When it comes time to deconstruct your existing bathroom, be mindful that many of the materials may be either reusable or recyclable. Challenge yourself to seek new and interesting ways to use old materials. That avocado green sink may be hideous to you, but could be someone else’s treasure. This can both save you money and prevent unnecessary crowding of landfill space. Look for items like old lumber, door and window casings, and baseboards. Remove these items with care and with a little clean-up or repair, these materials can easily be reused.
When reusing old materials is not possible, they can often be recycled. Your local city or county recycling agency should have information on Construction and Demolition Recycling.
Opening Walls Presents an Opportunity
Opening up walls in the bathroom gives you the chance to:
- Redo bad wiring (an electrician may be needed)
- Repair leaks that might have gone unnoticed
- Look carefully for mold
- Check to see if you have adequate insulation in the exterior walls
- Seal cracks or penetrations through the wall to stop air leakage
Knocking Down Walls
When it comes to knocking out walls, plan and plan again. Looking for obstacles ahead of time will avoid unnecessary hardship and expense. If you are considering tearing out walls as part of your remodel, we highly recommend that you work with a trusted professional who can help you distinguish between load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls. Load-bearing walls are walls that do just that. They literally hold up the weight of the house.
Load-bearing walls can be altered but you must proceed with caution. A new structural analysis will be needed and you will probably need a new beam supported by posts on either side of the room. You will probably need to install temporary wood frame walls to support the structure above while the new wall is built.
Non-load-bearing walls can be easily be torn down without the roof falling in, but you should still be cautious of disrupting existing plumbing or electrical wiring within the wall.