Friday, April 3, 2015

Before Starting Renovations, New Hampshire Homeowners Need to Know This

When it comes to renovations, New Hampshire homeowners enjoy a lot of freedom to change their
houses as we see fit. But sometimes, things can go wrong.

From time to time, customers. hire us to fix renovation mistakes made by do-it-yourselfers or inexperienced contractors. One mistake in particular can do a lot of damage to your home or building and even make it dangerous to live or work in. To keep from suffering the same fate, you should know about load-bearing walls.

There are two kinds of interior walls in any building: load-bearing and non-load-bearing. Load-bearing walls are also called carrying partitions.They do more than just divide the space in your house into rooms: they form a necessary part of the structure of the building by carrying some of its weight.

The mistake you need to avoid, of course, is removing any load-bearing wall without first making sure it has an adequate replacement to take its share of the weight.

What to do instead: It is not enough to remove the wall first and then replace it with another one. You must make sure sufficient supports are in place before removing the wall. If you don't, one of two things could happen:
  • If you're unlucky, part of your house could actually fall on you as soon as you remove the old wall.
  • The structure of your house could shift, causing problems such as cracked walls, popped screws, windows and doors that work poorly or not at all, splintered studs, joists and rafters, and leaks in the roof.
Replacement options for your load-bearing wall include:
  •  A load-bearing arch. Make sure your arch is strong enough and engineered to fully transfer the weight to the floor.
  • A header and one or more posts. Again, make sure the header is strong enough, and you have enough posts.
  • A beam. Usually, to be effective, this should be made of steel, but that depends on how much weight it needs to take and how long the span is.
  • Another wall. Sometimes, you just need to replace the wall that's already there.
Of all the renovations New Hampshire homeowners like to do themselves, one of the worst ones to do wrong is removing or replacing a load-bearing wall. For this or any other project, make sure you do your homework first or hire a qualified contractor.

New Hampshire Construction

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