Whenever you do renovations around the home, walls are usually a big part of it. Whether you’re taking out parts of a wall, changing access points, removing walls completely or simply replacing old plaster, you’ll need to do some planning.

The great thing is, when you’re working with walls in your home, you can take the opportunity for some added improvements.

Check structural integrity

Naturally, if you’re going to be removing walls, you want to make sure they’re not load-bearing. Some internal walls can be removed easily and it’s a great way to open up more space. However, many walls are a key part of supporting the roof or second story. So, don’t just go knocking down walls before checking.

As a general rule, if the wall runs parallel to the joists above, it’s probably load bearing. If it runs perpendicular, it may not, however it’s still worth having a professional inspect it if you’re not sure.

Removing old plaster

Old plaster can be a pain to remove, and it’s often messy work. If you want to protect the carpets or floors, make sure you lay down sheets or plastic. If you’ve got an older home, the plaster sheeting may not be the easy-to-handle products sold today, either. An older style of plaster is often referred to as ‘horse hair’, and if you start pulling this down, you’ll see why.

The board contains fibres that hold everything together, however it’s a lot messier and harder to manage than modern plaster. So, be ready for some hard work if you’ve got this type of plaster in your home.

Install insulation

If you’re simply updating your walls instead of removing them, or even if you’re creating new walls, it’s the perfect time to consider insulation. With the wall cavity exposed, it’s so easy to slip some brand-new wall insulation in.

House insulation comes in many different levels of quality, so for maximum effect, look for something that’s highly thermal rated, non-combustible and rated for acoustic performance. You’ll enjoy more comfortable temperatures, and also lower energy bills.

Consider your wiring

You can also check the wiring at this point. There’s no better time than when your wall cavity is exposed. It’s a great opportunity to add additional power outlets, TV aerial points and even light switches. These things can be a lot more fiddly to work with when your wall is in place, so do a little planning first to make sure you know where all these items should go.

As with all electrical work, you should always use a qualified, licensed electrician. If you attempt it yourself and there’s a fire down the track, you may find your insurance isn’t valid.

Finishing your wall

Finally, when finishing your wall, always use high-quality plaster. It’s easier to work with, easier to paint, and will look a whole lot better than cheap products. If you’re not confident, hire an expert plasterer to get the professional result you want. Then it’s just a matter of painting and decorating!

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