Does anyone know? I'm considering making an offer on a house which has loads of potential but a very odd downstairs layout... Specifically, an entrance hall bigger than the kitchen, and a dining room that's had a slice taken off its side to make a utility area. It's just an average-sized semi, so the kitchen and dining room are left pretty small and strangely proportioned (3.7x2.2m and 3.8x2.8m respectively)... So I'd want to knock down some walls and open things up, particularly to get a bigger kitchen.
Can I tell which walls are structural/load bearing without getting a builder/structural engineer to check for me?
I'm going to try to post a photo, so if you fancy suggesting what you'd do with the space, and where you'd knock down walls, feel free!
Sorry, didn't answer your first question... The walls between the sitting room and dining room, and the dining room and utility, are definitely plasterboard (the vertical ones in the plan I've uploaded). There's an odd stone/brick arch between the kitchen dining room - a bit wider than a doorway but not much. I forgot to check the walls of the hall.
Our house in 1950s and all internal walls are brick whether load bearing or not. Our built in cupboards are also built in brick. Our hallway was also larger than our original kitchen :-)
From the plan you've uploaded I would imagine the joists run front to back so the walls between hallway and lounge and kitchen and dining room will be load bearing. Is there anyway to lift a carpet on first floor to see which way the floorboards run, the joists will run perpendicular to the floorboards?
No way to lift carpets easily Tiz - seems a bit too cheeky!
Yes, I think you're right Guff... I'm doing a budget to try and work out potential value/offer. The house is on a bit high I think. I'm in an bit of a strange position... It's a house I ruled out last summer, because it needs so much doing to it; but 9+ months on, it is still one of the most suitable I've seen. In the meantime, I made an offer on a similar house that is in much better condition (with new kitchen and bathroom) but the vendor and I can't agree on a price. I'm trying to work out how cheap the 'scruffy' house needs to be to make it worthwhile, and how much work/money it would need to bring it up to the standards of the other one...
Sorry, that was waffle that no-one actually needs to know!
The wall/arch between the kitchen and the dining room is very strange - it's about 15" thick - really thick for an internal wall. And in such a strange place, right in the middle of the house so to speak. I don't know what to make of it...
The up stair floorboards run the same direction as the supporting wall. 98% of most houses only have one where this would be the case, but the odd few have more supporting wall. see if there is a way to see this.
I've been inside severl houses on this street, and they're all quite different Creature, so no help there...
Nocake, there don't seem to be any that are in the same place upstairs and down, apart from the wall between the sitting room and dining room, which - confusingly - sounds like plasterboard. But maybe the plans are badly drawn... I guess I may have to go back and actually look again...
Is there a chimney breast in the room? Sometimes fires and chimneys are in the walls in the centre of the house as opposed to the usual way in adjoining party walls. The result (if they are blocked up and unused ) can be an unusual confusing 18 inch deep wall in the centre of the house. Generaly if the floor boards are running in the same direction as the wall you want to remove then the wall will be load baring as the joists run at right angles to the floorboards carrying the load. I have just removed a ground floor brick wall between a kitchen and dining room that wasnt load baring, so there are many possibilities and i would recommend getting a decent builder to have a look at it.
Also in a modern house the cardboard plasterboard walls may appear flimsy but think of the house like a wine box. Just the box is as stable as...well..a cardboard box...if you put in the wine bottle criss-cross divider things the whole thing becomes waaayy more rigid. Take one or two of those away and poufffeee...you get wobbly bits.