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Last updated on March 20th, 2024

How much does it cost to remove a load bearing wall?

There’s no better way to transform a space than removing a wall. In fact, the cost to remove a load bearing wall may be less than you think, and the job can even be completed in as little as two days.

Fast Facts

  • The average cost to remove a load bearing wall ranges from £1,250 – £1,750
  • An RSJ will cost around £800 – £950
  • Structural engineers cost approximately £200 per visit

Removing walls can open up so many possibilities – from creating a light and airy open-plan layout, to building an extension, or even turning two small rooms into one big one. But how much does it cost to remove a load bearing wall?

Here, we’ll break down the costs involved in removing an internal load bearing wall to help you budget.

Average cost of removing a load bearing wall

The average cost of removing a load bearing wall in the UK is around £1,250 – £1,750, plus £800 – £950 to install structural supports.

Load bearing wall removal costsUnitCost +VAT (low range)Cost +VAT (high range) Average cost
Single doorway (approx. 1m)Per project--£1,085
Double doorway (approx. 2m)Per project--£1,525
Large open plan (around 4m)Per project--£2,700
Rolled steel joist (RSJ) – material cost Per m£140£325£232.50
Lintel Beams (concrete) Per lintel£7.90£165£86.45
Lintel Beams (steel)Per lintel£8.50£730£370
Lintel Beams (steel cavity)per lintel£34£650£342
Knocking through kitchen and dining room Per project£1,500

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

That said, there are lots of different costs that can affect the cost of removing a load bearing wall, from the size of the opening to the type of supporting structure you use.

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Knocking through kitchen and dining room cost

The most commonly removed internal walls are those between the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Removing the wall between your kitchen and dining room can be a great way to open up the space in a home and make it more sociable.

You can entertain your guests whilst cooking for them, or be a part of family conversations whilst cooking a meal. You can even rearrange your kitchen to take advantage of the space, adding a kitchen island or breakfast bar.

Knocking through the kitchen and dining room wall costs more than some other projects due to the extra risk of pipework, plumbing and electrics that will need to be rerouted. On average, removing the wall between a kitchen and dining room costs £1,500.

Load bearing wall removal hourly rates

When budgeting for removing a load-bearing wall, you’ll most likely be given an overall price rather than an hourly rate.

However, if you’re keen to work out how much it costs to remove a load bearing wall per hour, it’s worth noting that this job normally takes around 2-3 days.

If we assume the total job is going to cost £1,500, that means you’re looking at a day rate of roughly £500 – £750 and an hourly rate of roughly £62.50 – £94.

Removing a load bearing wall

Load bearing wall removal cost calculator

To calculate how much it will cost to remove a load bearing wall, you’ll need to take into account the size of the wall involved and the supporting structures that will be needed.

It’s always best to get professional construction experts to assess the wall (ideally a structural engineer) and provide you with quotes for the work.

Load bearing wall removal quote

We recommend getting at least three quotes from our trusted tradespeople. 

That way, you can get a feel for the right company for the job. Plus, you can make sure you’re paying a fair and competitive price for the work.

Our post a job feature is perfect for getting quotes. You post details about the job you want doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out!

Alternatively, enter your postcode into the box below to browse specialists in your area who can quote you for the work.

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What factors affect the cost of knocking down a load bearing wall?

There are lots of different factors that can affect the cost of knocking down a load bearing wall. Here are some of the main ones.

Size of the wall

The size of the wall you want to remove or the opening you’re looking to create in the wall will have a big impact on your overall cost.

Creating an opening the size of a single doorway (around 1m) is likely to cost in the region of £1,085.

Meanwhile, an opening the size of a double doorway (roughly 2m) will cost around £1,525. And a larger opening (around 4m) will set you back £2,700.

Remove load bearing wall

Supporting structures

A structural engineer will be able to tell you what structures you need to support your new opening.

RSJs are the most popular steel beams used in construction today. These will typically cost around £232.50 per metre.

On the other hand, lintels can support your doors and windows. A concrete lintel will cost roughly £86.45. Meanwhile, a steel lintel will cost in the region of £342 – £370.

Waste removal

Waste removal will usually be included in your wall removal quote.

But if it isn’t, you’ll need to budget for it on top.

In this case, you can usually expect to pay around £200 to remove waste.

Location

As with any home improvement or renovation project, you can expect labour costs to vary across the UK.

Usually, it will cost significantly less to remove a load bearing wall in the north than it will in the south.

In particular, you can expect to pay more for this kind of work in London, where labour costs tend to be higher than in the rest of the country.

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Additional costs to consider for the project

When it comes to removing a load bearing wall, there’s more to consider than just knocking down the wall and putting a support beam in place.

Rather, there are several other bits of work you’ll need to do to make your new, larger space liveable – and to make it easier to sell in the future.

These will all affect the overall cost to remove a load bearing wall.

Making good

First things first, once your load bearing wall has been removed, you’ll need to make good to the space.

This might include levelling the floor and ceiling so the two rooms you’ve joined can seamlessly flow together.

You may also need to fix any sagging ceilings and replace your flooring so that it can run seamlessly across your new space. Plus, you’ll need to budget for decorating work.

The typical cost to level your floor with screeding is £33 per m². This includes both materials and labour.

Meanwhile, painter and decorators typically charge around £325 per day.

Open plan kitchen after load bearing wall removal

Move radiators and switches

Often, the wall you’re removing will have radiators, plug sockets or light switches on it. In this case, you’ll need to move them to a new location.

Moving a radiator to another wall starts at around £275. Or, if you feel that your existing radiators aren’t going to be able to adequately heat your new, larger space, you’ll be looking at around £300 to replace a radiator. New pipework will add to the cost.

On the other hand, moving or installing a new light switch will cost around £150 - £200. And moving a plug socket will cost in the region of £150.

Completion certificate

Once the work is complete, it’s highly recommended you apply for a completion certificate from the building control body.

This will make it easier to sell your property in the future. It will also give you peace of mind that all work has been properly certified. A completion certificate costs around £250 - £450.

Party wall agreement

If the load bearing wall you’re removing is adjacent to a party wall (a shared wall with a neighbour), then the RSJ will need to be placed within this party wall.

As it’s also owned by your neighbour, you won’t be able to do this without their agreement. So, you’ll need a party wall agreement.

Arranging a party wall agreement typically costs around £1,525.

If you can’t reach an agreement with your neighbours, you’ll need the help of a party wall surveyor. Unfortunately, this can add to your costs significantly – you’re looking at around £1,000 for a party wall award.

Either way, once the work is complete, you’ll need to fix any damage to your neighbour’s home at your own expense as well. Always make sure to take photos of both sides of the party wall to avoid any disputes.

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How much does it cost to replace a load bearing wall?

If you change your mind or later want to change the layout, you can replace the internal load bearing wall that has been removed.

The easiest and cheapest way to do this is with a stud partition wall. Your new wall won’t need to be load bearing as the load is already being borne by the RSJ.

Replacing a load bearing wall costs around £100 - £150 per m².

Key takeaways for calculating load bearing wall removal costs

  • Removing a load bearing wall is a great way to open up a space or create new spaces with an extension
  • It’s not easy to tell whether a wall is loading bearing, so be sure to consult with a specialist
  • Costs quoted will usually include knocking down the wall and installing an RSJ to support the masonry above
  • Building notices, party wall agreements and completion certificates may be needed
  • Moving radiators and plugs, as well as any decorating and plastering will also add to the cost
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Frequently asked questions

What is a load bearing wall?

Load bearing walls are walls that support the floor or roof above. This is in contrast to non-load bearing walls, which only support themselves.

Because load bearing walls are part of your property’s structure and provide support for it, they’re more complicated to remove than non-load bearing walls. Instead of just knocking the wall down, you’ll need to install a support to prop up parts of the building.

Outside walls are usually load bearing, but identifying an internal load bearing wall is less simple. You can’t just knock on it and check for a hollow sound. Even partial walls can contain microlam beams that make them load bearing.

The best way to identify a load bearing wall is with the help of a structural engineer or professional builder. However, you can also check out our dedicated guide to identifying a load bearing wall for help.

What does removing a load bearing wall involve?

Keen to have a load bearing wall removed? Here are the steps involved.

Inspection

Before removing a wall, you should have it inspected by a builder or structural engineer.

They’ll be able to confirm whether the wall is load bearing. Plus, they’ll identify any electrical or plumbing issues that could affect the job.

Engineers and builders cost approximately £200 per visit.

Prepare the space

Once you’ve agreed to go ahead, the space should be cleared of any furniture or decorations. Make sure to put a dust screen up – trust us when we say that dust gets everywhere!

Then, it’s time to disconnect any electrics and remove plumbing such as radiators.

Install a temporary support

With both rooms now cleared, temporary support can be installed to prop up the masonry above.

Cut an opening and fit support

Now that temporary support is in place, an opening will be cut.

Padstones and a supporting beam will then be fitted into the opening. Usually, this will be a rolled steel joist (RSJ).

The RSJ will either be recessed into the ceiling for a seamless transition between the rooms, or protrude into the room, which can be a design feature in itself.

Load bearing wall removal with RSJ

Knock down the wall

Now it’s finally time to demolish the wall and remove the temporary supports.

This will leave you with your new opening and the RSJ, which is dry-packed and covered.

Clear up

Finally, your tradesperson will remove the waste and extract any remaining dust.

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How long does it take to remove a load bearing wall?

All in all, it usually takes around 2 to 3 days to remove a load bearing wall.

The first two days will usually be spent installing the RSJ, removing the existing wall and taking away any waste. Then plaster and finishing can be done on the next day.

Any electrical or plumbing work needed will add extra time. Which brings us onto…

Do I need planning permission to remove a load bearing wall?

No, you won’t need planning permission to remove an internal load bearing wall unless you live in a listed building.

That said, you may need to apply for a building notice from your local council or a private building control body.

This will also reassure you that all fire regulations will still be adhered to.

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What others think of this article:

Checkatrade

Hi Myra, thank you for your comment. To get quotes from tradespeople near you, I recommend filling in our request a quote form. Simply fill it in with details about your job and we'll send it to three tradespeople near you. I hope this helps!

Myra

I wanted to remove the wall from dinning to kitchen looks like wall bearing approx.2meter with have both radiator in both side but I dont think there is no place to put radiator, and there is our switch for the light on one side. Csn you give me quote if I can afford thanks in advance.

Checkatrade

Hi Syeda, if there is an opening with brick or blockwork above, it will need suitable structural support. If you're unsure, it's best to consult a professional - request a quote here and we'll send it on to 3 tradespeople who will be in touch with you.

Syeda

Hi. We have changed our bay window to be squared off and into porch and extended the front. We live in a 1960's terrace house. The original wooden beams are in place, does this still require steel beam or lintel? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Checkatrade

Hi Beverley, thanks for the comment. If you complete our Post a job form we'll send your details on to 4 relevant tradespeople who come recommended by your neighbours. Then they will reach out to you with a quote.

Beverley

1 Half ton of bricks and soil it would be best u come an see it it is a flower bed as we live in a flat

Checkatrade

Hi Rasik, if you're looking to have two load bearing walls removed, I recommend entering your postcode in the search bar to find builders near you. Alternatively, fill out our request a quote form and we will send your job to four tradespeople near you.

Rasik Limbachia

Removal of x2 load bearing wall at ground floor level.

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