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We often consider the possibility of renovating the home, office or commercial premises, changing their original layout. This involves intervening in the dividing elements of our properties.

In all home renovations, building permits are undoubtedly a source of doubt. It is one of the most frequently asked questions. Despite how small the work to be executed may be, we always need a building permit, no matter how small. The purpose of this article is to discuss what happens when we throw a partition into an integral reform and what peculiarities these elements have.

The task of tearing down a partition wall is usually done with the aim of improving the distribution of a house. This type of work should be done by a professional team that includes an architect, engineers, and builders. It is also possible to do it yourself, only if you comply with the regulations and have the necessary building permits.

How to know if you can tear down a partition wall

Before taking any action, the first thing to do is to differentiate between a partition wall and a load-bearing wall. The latter support the weight of part of the structure of the house and are not dispensable, so removing them is much more complicated and, if possible, will require more work and more permits. On the other hand, a partition wall is a dividing element built with bricks of little thickness, dispensable in the structure of the house. It is best to review the house plans and get an architect’s opinion before planning any type of modification.

What are these dividing elements in the house’ structure?

These are the elements that serve to delimit the different rooms of our properties, that is to say, the walls. But we must bear in mind that, although at first sight, all walls are the same, in reality, they are not.

We can find load-bearing walls and partitions. The functions both have are different, as well as their thicknesses and the type of brick used in their construction.

What is the difference between load-bearing walls and partition walls?

Load-bearing walls, also known as load-bearing or structural walls, support the weight of part of the structure. They are supported by beams and joists that support the upper floors. They are usually more than 12 centimeters thick, depending on the type of brick used in their construction.

On the other hand, partition walls are simple dividing elements, usually built with thin bricks. They are not load-bearing.

Building permits to tear down a partition wall in Florida

If you want to tear down a partition wall, you will not need an architectural project, as is the case with load-bearing walls, where you will have to apply for a major building permit. However, you will need to apply for a minor building permit in order to proceed with legal recognition. A license that you will need to request in advance of the start of the works so that you have the documentation at hand when the works are carried out.

Having a permit of this type when you plan to remove a partition wall will save you a lot of trouble. This license grants you all the rights to be able to make reforms in your home in a legal way.

How to remove a partition wall?

Although it may seem a simple task, pulling a partition wall is something that should not be done at random.

– First of all, as we have seen before, it is important to check that it is a partition wall and not a load-bearing wall. The latter has a greater wall thickness. In addition, when you hit the partition wall with your fist it sounds hollow.

– The second step is to verify that there are no electrical installations or water or gas pipes running through the partition wall. If possible, you should consult the plans of the house or contact a qualified professional.

– Finally, once you are completely sure that it is a partition wall and that there are no installations running through it, you can proceed to demolish it.

For more information about how to get your building permit just call or contact us.