Internal waste pipe spoiling my open plan dream! Is there an alternative?

(11 Posts)
WelshGirlSeeksMarmite Sun 27-Nov-16 12:11:16

I have a slightly complicated situation which I'd love advice on and am hoping I can explain it clearly!

DP and I are (slowly) renovating a very run down 1930s terrace house and planning to open up the back by knocking through the rear reception room and kitchen to make a large open plan family space. The house was previously extended (single storey pitched roof extension) meaning we currently have a long and narrow galley kitchen and a very good sized rear reception room. What complicates the situation is that the extension was built over the external drain so the waste (soil?) pipe from the upstairs bathroom is boxed in against the wall between the living room and the kitchen, where the external wall would have been before the extension.

As we want to knock the wall down to open up these two rooms, we have discussed keeping the pipe in place, for example keeping it as a pillar with a kitchen island around it.

However, we'd ideally like to get rid of the pipe and a friend suggested rerouting it. We're also looking to install an understairs toilet and this friend has proposed routing the pipe so it runs under the upstairs floor in the direction of the understairs toilet, comes down there and then runs under the downstairs floor to the drain. So effectively, the drain would be in the same place but we wouldn't have the pipe spoiling our open plan dream!

A few questions. Is this realistic? My understanding is that the pipe should go in as direct a route as possible and worry that we're potentially building a waste pipe rollercoaster in our house? If it is possible, would it mean losing a significant amount of ceiling height? Also would it be ridiculously expensive?

Any advice is much appreciated and I hope my convoluted explanation makes sense!

dynevoran Sun 27-Nov-16 13:27:35

We are in the process of doing similar. Our current 1930s has exactly this...a pillar in the kitchen which ruins the look and is just generally another example of the shoddy shortcuts previous owners took.

The house we are renovating is also a 1930s and had the same issue. The previous owners had added a conservatory open plan to the small galley kitchen and dining room (but retained the wall between those rooms). With the soil pipe running down the end of that wall where it opens to the conservatory. We have demolished the conservatory and dug down to create a ground and lower ground floor extension.

The builders have re routed the pipes from the bathrooms to the side of the house instead of the centre and have then created a false wall so these pipes run down through that wall to the drain. The new manhole is just outside the footprint of the new lower ground floor. It means no pillar. I'll attach some plans or picture to illustrate this if I can dig some out.

dynevoran Sun 27-Nov-16 13:32:38

Here you go. Visualisation showing what it will end up looking like and then photo showing how it was when we purchased it.

dynevoran Sun 27-Nov-16 13:43:24

So re understairs toilet I would run this pipe out to the nearest external wall and then run upstairs ones as per our plans and they will join where the false wall is at the start of the extension.

YelloDraw Sun 27-Nov-16 14:37:32

So I've got the soil pipe boxed in my kitchen (extended out). Sounds v similar to as described above - holly kitchen and dining room then with 2x flat roof extension but never really opend out properly.

I'm hoping in 5 years I'll have saved enough and be able to extend the mortgage enough to knock down the extension, rebuild, open out properly internally and reconfigure the soil pipe.

Pipe dream at the moment!

TheTantrumCometh Sun 27-Nov-16 14:40:17

I have nothing constructive to add, but 'waste pipe rollercoaster' has tickled me grin

WelshGirlSeeksMarmite Sun 27-Nov-16 16:58:02

Wow dynevoran, that's going to be a fantastic transformation! Our house was previously a rental property so is also full of shoddy shortcuts.

I really like your builders' solution of running the pipes to the side wall and concealing behind a false wall so will certainly look into that as an option. My only concern would be money and the cost of moving the manhole as this sounds expensive.

Thanks for your advice.

WelshGirlSeeksMarmite Sun 27-Nov-16 17:01:06

Yello, I think it might be a pipe dream for us too when I find out the actual cost!

Ha Tantrum, I'm not sure I like it now having pictured it in practice!

dynevoran Sun 27-Nov-16 18:22:03

I do take your point about costs but I do think regardless of what you do the manhole will have to be moved so you can access the drains outside the extension. If your manhole is currently under the floor I mean. If there is already an access hatch in the garden then you can just take floors up and recipe down the side.

Any builder who is happy to build over the manhole (like my current househmm) I wouldn't work with. Just because our experience of having our manhole under our current kitchen means if there is a problem then there is nothing you can do. If our current drain blocks we have to dig up a concrete floor - which inevitably at some point we will have to do (family living here when we move). And a few years ago we heard noises under the floor and had a rat problem which was fixed now but would have been infinitely easier to resolve if we had a manhole to access to fix the drain. So from my point of view any expense is worth it! Still traumatised today!

That said in the scheme of doing an extension whatever you do with pipework and manhole won't really add that much to it. If you are ripping out everything including the floor and installing an understairs loo so have to already pipe that in then it just becomes part of that expense. Given the time it took to do this bit of our build I'd say maybe adds a grand or 2 on at the very most but likely much less. Ours is a £110k total refurbishment of the house top to bottom though (including new furniture etc) so it's hard to pick out the individual costs for each bit of work.

Good luck!

dynevoran Sun 27-Nov-16 18:24:14

Re-pipe not recipe!

loopsngeorge Sun 27-Nov-16 23:24:26

We have just had to re route a soil pipe that was smack bang in the middle of the wall that was to be knocked down. It was moved to run down the corner of the wall pier and boxed in with a rodding access half way up. The builder and structural engineer came up with the solution between them and it had to be signed off by building regs although that might have been to do with other drainage issues we had. It all ended up being fairly simple.

One thing I found though was that you have to let them start knocking things around and opening up walls before you really know what you are dealing with. We just had to keep a contingency aside for drainage in the knowledge that pretty much anything can be done, but at a cost.

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