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Knocking Through Walls For Open Plan Living

One of the biggest home renovation trends today is the move towards the open concept. The idea behind this concept Sprucing Up Your Back Yard on a Minimal Budget

Winter has left, the spring smells and colors have begun to surface, and you find yourself wanting to liven up your backyard. But how do you make an outdoor space that is inviting, while also staying within a limited budget? Easy! Here are just a few suggestions:

The best way to reduce your costs is to take on projects yourself. They can be a fun family affair, or something you tackle on your own. Either way, they lead to less money leaving your pocket.

To take this one step further, you can save money by using items you already ownand it is amazing what you can find already laying around your house! Things such as an old tire, or tires, can be used as planters; pallets can be transformed into a vertical garden or be made into furniture; and old Christmas lights can be used to set a cozy evening atmosphere.

All you really need is a little creativity, and you wont believe what you already have to help add a little pep to your yard!

Check flyers

One of the best, yet most underused ways to save money for your backyard makeover is to check sales in your local flyers. It is always wise to start your search a little in advance of when you plan to begin, as you can sometimes find good deals on the things you will need before the season really gets going. Alternatively, if you know well ahead of time that youll be undertaking such a job, you can find really great end-of-season sales!


If part of your backyard improvement project involves the addition of plants and flowers, it is important that you know what would work best. Yes, you might see a particular flower that has a unique shape or color, but if it requires a specific environment that doesnt fit what yours has to offer, its best to look for something else.

Generally, when selecting plants, it is best to check how they do with direct sun exposure, shaded areas, in soil that is prone to water retention, etc. Once you have an idea of this, selecting your floras is much easierand it usually means theyll last longer too, saving you even more in the long run.

You can also save a bit of money by buying seeds, rather than transplants. It will take a little longer for you to see the final product, but can be a good tradeoff if youre limited on funds.

General maintenance

If you have no money to spend on improving your backyard, you can liven up your outdoor space by just giving it a little love and attention. Making sure your plants are well taken care of (watered properly, pruned or trimmed), your lawn has been weeded and cut, and a general upkeep takes place, your yard can produce a natural, beautiful space for you and your family to relax in! Remember when it comes to improving your yard on a dime, keep it simple! You dont need the latest trends or expensive lawn furniture to make it a relaxing outdoor retreat.

means the removal of walls that traditionally would be found in a home, in order to create one larger room. The most popular areas for this to take place are on the main floor (linking the kitchen, dining room, and living space) and the master bedroom (which usually involves connecting a smaller, adjacent bedroom, in an attempt to include an en suite, amongst other possibilities).

In many ways this open concept makes a home feel more spacious and inviting. But, if you are thinking of opening up your home, there are several things you might want to consider first.

Before getting started

Before you even touch a thing, it is important that you consider how this open concept will benefit you. Questions you might want to ask yourself include: What will each space be used for? What will be the focalor gatheringpoint of your new spacious room? How will the new floor plan improve your current way of living? What might some disadvantages be?

By thinking of these questions ahead of time, it will allow you to fully consider the why behind your motivation, while also forcing you to really think about how the room will flow.

Structural considerations

One of the biggest home-reno disasters of this level is when the homeowner decides to take on the task of knocking down the wall themselves. This is especially true when the homeowner goes forward without considering the walls significance to the room, or the house, more generally. For this reason, it is important that you determine whether or not the wallor wallsyou decide to remove are considered load bearing.

Another point to consider, if you happen to live in a duplex, or even a condo-style building, is how the removal of a wall might affect your neighbors. This is often forgotten, but can actually have devastating impacts on the adjacent home, or units.

To ensure you dont face any of these costly and unanticipated outcomes, it is always best to consult with a professional. This is especially important if you choose to do the work yourself.


Now that youve thought about how the room will flow, and maybe even contacted a contractor for advice or to enlist their services, there is something else you might want to consider before moving forwardlighting.

The issue of lighting is often one of the main motivators for opening up a floor plan. Usually, by doing so, it allows lightparticularly naturalto easily pass through. However, it is worth including in your post-renovation concept how light will be affected once the walls have come down and youve placed your furniture.

Temperature control

The final point to consider before you get started on your wall removal project is how it will impact temperature control in the larger space. Usually opened spaces are costlier to heat or to keep cool, so keep this in mind before you do anything irreversible. To reduce the impact this may have on your utility bill, look into how the overall flow of the room can help, or other alternative ways of controlling the temperature that wont be so heavy on your pocket.

There are other aspects to consider before tearing down any wall in your home, but these are the most important to think about.

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