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Anyone know anything about knocking down supporting walls?

(14 Posts)
Tipex Tue 04-Sep-07 20:33:52

How much it costs? How long it takes? How you get hold of a structural engineer? etc etc!

katylui1 Tue 04-Sep-07 20:35:48

Know none of the above, but I do know that I went to buy a house once that had been owned for 15 years by the same people, the previous owner had knocked down a supporting wall andthere was no paper trail of permission, guarantees e.t.c. Surveyor told us to steer well clear...

Isababel Tue 04-Sep-07 20:36:39

Well, the only thing I know is that if you knocked them down the house will fall wink

basic things appart it is costly, how long it would take may depend in the availability of the apropiate lintel.

rosealbie Tue 04-Sep-07 20:38:37

my dh is a surveyor and he will know but has gone to bed feeling ill. If you get no other replies I will ask him tomorrow.

Isababel Tue 04-Sep-07 20:40:37

Actually, we got a house that had a supporting wall knocked down without permision, and, without realising, we were selling a house that had had the same.

Both the sellers and us were asked to buy a special insurance to cover any eventuality. Both houses are fine, the sellers offered for the plaster to be removed so the lintel could be seen but we opted to trust in the insurance. Almost 6 years on, we are fine.

hermykne Tue 04-Sep-07 20:40:54

its not dear, nor should it take longer than a week or two in a normal sized house, but supporting walls need to have reinforced RSJ (reinforced steel joists) put in , thats more costy .

UCM Tue 04-Sep-07 20:43:21

and acro (sp) thingys either side of the wall before you start to knock it down. A decent builder will tell you whether it's a supporting wall or not. What area are you in?

Our RSJ cost about 100.00 so not dear, but obviously the labour costs do mount up a bit I suppose.

daisyandbabybootoo Tue 04-Sep-07 20:43:54

I'm a structural engineer grin

you need to get a building warrant, plus consent if your house is listed.

You'll need an engineer to do calculations to submit to the local authority for compliance with the building regulations, plus a good builder who usually does this sort of work.

Cost will vary enormously delending on size of opening, supporting structure required etc. As you will be changing the load path through the building it is probable that the foundations will need to be checked locally to make sure they can spread the new loads to the ground.

typically the fee for a structural engineer would be about £300 - £400 (based on what my office used to charge) for the calculations and submitting them to the local authority or checking engineer. The initial visit/survey and any additional visits may be extra.

Not sure how much a builder would charge, but would imagine £1000 plus if temporary propping is required.

You can find an engineer Here

daisyandbabybootoo Tue 04-Sep-07 20:44:32

oops, building warrant if in Scotland

Building Regulations approval if in England

UCM Tue 04-Sep-07 20:48:54

DH added this, if you look in your loft and the joists are sitting on the wall, it's a supporting one. Yes, didn't exactly help me either grin

Tipex Tue 04-Sep-07 21:17:40

ooh thanks all. so what would the total cost be do you reckon? wall is about 12ft length and def supporting.

dont suppose anyone knows a good builder in the west midlands!!!

oh, and does the builder recommend the structural engineer or do I need to find one myself?

daisyandbabybootoo Tue 04-Sep-07 22:43:04

some builders have engineers that they work with regularly and vice versa. If you look in the yellow pages some builders offer a complete service (they sub the engineering bit out usually)

Good luck to you...it's a messy noisy operation with lots and lots and lots fo dust!!

UCM Wed 05-Sep-07 18:44:04

Seriously, Tippex, I would see if anyone in your area as you are walking driving around is having any work done, usual sign is a skip and ask them or ask neighbours, relatives etc. Try to get a recommendation. I wish the ones I knew lived nearer, I could recommend them then.

dizzydo Sun 09-Sep-07 00:01:48

definitely ask your structural surveyor if he knows a builder capable of doing the work. We did and as a result now have the best builder ever to use for future stuff.

I second others, it is very messy but well worth it. Also deffo get building consent so that you have paperwork when you move (having said that I am still chasing our council three months later for the certificate despite they fact that, of course, they have banked their fee.

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