If you've ever lived in a NYC apartment, you're probably familiar with the concept of a temporary wall (also know as a pressurized wall). To the uninitiated, a temporary wall is essentially a wall constructed without screwing into the floor, existing walls, or ceiling. The whole idea is to make a ridiculously expensive NYC rental apartment more affordable by adding an extra room without doing any damage to the apartment (or your security deposit). I've done it in three apartments, including my most recent place.
Needless to say, the temporary walls are not approved by the NYC Department of Buildings, so the pressurized wall companies are all a little sleazy. In fact, I probably should have seen it coming when I called One Wall, Two Rooms to schedule our "free" temporary wall removal and was told we would be charged a "small fee" of $475. Ummm, what? Is that what we're calling a small fee these days? Oh and the deposit for the return of materials magically disappeared once we were ready to actually remove the wall. How convenient.
And that is how Mr. Officer and I ended up uninstalling a pressurized wall on a cold, January day. I was a little worried when we first set out on this little project, but it seriously couldn't have been easier. We didn't have any instructions to follow, but after our experience I feel like I needed to do a PSA for NYC to show people how easy it really is to remove a pressurized wall.
- Rubber Mallet
- Power drill
- Step stool
- 2 people
Step 2: Remove all the moulding around the drywall/door frames. The moulding is held in place by small, tacking nails, and should just pry off of the drywall. We used a screwdriver to get us started, but then the moulding just pulled right off.
Step 3: Carefully remove any screws around the windows and doorframes with a power drill, and slide out the windows/door frames.
Step 4: Use a power drill to unscrew all of the drywall screws, and carefully remove the drywall from the pressurized wall frame. Note: you will probably need one person to hold the drywall sheet in place and catch the screws, while the other person takes out the screws.
Step 5: Use a rubber mallet to carefully knock the support beams out of the frame (working parallel to the top & bottom of the full frame). This is also a two person job, because you will need one person to hold the top of the frame against the ceiling while the other person removes the support beams.
That's it folks, easy peasy!