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Question DetailsAsked on 1/4/2018

what does it cost to remove baseboard & half wall next to it?

purchasing ahome with a half wall dividing den & Kitrchen. there is baseboard heat on one side. what does it coast to remove both?

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Depends on the exact configuration of course - and rarely half-walls provide shear/sway support to exterior walls (usually when butted up against the short or gable ends of houses) which has to be provided some other way if they are removed - that alone can add $500-2000 depending on the design of the wall, if that is the case. Most common in open floorplan houses in hurricane or earthquake country - probably 80-90% of halfwalls nationwide are non-structural.


Also, the baseboard heat (assuming you mean hydronic hot-water heating, not electric stand-alone baseboard) has pipes coming into and out of it - if looped into the halfwall and back the way it come usually pretty easy to just cut that single baseboard subloop out of the circuit and splice the main loop together in the wall the halfwall comes out of for maybe $250 give or take $100. But sometimes the piping comes in from one end and then dives into the floor to continue onto other baseboard heaters - in which case cutting into the subfloor (from above or below) is necessary, which may involve some drywall ceiling repair from underneath if not on the bottom floor. Worst case is where the halfwall is on a slab on grade and the baseboard heat dives into/under the slab so requires slab cutting or major rerouting and at least another $500-1000 dollars.


So - given those variable possibilities - and of course considering that matching the flooring under where the halfwall was to the adjacent existing flooring in generally VERY tough, so you commonly end up reflooring at least one of the adjacent floors to get a match, so there is a pretty wide range of common costs.


In simplest cases, and especially if a very wide transition piece or mismatched decor strip can be used to cover the exposed subfloor strip where the halfwall was, sometimes can come in under $1000 without any significant utilities in the halfwall.


Given the baseboard and usual flooring conditions in your case, more commonly probably about $1000-1500 for the removal and baseboard piping issue, plus the cost of flooring replacement as you choose - which depending where room boundaries and existing adjacent central or stubwalls are, will typically run $5-20/SF for the adjacent room reflooring you choose to replace plus now include the floor space where the halfwall was. So commonly gets up into the $3,000-6,000 range all included and more with large adjacent rooms needing reflooring to match or expensive flooring choices.


Ditto issue can occur if the wall which the halfwall stubs out from is special material which is hard to match and you cannot tolerate a wide accent board or such to cover where the halfwall connection to the wall used to be.


Pay attention to electrical too - most halfwalls also have electrical outlets on one or both sides - that can commonly add about $150-350 to remove, depending on whether they are on a stub-run run from a circuit in the adjacent abbutting wall, or the circuit runs continuous through the halfwall and on to other outlets so has to be embedded in the subfloor now.


And of course, if there are as appliances (stove, broiler, sink, washer/dryer, gas fireplace or wood fireplace with gas start, etc) on either side of the halfwall, you may be hitting electric and/or gas lines feeding them too. I have seen halfwalls and pass-through opening basewalls bordering kitchens used as a catchall utility chase with every type utility possible run through it, then manifolding off to the kitchen and adjacent room uses, so I always recommend using a fiber optic scope (takes about 1/2-3/4" inspection holes in each stud bay) to look inside the (usually) uninsulated wall to see just what you are getting into up front before you get a contractor on board or start tearingn into things.


Knowing that up front also also makes defining the scope of work precisely much more likely, and reduces the chance of nasty and expensive change orders once the work starts.


Bear in mind the above are broad guesstimates, not seeing your project.


Since you say you are purchasing this home, if your purchase offering price is contingent on the estimated cost of this project, you should have an Architect inspect the wall (though will probably have to use cable and pipe tracing rather than fiber optic scope for the inspection) and work up a construciton cost estimate for you - in addition to answering the question of whether the halfway is providing shear/sway bracing to the house which needs to be replaced in the process.

Answered 10 months ago by LCD




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