How much does it cost to remove or knock down a load-bearing wall?


1. What is the cost of removing a supporting wall?

2. What factors affect the cost of removing or demolishing a load-bearing wall?

3. What are the Reasons to remove a load-bearing or Structural wall?

4. What types of properties are suitable for knocking a wall down?

5. The process of removing a structural wall in 3 simple steps

6. Can I save money and demolish the wall myself?


Are you

Planning to knock down a load-bearing wall to create an open plan space?

If you have just bought a property or perhaps you have been in it for a while and are looking to renovate, removing a wall can be a game changer to any house if done properly but where do you start??

Who should you speak to first? & How much does it cost to remove a structural wall?

There is conflicting advice on how to proceed with this, for example, the ‘just knock it down and worry about it later’ route (Dangerous) or the ‘It doesn’t look like it’s a load-bearing wall’ route.

The thought of wall demolition or removing load-bearing walls might fill you with dread, but it could transform your house and change the way that you live your life!

Undertaking a seemingly straightforward project is always more reassuring when you understand the necessary steps involved. Unfortunately, many individuals choose to proceed with unauthorized work, only to face significant repercussions down the line. For instance, this can lead to unexpected delays or, in more severe cases, even cause a house sale to collapse entirely! Such outcomes can be highly inconvenient, to say the least.

It’s important to emphasize that the risks simply outweigh any potential benefits.

Proceeding without the proper permissions is just not worth it. In fact, it is vital to recognize the gravity of demolishing an internal load-bearing wall without following the correct procedure.

The potential consequences of removing a support wall are truly catastrophic, as it could jeopardize the structural integrity of your home, putting it at risk of collapsing. Clearly, this is a situation to be avoided at all costs. Safety should always be the top priority, and adhering to the proper procedures is an essential part of maintaining the stability and well-being of your home.

remove a load bearing wall Edinburgh

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1. What is the cost of removing a supporting wall?

In 2023 the cost to remove a load-bearing wall can be anywhere from £3000.00 to £7000.00, however, the average cost is around £3500.00

The cost of removing a load-bearing wall can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as the size of the wall, the type of construction, the location of the property, and the level of difficulty of the project. Typically, the cost of removing a load-bearing wall can range from a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands of pounds.

What costs are involved in knocking down a load-bearing wall?


Cost CategoryDescriptionPrice Range
Structural EngineeringCost for a structural engineer to attend the property & assess the wall, also design work and certification£500 – £1,500
Permits and ApprovalsLocal authority Fees associated with obtaining the necessary building regs approval and building, Planning may also be required for Listed buildings£150 – £450
Architectural feesArchitectural fees associated with providing working dawings£800 – £2,000
Professional Labor & Temporary Support StructuresCost of labour and hiring an experienced contractor to remove a load bearing wall. Cost of installing temporary support structures, such as beams or columns, during the removal process.£1500 – £5,000
Structural ReinforcementsCost of permanent structural reinforcements, such as new steel beams (RSJ) or posts, to redistribute the load.£1,000 – £5,000
Site Preparation and CleanupThe cost associated with preparing the site for the wall you want to remove – load-bearing wall demolition and proper disposal of debris.£500 – £1,000
Finishing and RestorationThe cost involved in finishing and restoring the affected areas, including repairs and integration with space. Cost of new flooring.£1,000 – £3,000

Please note that the prices mentioned are rough estimates and can vary significantly based on factors such as the project’s complexity, location, and specific requirements. It’s advisable to obtain detailed quotes from professionals to get a more accurate understanding of the costs involved in your particular project.

Party wall Surveyors are not required in Scotland.

Sample Real-life wall removal project

Structural Drawing

How much does it cost to knock down a load bearing wall


Removing internal walls between kitchen & dining room within a semi-detached house

Professional fees – Costs

TOTAL FEES£1795.00

The Actual Cost to knock down a wall can vary significantly depending on the extent of the work.

Get in Touch with us Today!

2. What factors affect the cost of removing or demolishing a load-bearing wall?

Some of the factors that can affect the wall removal cost include:

  • Size of the wall: The larger the wall, the more expensive it may be to remove.

Larger walls typically have a greater structural impact on the overall stability of the building. Removing a larger load-bearing wall requires more extensive structural modifications, such as installing beams, columns, or alternative support systems to ensure the integrity of the structure. These additional structural elements increase the complexity of the project and can contribute to higher costs.

Removing a larger wall may require more materials, such as steel beams or supports, to replace the load-bearing function. The cost of these materials, along with the labor involved in their installation, can contribute to higher overall expenses.

Removing a larger wall may involve more extensive site preparation, including the relocation or protection of utilities such as pipes in the wall.

Finishes and Restoration: Depending on the size of the wall being removed, there may be a need for additional finishing work, such as repairing or replacing flooring, walls, or ceilings in the affected area and the removal, and reinstatement of existing finishes such as decorative cornice.

The extent of these finishing and restoration tasks can impact the overall cost of the project.

How much does it cost to remove a load bearing wall?

Removing a wall during a home renovation, UK building work

  • Type of construction: Removing a masonry load-bearing wall will typically be more expensive than removing a load-bearing stud wall or partition wall.

The type of construction, whether timber or masonry, can impact the cost of knocking down an internal wall due to differences in structural characteristics and the techniques required for their removal.

In the case of a timber-framed wall, the process of removing a load-bearing wall is generally less complex and may involve cutting and reinforcing the timber frame with additional supports or beams. This can result in relatively lower costs compared to masonry walls.

On the other hand, masonry walls, such as those made of brick or concrete, tend to be more substantial and may require more extensive structural modifications. Removing a load-bearing masonry wall often involves carefully demolishing and redistributing the load to other supporting elements, such as installing an RSJ, columns, or beams, which can increase the complexity and cost of the project.

Additionally, the specific construction techniques, materials, and tools needed for removing a load-bearing wall can differ between timber and masonry structures, which can further influence the cost.


  • Location of the property: The cost of labor and materials can vary greatly depending on the location of the property.

The location of a property can influence the cost to remove a load-bearing internal wall or external wall due to various factors associated with accessibility and labor costs.

Accessibility: If the property is located in a remote or challenging-to-access area, (such as a top-floor tenement flat), transporting equipment, materials, and labor to the site can be more difficult and time-consuming. This can increase the overall project cost.

Labor Costs & Local Market Conditions: The cost of labor can vary depending on the location. Areas with higher living expenses or where skilled labor is in high demand may have higher labor rates which can impact the cost of removing load bearing walls.

This can lead to fluctuations in material costs, subcontractor availability, and overall project expenses.


  • Level of difficulty: The difficulty of the project can also affect the cost, for example, if the wall is located in a tight space, or if it needs to be removed in stages to support the structure.

The level of difficulty involved in load-bearing wall removal can impact the price due to several factors:

Structural Complexity: Walls that are structurally significant or part of a complex load-bearing system may require more intricate engineering solutions and modifications. This complexity often involves the use of specialized techniques or materials, which can increase the overall cost.

Time and Labor Intensity: Removing a load-bearing wall that is challenging to access or located in a confined space can require more time and labor-intensive work. This can involve careful dismantling, shoring, or temporary bracing to ensure the stability of the structure during the process. The increased labor and time requirements can result in higher costs.

Additional Precautions and Safety Measures: Certain load-bearing walls may have specific considerations due to their location or surrounding structures. For example, walls in proximity to utility lines, plumbing, or electrical systems may require additional precautions and coordination with other trades. Implementing safety measures and coordinating work can add to the overall cost.

Structural Reinforcements: load bearing wall removal will involve the installation of alternative support structures, such as beams, columns, or footings, to redistribute the load and maintain the integrity of the building. The complexity and extent of these reinforcements can impact the cost of the project.

Site-specific Challenges: Each project is unique, and certain site-specific challenges, such as uneven terrain, existing obstacles, or limited access, can affect the difficulty level and, consequently, the overall cost of removing a load-bearing wall.


It’s important to note that It is highly recommended to consult with a professional structural engineer to determine if the wall is load bearing and if it is, the type of support that will be necessary after the wall is removed. They can also provide a more accurate cost estimate for the project.

It would be a good idea to get several quotes from different builders to compare the prices and make sure you’re getting a fair price for the work you need. It is also important to remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best, so make sure you are comfortable with the builder’s experience, qualifications, and insurance.


3. What are the Reasons to remove a load-bearing or Structural wall

There are several reasons why you might want to remove a load-bearing wall:

  1. Open-plan living: Removing a load-bearing wall can create an open-plan living space, which can make a home feel more spacious and open.
  2. Renovation or remodeling: Removing a load-bearing wall can allow for more natural light to enter a room or to create a more open floor plan for a kitchen, living room, or dining room.
  3. Increase property value: Removing a load-bearing wall can increase the value of a property by creating a more desirable and functional living space.
  4. Accessibility: In some cases, removing a load-bearing wall can make it easier for people with disabilities to move around the house, or to install wheelchair ramps.
  5. Structural issues: Removing a load-bearing wall can be necessary to address structural issues, such as to repair or replace rotting beams or to correct a settling foundation.

It’s important to note that removing a load-bearing wall is a complex task that requires the expertise of a professional structural engineer and a qualified builder. They will be able to determine if the wall is load-bearing and how to support the structure properly after the wall is removed.

It’s also important to obtain all the necessary permits and approvals from the local authorities before removing the wall, and to ensure that all work is done in compliance with the building codes and regulations.

The way we live our lives has changed, we have moved away from living in lots of different little rooms to living in a much more social environment….big open spaces with lots of natural light, great for entertaining or just hanging out with family or friends

There is no doubt that removing a wall or two can have a dramatic impact on a flat or a house, a large kitchen/diner is on most people’s wish list, it might be on yours!

We at John Webster Architecture have been involved in many of these types of projects and have found them to work particularly well in traditional Edinburgh tenements where the space can be reworked to add value.

Removing an external load bearing


4. What types of properties are suitable for knocking a wall down?

Most types of properties are suitable for knocking down a wall, depending on the specific circumstances and structural considerations. Here are some common property types where wall removal can be feasible:

  1. Houses: Detached or semi-detached homes often have more flexibility for internal wall removal, as they typically have fewer structural constraints and more open floor plans.
  2. Apartments and Flats: The feasibility of load-bearing internal wall removal can vary. It depends on the building’s construction, the presence of load-bearing walls, and sometimes alterations that have previously been made to flats above or below. Removing and altering walls in Edinburgh Tenements are a prime example of this if you consider how many flats within these tenements are in their original state….not many!
  3. Townhouses: Similar to houses, townhouses can often accommodate wall removal, but it’s essential to consider the structural implications and any necessary reinforcements before removing walls.
  4. Older Homes with Non-Load-Bearing Walls: Older homes constructed with non-load-bearing walls may have more flexibility for removal or alteration, as these walls primarily serve as room dividers and do not carry structural loads



Knocking down a wall in an Edinburgh Tenement

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5. The process of removing a structural wall in 3 simple steps

Step 1. Hire a Professional

There is a tried and tested process to follow to make sure that the work is carried out lawfully and that the appropriate paperwork and permissions are in place.

At John Webster Architecture we have carried out these types of projects dozens of times and have developed a slick system to get this done quickly and efficiently.

Very rarely will this type of work require planning permission, unless it is a listed building.

If it is a listed building then listed building consent will be required.

Most people will have an idea of what they want before the wall is removed, if so the next step is to establish if what they want is feasible, at that point, it would be advisable to appoint a construction professional, perhaps an Architect or an Architectural Designer.

We can help you with this.


Speak to us about removing your wall


We will act as your agent guiding you through the process until the building warrant is granted, they will do all the form filling, so you don’t have to!

Upon appointment, we will arrange to visit your property, to come and inspect the wall and discuss your ideas. **Note: it may be that the wall removal is part of a greater project, for example moving a kitchen or bathroom, all of which will come under the works and therefore be ‘warrantable’

We will carry out a measured survey and take photographs to allow him to develop the initial concept into scaled drawings.

Whether the wall is load-bearing or not it will still require the input of a Structural Engineer.

Why is this?

It’s because the Local Authority will insist that a suitably qualified Structural Engineer will be required to confirm if the wall is structural or non-structural.


If the Wall is Load bearing the Engineer will provide a suitable structural design along with an SER certificate.

If the wall is non-load bearing the Engineer will provide a letter or report to confirm that the wall is non-load bearing and the removal will not have a detrimental effect on the structural integrity of the property.

The Structural Engineer will arrange a convenient time to visit your property and inspect the wall to tell you whether the wall is load-bearing. He is qualified to identify a load bearing wall & make a definitive call as to whether a wall is structural. this will usually involve some sort of intrusive investigation, it might be removing plasterboard at the top of the wall, having a look within the attic space, and if it’s possible having a look under the floor.

**Note: All demolition work in flats requires a structural engineer’s input.

It’s important to state that the type of wall be it timber stud or Masonry will not in itself tell you if the wall is load-bearing or not.

The Structural engineer will be able to tell whether or not a wall is load-bearing.

You can find out Here Why you need a Structural Engineer and what they do.

If you want to make things easier for yourself make sure to hire a Structural Engineer that is SER registered.

You can read all about it here


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Step 2. Get the Building Warrant

A Building warrant is required if you want to knock down a load bearing wall.

If the wall is load-bearing the Structural engineer will produce a suitable structural design to suit the new design scheme.

To have the building warrant approved the Structural Engineer will overmark the architect’s drawings and produce their structural design drawings and an SER certificate which is required for a Building Warrant.

The Architect will then collate all the relevant information, ensuring full compliance with up-to-date building regulations, and produce the final drawings to make a building warrant submission.

It’s important to understand timescales, give yourself plenty of time to apply for a warrant!

In 2023 a project like this will typically take 3 to 4 months from start to finish, depending on the complexity.

If it’s super simple it may be possible to get it through a lot quicker, but it’s important to stress that it’s down (mainly) to local authority turnaround times.

Find out Here how to apply for a Building Warrant…be warned its a bit wordy:)

Once the Building warrant has been granted and the work carried out in a satisfactory manner, an application can be made for a completion certificate, again this is a legal document and should be filed with the deeds to the property.

                                                                                                     At a Glance

How much does it cost to knock down a load bearing wall



Step 3. Knock the Wall Down!

The Engineer’s and Architect’s drawings & notes will contain detailed information about what measures need to be taken before, during, and after the wall is removed.

A builder will take several steps to prepare for knocking down a load-bearing wall, including:

  1. Temporary support: Once the permits are obtained, the builder will install temporary support to ensure the stability of the structure during the removal of the load-bearing wall.
  2. Protecting existing structure: The builder will take measures to protect the existing structure from damage during the removal of the wall, such as covering floors, walls, and other surfaces to prevent dust and debris from spreading.
  3. Securing the site: The builder will secure the site to prevent unauthorized access and to ensure the safety of the occupants of the house and the workers.
  4. Equipment preparation: The builder will prepare the necessary equipment, such as scaffolding, saws, and other tools, to safely and efficiently remove the load-bearing wall.
  5. Communication with the client: The builder will keep the client informed of the progress and any issues that may arise during the process.


6. Can I save money and demolish the wall myself?

Removing a load-bearing wall is a complex and potentially dangerous task that requires the expertise of a professional structural engineer and a qualified builder. It’s not recommended for a DIYer to remove a load-bearing wall due to several reasons:

  1. Safety: taking out the wall can be dangerous and can put the safety of the occupants of the house and the workers at risk. A professional builder will have the knowledge and experience to safely remove the wall and to ensure the stability of the structure during and after the removal.
  2. Structural integrity: A load-bearing wall provides structural support for the house. Removing it without proper planning and support can cause the house to collapse, or cause other structural problems. A structural engineer will be able to determine if the wall is load-bearing and how to support the structure properly after the wall is removed.
  3. Building codes and regulations: Building codes and regulations vary from place to place, and a professional builder will be familiar with the local codes and regulations and will ensure that the work is done in compliance with them.
  4. Insurance: Most insurance policies will not cover damages caused by work that has not been done by a professional builder.
  5. Cost: Removing a load-bearing wall can be expensive, but it’s also important to consider that if the job is not done correctly, it can lead to expensive repairs, or even worse, an unsafe living environment.

it is possible for a competent DIY-er, but it’s much preferable to leave this type of work to experienced professionals.

They will have carried out this type of work many times before and have the equipment and know-how to get this done.

It’s advisable to check your insurance coverage, both your own buildings insurance and the contractor’s insurance.


Ask Us About a Fast Track Building Warrant


Here are the steps again, 

Step 1. Appoint an Architect and Engineer

Step 2. Get the Building Warrant.

Step 3. Knock the Wall down.

Enjoy your new space!

How can we help You with this type of project?

Contact us about your project

At John Webster Architecture, we understand that knocking down a load-bearing wall is a significant decision and a complex process. We are here to guide and assist you every step of the way. Here’s how we can help:

  1. Initial Consultation: We begin by conducting a thorough consultation to understand your goals, assess the feasibility of removing the wall, and discuss any concerns or considerations specific to your project.
  2. Structural Analysis: We work with experienced structural engineers who will carefully evaluate the wall’s load-bearing capacity, ensuring that its removal won’t compromise the structural integrity of your home. They will provide expert design and solutions to safely redistribute the load.
  3. Planning and Design: We work closely with you to create a detailed plan and design for your renovated space. We will help optimize the new layout, considering aesthetics, functionality, and your specific requirements.
  4. Permissions and Approvals: We handle the necessary permits and approvals on your behalf, ensuring compliance with local building standards and regulations. This saves you time and ensures a smooth progression through the administrative processes.
  5. Contractor Selection: We have a network of trusted contractors and builders with experience in load-bearing wall removals. We can recommend and collaborate with skilled professionals who are committed to delivering high-quality workmanship.
  6. Post-Construction Support: Even after the load-bearing wall is successfully removed, we provide ongoing support. We’re available to address any post-construction inquiries and assist with any additional design or renovation needs you may have.

With our expertise and personalized approach, John Webster Architecture is committed to delivering exceptional results while ensuring a seamless and stress-free experience for our clients.

Contact us today to discuss your load-bearing wall removal project and how we can assist you in transforming your space.

If you have any further questions regarding this process, feel free to reach out—I’m here to assist you.

Contact me Here

We have a great contact network and can carry this type of Architectural work out in Most parts of Scotland.

We require 1 visit to the property and the rest of the work can be carried out remotely.

Finally, if you would like to discuss your project further you can take up our offer to get your FREE  ‘Ask the Expert’ call.

Book a Free Call