Open plan living is becoming increasingly popular, providing a versatile, light and airy space. Open plan layouts are perfect for modern-day life.
Why open plan living?
Open plan living is practical, versatile and sociable. By removing the walls and doors that separate rooms, open plan kitchen, living and dining areas provide a multi-functional space where all family members can relax and enjoy themselves. You can cook the evening meal, while someone else works at the dining table or chills on a sofa, all in one room!
In this open plan living cost guide, you’ll find details of the average costs involved and the factors you should consider if you’re looking to merge separate rooms into one to create an open plan living space.
Or if you want to transform your existing open plan living, kitchen or dining area, jump down to the Interior Design section for inspiration and costs.
Merging your currently separate rooms
In most homes, creating an open plan living space will involve knocking out walls or adding an extension to create a space big enough to incorporate different areas, such as a living room, dining room and kitchen.
Things to consider when removing walls to create an open plan space
If you’re considering merging your kitchen and dining room, dining and living room, or maybe all three, you’ll need to think about what you want to achieve and how you will use the open plan space.
Think about which walls will need to be removed and if you need to plan for an extension. If you’re removing walls to merge rooms together, it’s essential to keep in mind that there may be structural implications. Just because it doesn’t appear as though a wall plays a structural role, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer support or stability.
If you’re removing a structural wall or you need to add extra support, the cost of the renovation will increase significantly. You’ll also need to consider electrics that may require moving, changing or replacing.
Lighting and window placement are other key factors to consider, as well as how you will furnish the room. It’s best to work with a designer, architect or builder to bring your ideas to life in a way that is practical and effective.
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How much does it cost to remove a wall between a dining room and a kitchen?
|Open plan living cost||Unit||Range low to high||Average cost|
|Chimney breast removal (leave stack)||per project - one builder and one labourer||£1,750 - £3,250||£2,500|
|Remove a load bearing wall - single doorway (approx. 1m)||per project||£1,250|
|Remove a load bearing wall - double doorway (approx. 2m)||per project||£1,500|
|Remove a load bearing wall - large open plan (approx. 4m)||per project||£1,750|
|Remove a load bearing wall - lintel beams (concrete)||per lintel||£7 - £400||£203.50|
|Remove a load bearing wall - lintel beams (steel)||per lintel||£8 - £1,050||£529|
|Remove a load bearing wall - rolled steel joist||per project||£800 - 950||£875|
|Electrician rates - install or removal||per hour||£27 - £48||£37.50|
|Painter and decorator rates||per day||£150 - £200||£175|
The cost of removing a wall between your dining room and kitchen will, of course, vary depending upon several factors. These include the amount of wall being removed and if beams are required.
However, the removal of the wall will usually cost between £1,250 and £1,750, plus the cost of the lintel beams or rolled steel joists.
Lintel beams can cost anywhere from £7 – £400 per lintel for concrete beams, and £8 – £1,050 per lintel for steel beams. If beams aren’t required, the process will be cheaper.
If you need to have electrical work done as a result of removing a wall, you can expect to pay between £27 – £48 per hour on average.
Removing your chimney breast cost
Removing a chimney breast can help to free up significant space in a home, and help you create an open plan living, kitchen and dining space. Many people simply don’t need a fireplace any more thanks to central heating, making it wasted floor space.
However, as with load-bearing walls, a chimney breast is part of the structure of a property, meaning removing it can cause significant damage if not done correctly.
A structural engineer will need to assess the property and determine whether structural supports will be required. If you’re leaving your chimney stack in place, the brickwork will need to be supported by a rolled steel joist, and your roof timbers may need extending too.
As a rough guide, to remove the chimney breast and leave the stack in place will cost between £1,750 – £3,250, based on one builder and one labourer working on the job. You can find out more in our guide to chimney breast removal here.
Adding the finishing touches to your new open living, kitchen and dining space
Once the structural work is complete, you can start thinking about décor, design and adding the finishing touches to your new open plan living, kitchen and dining space.
Now you’ve created your open plan kitchen, living and dining space, and you’ll need to decide on the kitchen itself. The cost of installing a kitchen can vary significantly, depending on factors such as the size of the kitchen, the type of layout you go for, your fixtures and fittings, and your appliances. Check out our kitchen design cost guide for further details.
You’ll also need to consider the costs of décor throughout the new space. Again, costs will vary depending on the space and your chosen designs. As a rough guide, painters and decorators typically charge an average day rate of £175. Check out our decorating cost guide here.
What sort of flooring will work in your new space? You may want to have the same flooring running throughout to create a uniform look or use different types of flooring to distinguish different zones, such as tiles in the kitchen and a wooden floor in the living zones.
The cost of flooring will depend upon factors such as the size of the space and the flooring you choose. Find out more about the cost of flooring in our modern kitchen floor cost guide, kitchen floor tile installation cost guide, and kitchen vinyl floor cost guide.
Your open plan space should create lots of room for furniture. Plan your layout and decide what will look best in your new room.
You may want to use your furniture to divide the room up. For example, a kitchen island could be used to create a barrier between the kitchen and dining space, while a bookcase or sofa could be used to create a feeling of separation between the living and dining zones.
Explore our open plan living ideas guide for inspiration! If you’re planning extensive renovation work, such as creating an open plan living, kitchen and dining space, getting the right expert help, is crucial.
Use our simple Checkatrade Search to find local and trusted tradespeople in your area who are vetted and monitored. You can find multiple trades and people who will come and give you a quote for the work needed, as well as provide you with a professional service you can trust.
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