How to Open Up a Half Wall Between a Kitchen & Family Room

Updated February 21, 2017

Opening a half wall between a kitchen and a family room is a good way to make your home feel more spacious without adding on to it. It can also give the effect that your home is more open. Small, enclosed rooms make the home seem smaller and somewhat claustrophobic, but opening a half wall can make it appear larger and friendly. A project such as this can be completed without professional help, but you should make sure that altering the structure of your house won't cause any structural damage or potential problems in the future.

Review your plans with a structural engineer to make sure you aren't remove a wall that is holding up that part of the home. This refers to load-bearing. If they are load-bearing, it could affect the structural stability of the home. There are no clear-cut ways to do this yourself, so you it's better to seek the opinion of an expert for this.

Measure the height and width of the area you want to remove and mark it with a black marker. This helps you ensure you stay inside the lines when you are removing the wall.

Conduct a visual inspection on the wall for electrical wiring and possible outlets.

Power on a corded reciprocating saw and saw the wall and plaster of the area you want to remove. You can also used claw hammers and a pry bar to tear out the wall. It will take a few hours to complete this process, depending on the size of the wall you are removing.

Reroute any electrical wires if necessary, by stapling inside the part of the wall that you will be keeping. When you are tearing down the wall, you will reach the wooden platforms that are exposed. You may need to add drywall over a section of the wall that was torn open to reroute the electrical wires, so they don't exist in the open area.

Shave away sharp edges of drywall with a sharp utility knife. This step is to refine the drywall area if it was damaged in the process of opening the half wall.

Apply a coat of drywall compound about 1/8 inch thick.

Allow it to dry and scrape the surface with a putty knife.

Apply a second coat and repeat the process until you've patched up enough drywall to conceal the damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Black marker
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Claw hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Staple gun
  • Drywall compound
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
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About the Author

Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.