I recently purchase a REO home. The previous owner decided to remove the drywall from one side of a load bearing wall to create a "built-in" media center from plywood. I haven't removed this "improvement" yet but I am hoping that the frame of this wall has not been altered. Even if this frame is intact, I would like to open up the space a little by creating a window through to the kitchen. The wall is approximately 12 feet long. Here's what I need to know:
What is the average cost for a contractor to perform this job?
Does this work require a permit?
Why would I not hire an engineer to calculate the load and let me know what type of supports I need to install to allow me to create a window through to the living room?
Can't help on price, but permit answers will vary by locale - generally most places will want a permit on structural alterations which it sounds like this is.
I wouldn't expect that a contractor would need an engineer involved, this sounds like a straight forward openning. You'll need a header across the openning and that's easy enough for a carpenter to size from tables.