How to gain more space with a knock through

Are you the type of person that if you bought a doer-upper, a project house, the first thing you’d want to do is get the sledgehammer out and knock through some walls? Yeah, me too.

And talking to a lot of homeowners for KBB’s Homes section, this is exactly what a lot of renovators do, (after talking to the professionals of course – I explain a bit more about that below.)

Especially as it seems there are a multitude of Victorian and other historic properties – built with lots of small rooms – that are being given modern facelifts at the moment.

Even my 1930’s home needed a bit of knock through attention – joining the teeny tiny room with just a toilet in to the main bathroom meant having to knock a non-supporting wall down. It was a very dusty affair. 

A different angle of the featured image: The rear of this property was originally split into separate rooms; however, this didn’t suit the homeowner’s lifestyle. They wanted to create a relaxed open plan, kitchen and living space, ideal for socialising, cooking, lounging and working from home. To achieve this, internal walls were knocked down. The Butler Collection in Lithodora, prices start from £20,000, Tom Howley.

In those days, the kitchen was purely a functional room in which to prepare and cook food, always enclosed and often in the darkest and coolest part of the house – basically the total opposite of how we mainly live today.

So it’s no wonder people are removing walls left, right and centre.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Oh my god that alarm hurt this morning. Anyone else? So here we are then; first working Monday of the decade and all that. The house is back to normal although that has partly involved piling all the stuff from this room into my office and onto my desk. Guess I’ll have to have another day of (literally) working from my lap, top. This is the view from the library, which is naturally framed by the opening we knocked in the wall between the two rooms. You’ll find me here today. The blog is back to full posting schedule now with Monday’s regular beautiful rooms post… might help if you’re in need of procrastination. . . . #backtowork #heighho #mysittingroom #sittingroomdecor #roomwithaview #knockthrough #cleanandtidy #backtonormal #newdecade #victorianterrace #homeinspo #myhomestyle #stylemyhome #pinkandbrown #styleitdark #myvintagehome #shopvintage #dolessharm #antiquefurniture #velvetsofa #persianrugs

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With this in mind, if you can’t extend for whatever reason – be it financial or logistical – a knock through can be the best way to gain some much needed space in the house – perfect for a kitchen-diner or master suite.

The homeowner’s of this bedroom-bathroom completely reconfigured the top floor, which originally comprised a bedroom, an ensuite, and a kitchen, knocking all three rooms together to create their open-plan scheme. Read more about this home, here.

It’s simple, by knocking through and reconfiguring certain rooms, you can gain floor area without having to change the entire footprint of your home.

To create the space, they knocked through the walls of a second bedroom and ensuite. Read more about this project, here. 

This will allow much-needed light into the now larger space, which can be designed with zoned areas dedicated for separate functions.

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For example, in your newly updated kitchen you could have preparation, cooking, storage and socialising areas.

Or in your main bedroom, you could have an open walk-through wardrobe to get to the ensuite. 

However, before you do anything drastic, there are things you should know.

Removing a load bearing internal wall, or forming an opening in an internal wall, means building regulations will apply.  If you’re not familiar with building control and what they do, why not read our article which explains all about it

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A structural engineer or surveyor should always be employed to determine if the wall is load bearing, which means it is supporting other parts of the property’s structure, such as the roof, and then design a beam to cater for these loads if you wish to remove it.

The kitchen of chef Rosemary Shrager. Originally the property was split into four little rooms and hallways. She decided to knock through to create one large kitchen-living-dining area. You can read more, here.

Knocking down a wall without proper care could affect the building and the safety of its occupants – so I’d very much advise against it!

Another way of making the most out of your knock through is by hiring an interior designer or architect. They’ll help you come up with solutions and ideas you hadn’t even thought of!

Featured image: The rear of this property was originally split into separate rooms; however, this didn’t suit the homeowner’s lifestyle. They wanted to create a relaxed open plan, kitchen and living space, ideal for socialising, cooking, lounging and working from home. To achieve this, internal walls were knocked down. Kitchen, Tom Howley

Article updated: 6th July 2021.

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