two distinct vertical supports. This is a way to provide horizontal support. Though lintels tend to be used for structural support, they may also be employed for reasons of decoration. Lintels can be used to support point, floor, and masonry loads.
There are various lintel RSJ shapes available including concern, arch, bow, apex, and bay. Lintel beams cost around £80 to £140 per metre. Lintels are an especially expensive form of RSJ.
✔ Can be employed for bespoke projects
✔ Thermal bridging is possible with lintels
✔ Not as heavy as concrete lintels
✖ More expensive than concrete lintels
✖ Does not offer the levels of thermal efficiency of composite lintels
✖ Susceptible to corrosion
Now, we’ll break down the various steps involved in tearing down a partition wall.
Before any work can be done, it’s important that you hire an experienced and competent professional, whether as an individual contractor or through a company.
It is worth acquiring several quotes before making a decision and you should also request some references at the same time.
The first practical aspect of removing a partition wall involves inspecting the wall for the load, pipework, and electrics. Then, in many cases, a structural engineer will also perform an inspection.
You can expect the inspections to cost several hundred pounds altogether. The structural engineer inspection will involve assessing the wall and establishing an estimate as to what rating would apply to the load-bearing joist needed to support the ceiling/upper floor.
In the lead up to removing the wall, furniture, decoration, and personal items should be removed as the work will get messy. Plastic sheets may be laid down on the floor, large furniture and even attached to walls to avoid a build-up of dust.
In some scenarios, contractors might make use of zip walls as a way to prevent dust accumulating on doorways and in other rooms. This can ensure that just a single doorway is used for entering and exiting.
Vents can be blocked with plastic coverings too to prevent dust spreading. Lastly, building control will need to approve of demolishing the wall.
When it comes to a load-bearing wall, an RSJ beam must be fitted before any effort to tear down the partition wall can begin. You may need to talk to a surveyor before this where rules relating to structural beams being set up in a party wall across from a neighbour’s property.
However, as soon as everything is given the green light, the RSJ can be installed. Once it is securely in place, the plaster of the wall should be removed first.
Next, the wall panels may be taken down by hand or with drilling. Next, a header should be set up to hold the weight of the RSJ as soon as the remaining parts of the wall structure have been removed.
Once the wall has been removed, the dust can be cleared up with a hoover or an extractor. Waste material can then be added to a skip, which is where the waste disposal costs are incurred. The work area will be tidied up and made fresh and clean for your use.
There are some added jobs you may wish to pay for after having a partition wall removed. Please note that these costs include estimates for both labour and supply prices.
For example, if the paint colours of the two rooms that have now been joined differ, you’ll likely want to create some uniformity by painting either room to match the colour(s) of the other.
On average, it costs between £300 and £1000 to have an entire room painted and decorated. To have wiring or electric sockets moved would cost about £100 to £150 per job.
If you’d like to move a radiator, expect to pay around £120 to £180. And to have a new internal door installed would likely cost you between £200 and £300.
It is legal to remove a partition wall DIY but you need to be very cautious in proceeding with this work on your own.
Further, if it is a load-bearing wall you wish to remove, you should strongly consider consulting experts to make sure that you don’t get anything wrong.
As stated, removing a load-bearing wall in an unsafe manner can cause an entire house to collapse.
You should have a structural engineer help you decide where to set up the RSJ. Then, a professional contractor should also be hired to fit the RSJ and you’ll need the RSJ to be inspected before proceeding.
Removing a non-load bearing wall is far more suitable as a DIY job, but even then, it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re doing.
It is best to purchase a suitable drill if you’d like to remove a partition wall fast and effectively.
Even if you decide against removing a partition wall DIY, you could still deal with covering the room in protective plastic or performing added work after the wall is being removed.
Notably, building regulations also apply, specifically in the form of the level of care that must be taken when tearing down a wall.
In addition, planning permission rules should also be considered. It’s unlikely that planning permission approval will be required however, unless for instance, you live in a listed building.
A contractor may need to sign off the work. If you have any uncertainty relating to building regulations or inspections, you can contact your local council.
As with any DIY work, there are risks and dangers involved, such as by using sharp or heavy tools/equipment or by carrying heavy materials.
There is also a risk of performing the work incorrectly. This could, potentially, even compromise how structurally sound your home is.
For that reason, it’s vital that you know exactly what is involved and only perform the work where appropriate.
Of course, even if the work is undertaken by a professional, there are a few downsides that should be taken into account. This work is not only costly but disruptive and likely to take a few days.
If building regulations or planning permission approval proves necessary and your proposal(s) are rejected, you’ll need to re-apply with the appropriate changes made to your plan(s).
A: To identify a load-bearing wall, watch out for joists. If you find that existing wall beams are found travelling through the floor above and sit perpendicular to a concrete foundation as well as passing through it, then this is most likely a load-bearing wall.
However, you should hire a professional to confirm that this is the case given how essential it is to tell if a wall is load-bearing or not before removing it.
A: Among the most popular types of partition walls in terms of their materials are glass, clay, plaster slab, and brick.
A: It is advisable to hire a structural engineer or/and professional builder.
A: You can expect the price of your property to rise by several per cent in this case.
Though a kitchen extension may add up to 10% in value to a property, this sort of figure is more applicable to extensions that protrude outwards and actually involve adding structure to your existing property.
All the same, the value of your home is likely to increase either way.
A: Yes, this is possible but again, it’s vital to establish whether the wall is load-bearing or not before proceeding.
Once more, you should hire a professional to inspect the wall and determine if it is load-bearing.
If it is load-bearing, then even removing a portion of the wall is risky and thus professional(s) should be hired to perform this work also.