Open concept kitchens are a buzzword in kitchen remodels today. Connecting the kitchen space with family room and dining spaces are the rage – and rightfully so. It will turn an old and isolated kitchen into a social space where cooking is fun for the whole family and transform your house into modern living.
TV shows of kitchen remodels generally make it look easy. However, often structural or load-bearing walls are involved. Be sure to get input from an architect and a structural engineer. Get a permit from your municipality. There is no room for error here.
It usually involves either heavy LVL’s (you can learn more about this product in our Modern Lumber Solutions episode for The Greenwich House) or steel beams (see our episode on Steel Beam Installation for The Greenwich House)depending on the exact load from the structure above that needs to be properly posted to the foundation. Finding the right steel company is key. It takes knowledge, skill and patience to produce the right steel beam. Steel is not something that can be cut onsite to make it fit like wood. Steel beams are heavy so the hoisting rig has to be carefully positioned to lift the beam to the right spot. Finally the steel is set into the right spot, also called a “pocket”, which carpenters generally prepared for the beam.
If it sounds like a bit of work you are right – one that will be not be visible in the end since the beam should be set in such a way that it is hidden behind sheetrock. That said, it is definitely worth the extra coordination and expense. It is the essential step in creating the right kitchen remodel. Everyone wants an open concept kitchen. I bet you right now you will get a 100+% return on your investment.