In older homes the floor plan was typically very boxlike, and the kitchen was no exception to this rule. Unfortunately, this style of home leaves the host isolated in the kitchen when entertaining or even just preparing family meals. Newer homes have embraced a floor plan that has more of a great room layout, and this design is much more conducive to interacting with family while taking care of daily chores. So in an older home, it might be a good idea to install a pass-through in the kitchen to help open up the space and save a few steps. A pass-through is basically a hole in the wall through which items can be passed to and from the kitchen. If a homeowner has a little bit of experience working around the house, they can easily install a pass-through in their home. However, before knocking a hole in the wall, consider why a pass-through in the kitchen may or may not be a good idea.
For a person who loves to entertain, a pass-through from the kitchen to a dining or living room absolutely makes sense. The opening allows food and drinks to easily move from the kitchen out into the other rooms, and it is a natural for entertaining. Adding a pass-through to a small kitchen also helps to open up the space visually and may make it feel a little more spacious. In most homes this project is quite affordable and easy enough for a homeowner to do as a project.
Installing an opening in a room that visually opens it up sounds like it should only be a good thing, however any time a homeowner starts knocking holes in walls, there is the danger of damaging the house. It is very important to make sure that there is no plumbing or electrical wiring in the wall, and if there is it will have to be redirected to another portion of the wall. Even more important though is the chance that the wall may be a load bearing wall, which means that it is actually holding the roof up. Therefore, it is important to determine if breaking a hole in the wall may cause other structural problems in a house.
Another problem that is very common in smaller kitchens is that there is no blank wall space in the kitchen. Every wall has a cabinet on it, so creating a pass-through actually diminishes cabinet space. Quite often the storage space in the cabinet is more important than a pass-through. One final thing to consider is that once a pass-through is installed, neither room will be completely private any longer.
Always wear protective clothing, earplugs and glasses when working with power tools. Make sure to turn off the power to the room just in case an electric wire is unexpectedly struck. On the same note, it might be a good idea to turn the water supply off just in case a pipe is accidentally struck. Before cutting the wall make sure that it is not a load bearing wall, and if in doubt have a professional look at the wall before cutting through any of the studs. If the job seems like it may be more difficult than expected, it is probably a good idea for the homeowner to hire a professional to build the entire pass-through.
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