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Knocking kitchen wall down

(8 Posts)
Writemove Mon 07-Mar-16 13:51:25

Hello, we are planning to knock the wall between or kitchen and dining room down in our 1930s semi.

We really struggled to get people to quote but finally (after seven builders turning up) we have three quotes. The problem is two of them say we need an RSJ/ steel but the one that we prefer (recommended by a friend, very efficient, seen examples of his work) says we don't.

What are the risks of the house falling down? What can we do to be sure we do/don't need an RSJ

From the floor plan it looks like the second bedroom is directly above the dining room. It's a very traditional 30s semi in London. Hallway, Living room, dining room and narrow kitchen with two double bedrooms and a box room upstairs.

Thanks for any advice

limesoda Mon 07-Mar-16 14:19:34

In a similar situation we got a surveyor to give his opinion. It was extra expense but we wanted to be sure (we have done the majority of the work ourselves so some of the advice was invaluable).

In what sounds like a very similar house, we were advised to use steel, but the wall is partially load bearing.

yomellamoHelly Mon 07-Mar-16 14:33:26

We managed to get away with a concrete lintel as our opening is only 1.8 m wide. Also partially load-bearing.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Mon 07-Mar-16 14:39:39

We got a chartered surveyor come and do a survey which included the measurements for the rsj so that the builders ordered the correct size. It didn't look like a supporting wall but turned out it was so very glad we bothered.

lalalonglegs Mon 07-Mar-16 15:08:09

You'll probably need building regs sign off for the works in which case you'll have to provide structural engineer's calculations so you might as well get the ball rolling by getting one in. It's a very common modification that some of your neighbours are likely to have done already so perhaps ask around whether their walls were supporting or not.

Writemove Mon 07-Mar-16 15:40:53

Thanks for the advice. What's the best way to find a structural surveyor and how quickly will they come in? Also, how much do they cost?

We'd definitely rather do it right than risk the wall falling down!

namechangedtoday15 Mon 07-Mar-16 21:13:36

An alternative (if it is load bearing) is to remove the load bearing wall above (in bedroom / landing above and if necessary in the loft) and have the bedroom wall rebuilt as a stud wall.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Tue 08-Mar-16 09:08:41

This is run by the Institute of Structural engineers, and you can search by area and type of project. If you can find a one man band type operation they are generally the cheapest and this sort of job is their bread and butter.

A surveyor is not the right person - they know a reasonable amount but they are not qualified to advise on steel sizes etc.

Oh, and just because it comes up on each of these threads, it's not an RSJ (rolled steel joist) but a UB (universal beam). RSJs stopped being used 40 odd years ago!

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