Is knocking down a dining-kitchen wall worth it for an open plan?

8 Replies

This is my first full rehab! How exciting is this!

I am rehabbing a small 1950's cape that I feel has a really good potential but like many capes of its vintage it has a pretty claustrophobic floor plan downstairs with many small rooms and 7' ceilings. The dining room and kitchen are each about 10x11 and I'm debating tearing the wall down that separates them. My first thought is that it was a no brainer, but my realtor got into my head when she said that it may harm resale to only have an eat in kitchen and not have a formal dining room. Which way do most of you all go on this decision? 

Taking the wall down would take very little effort and cost. I just don't want to shoot myself in the foot if doing away with a dining room is going to work against my goals.

Thanks for your input!

Updated over 2 years ago

It may be significant to add that there is a 15-lite door in the dining room that leads to a back deck. The dining room also has another door coming in from a mudroom/side entrance and the dining room opens to the living room as well as the kitchen. Point being to that all these egresses may help the open feel if the wall was removed.

Open floor plans are all the craze right now but not always necessary if it's going to be a rental. Are you flipping the property? Don't assume it will be cheap. Taking out interior walls can be expensive and sometimes not possible if it's load bearing. Additionally, electrical outlets and plumbing may need to be relocated. I would look into this when developing a scope of work with an experienced contractor. 

Thanks for your reply Jaron. I should clarify that this will be a flip, and I would be DIY'ing the wall (I'm formerly a carpenter and this particular wall would be an easy one with regard to the great points you brought up).

If it is not load bearing, then I would tear it out if you think it will help as a rental. It can always be rebuilt for resale value when the time comes. The flooring transition is usually the most complicated part. If it is load bearing , then a header must be installed and a permit should be pulled. Both of those things may make it cost prohibitive. 

@Benny Cash an open flow has more appeal right now than a formal dining room. Another option may be a half wall or a pony wall that divides the spaces and visually blocks some of the kitchen clutter. You get a "formal" eating area along with the open view and flow. Here is a photo of one of mine. The wall is 4' tall and open at both ends. We attached a bar on the back side at normal stool height. You can see the dining chairs in the foreground. 

Personally, I would go for it. The more kitchen space you can create the better. Formal dining areas aren’t that popular anymore from what I’ve gathered. Make a nice spacious kitchen and a nice casual dining area and you’re set.

I would open the wall if it is not load bearing. Keep in mind that you will need to deal with fixing the floor(s) where the wall once stood and there is a likely a chance you will have to move some electrical and possibly plumbing or HVAC ductwork.

Opening a load bearing wall is cool, too, but you have to consider the extra costs associated with getting a structural engineer to report on and spec out what is needed for a beam, paying for the beam, and having it installed.