Do i need planning permission/building regs sign-off?

(7 Posts)
BasinHaircut Wed 16-Sep-15 14:04:12

We have a 1930s end of terrace with a single storey extension on the back (which is the kitchen). Between the kitchen and the back reception room were some french doors, built into a stud wall which enclosed a bigger opening across the back of the house (basically the width of the reception room).

At the weekend we took the doors and stud wall out and found that the back of our house, and a 2.3m opening is supported by a plank of wood that is about 2ins thick. Im guessing by its appearance that its the original joist. The reception room would have originally had a door and big wondow across the back apparently.

We had a builder round to look last night who said he wouldnt be happy with the current set up if it were his house and that we needed a better support and the walls shouldnt have been taken back quite as far etc.

At his suggestion we have hired some acrows for now in case the stud work was adding support (although i cant see how it would have given much) and are looking for abuilder who can take the work on.

What I want to know is whether I should be getting pp or building regs sign-off for this work as it is structural? One the one hand, if we were doing the original work of removing the window and door then i can absolutely see that we would have to, but seeing as we are just correcting and making safter what had already been done, do we need to?

TrevaronGirl Thu 17-Sep-15 00:07:19

Planning permission is nit needed.

Any structural alterations require Building Regulations approval.

From what I can see, you are not making any alterations other than removing a door which is not structural work.

Having said all this, if an opening of 2.3m is supported by something 2 ins (50mm) thick - no joist in the world is that thin - then I would be concerned...

BasinHaircut Thu 17-Sep-15 09:28:47

Thanks trev.

Yes I am concerned and am planning to get it rectified as soon as we can find someone to take the work on!

I was just wondering what the situation is regarding sign off etc as we aren't really making the change, just putting it right?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 17-Sep-15 15:58:57

Putting it right is making a structural alteration though...

I think you do need building control sign off. As much as anything it means if you came to sell you know it wasn't a problem. Chances are it wouldn't come up. BTW, stud walls can absolutely take some of the load. A bit like old bay windows where the frames support a bit of the floor/wall above.

BasinHaircut Thu 17-Sep-15 16:56:23

Thanks.

I've actually already decided to go through all of the proper channels and not take any chances. I've spoken to building control at the LA and I've got a structural engineer coming on Monday morning.

Now we are over the initial panic of discovering the house might not be properly supported it doesn't seem so overwhelming and I've started to get it sorted.

I'm now half suspecting that there might be something above the wood that we have exposed though. I appreciate that stud walls can offer support but it really wasn't much of a wall as most of it was actually space where the French doors were, and as it's an external wall it's holding the roof up.

I just can't get my head around how here wouldn't be more visible evidence eg cracks if it wasn't sufficiently supported for over 30 years (since the extension was built). The stud wall is only max 19 yrs old so I'm assuming it was all open before that.

Anyway, we've got a family friend builder coming at the weekend to take a better look With an experienced eye, and an engineer coming to see it and if necessary do the calculations on what needs to be done on Monday and for now it's supported with acrows.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 17-Sep-15 17:06:40

Have you only exposed this bottom piece of wood and not the wall above? If so then yes, very likely there is some proper support in there.

BasinHaircut Thu 17-Sep-15 21:05:32

Yes but there isnt much wall above and there are no padstones (and everyone keeps telling me about padstones) so I think it needs looking at anyway.

Above the wood are breeze blocks covered in v thick cement then plaster both sides. Maybe there is a support higher up or incased in breeze blocks but it doesn't look right to me so I'm getting the experts in grin

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