Here are the top 5 questions to ask before demolishing office walls in your existing space. Creating that desired open plan layout could involve more than expected.
Mr Office Resident…Tear down this wall!…or maybe NOT!
1. IS IT STRUCTURAL?
A qualified professional can determine if the existing wall partition is load bearing. If it is, the partition can still be removed. HOWEVER, a proper beam (as determined by a structural engineer) needs to be installed. Of course there is a cost attached to this solution!
2. WHAT ABOUT THOSE ELECTRICAL DEVICES?
Chances are all the electrical outlets, switches, thermostats etc. can be relocated. Removing walls in pursuit of an open office plan creates other challenges. Many office furniture manufacturers have really slick solutions for solving electrical/data/phone issues. Installing floor outlets, though not always feasible, provide power to open plan workplace designs.
3. CEILING TILES UNITE… OR WILL THEY?
Probably not. When removing a wall, chances are the former two adjacent interior spaces will not line up. One option is to have a “patched look”. From the perspective of most interior design professionals…a new suspended ceiling tile system would be recommended.
4. HOW WILL THE FLOORING BE REPLACED or TRANSITIONED?
Best case scenario?…you have extra materials on hand and the transition is seamless. Honestly this rarely happens. An interior designer can offer creative solutions for flooring. Regardless, you might need to consider new flooring throughout the interior space of the office.
5. WILL THE HVAC SYSTEM BE IMPACTED?
Probably. A healthy comfortable office space requires fresh air to flow in and out. By demolishing partitions, the supply and return air grilles might need to be reconfigured.