Opening a Kitchen Wall to Create a Pass-Through

Are you tired of being stuck in the kitchen cooking while your guests and family enjoy time together in the adjacent room? If so, you may want to consider opening a kitchen wall to create a pass-through. Pass-throughs are an area of the wall that has been cut out the kitchen and the adjacent room to create a window-like opening. They are rather easy for the experienced do-it-yourself homeowner to tackle, but there are definite pros and cons, as well as safety issues to consider.

The Benefits

The benefits of creating a pass depends on how you use your home. If you entertain a lot or like to feel connected to those in the next room, a pass allows you to do that. It opens up both rooms and creates a lighter and airier floor plan. Pass-throughs also allow cooks to pass food easily from one room to the next. They are relatively inexpensive to create if the right wall is chosen for the pass-through design.

The Drawbacks

It may seem like there are no drawbacks to creating something that opens and lightens up a room. Unfortunately, just like with any home improvement project, there are always drawbacks to changing the structure of a wall. With a pass-through, the biggest drawback is that both rooms will be significantly altered to accommodate the length and height of the opening. It can be less hassle in a living room or dining room where wall cabinets do not come into play, but in a kitchen the location of existing cabinets and appliances can make all the difference. If your kitchen is limited for space and there is really no wall that is not being used by cabinetry or a large appliance, a pass-through may prove to be more difficult to install than it is worth. Another drawback is that it limits the privacy of each room. No longer can you have a private conversation with female guests in the kitchen while the men are watching a sports game. With a pass-through, conversations are bound to be overheard from both locations.

Safety Issues

Cutting into the drywall and creating an opening is not as simple as it may sound. Be sure to check for any existing electrical cords or plumbing that may be running through the wall in the location where the pass-through will be located. Cutting into the existing drywall will be a messy business and you do not want to start, only to find that you have to patch the wall because a pipe is running along that area. Also be careful that the spot where you cut is not a load bearing wall for the house. If you are concerned about removing the wall studs, consult with a professional builder and consider hiring a contractor to install support joists if needed at the top of the pass-through.