If the first mantra of real estate sales is "Location, location, location," the second has to be “Heads in beds,” which means more bedrooms increase a home’s resale value. If you’re readying your home for sale, you may have considered converting a large bonus space or bedroom into two bedrooms — and increasing the number of bedrooms in your home’s real estate listing — by installing an interior wall. Or your family may just find itself in need of an extra bedroom or home office that can be closed off from the rest of the house. Adding a wall is fairly straightforward, but you would be wise to hire a licensed contractor who can install it for you using proper building methods and in accordance with local code requirements. Installing a wall can cost $2,500-$6,100, depending on where you live, how large the new wall is, and whether the contractor needs to frame in a closet or add new electrical outlets, light switches and/or fixtures.
Dividing a room in two
The most straightforward interior wall installation job is to add a wall to separate one large room into two. Jesse Ross of Brothers Ross, a landscape and general contractor based in Asheville, North Carolina, says the cost to add a wall is similar to that of knocking one down—ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 — but that there’s no need to bring in a structural engineer. In addition to the framing and drywall, your total cost will cover paint, trim, doors, and new electrical outlets and light switches. If any patching or repair of the floor is required, that will add to your cost, too.
Creating a bedroom
To divide a large bedroom in two to create an additional bedroom, Todd Parker, owner of Residential Drywall & Construction, in Atlanta, Georgia, estimates the cost would range from $4,500 to $6,000, which includes framing in a 2-by-3-foot closet, doing some minor electrical work (adding outlets and light switches), installing drywall, painting, and installing doors and trim. To be considered a legal bedroom, a room must have a closet.
Adding a single reach-in closet will cost less than adding a walk-in closet to the new room — especially if you finish out the closet with such extras as built-in storage and a closet organizer system, which can run anywhere from $1,000 to $6,100. The larger your closet is, the more space you’ll lose in the newly created room. Reach-in closets measure anywhere from 3 feet to 8 feet wide with a depth of 24 to 30 inches, while walk-in closets should be at least 6.5 feet wide and at least that deep to provide enough space for different storage zones.
Many general contractors can do minor electrical work, such as installing new power outlets or adding a light switch and simple fixture. If you require more involved lighting or electrical work, your building contractor may subcontract the work to a licensed electrician, who may charge a flat rate for specific services or charge $50-$100 per hour.
Doors and trim
If you decide to upgrade standard doors and trim (crown molding, baseboards, etc.), you will incur additional costs to account for the additional materials and labor.
If you want the new wall (or any existing walls) soundproofed, you will pay more for specialized materials and professional installation. Expect your costs to increase by $400-$600 in a standard-sized room.