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Load bearing wall - previous owner has widened a doorway & now its bulging! Eeek

(7 Posts)
citybranch Fri 30-Jan-09 13:56:20


I wonder if anyone knows about this subject as I know nothing of this house stuff!

We bought the house 2 months ago, the kitchen is teeny-tiny and we originally planned to knock the kitchen/dining room into one. To be honest there's not much wall to knock down as the previous owner has widened the doorway out so much!

Then we had another idea that we would partition off the tiny kitchen to make a utility room, and move the kitchen into the dining room, then we wouldn't need to knock down that bit of wall at all. We thought this might be cheaper and a bit less disruptive.

We had a builder round to discuss possibilities/costs of both plans, he checked under the floorboards upstairs and said the wall is load bearing and pointed out a bulge in the wall at the top where the doorway had been widened, he didn't like the look of it and said we'd better get it checked out.

We had the homebuyers survey, and this was never pointed out but we are now a bit worried. What should i do next? Is there an expert who can tell me the implications of this, who are they and is this all likely to be very expensive?

Any knowledge greatly appreciated!

Hassled Fri 30-Jan-09 13:59:35

I think you might need a structural surveyor type bod. Could the builder recommend one? Or ring your insurers - you might be covered, and they would send out their own experts to check.

wombleprincess Fri 30-Jan-09 16:34:27

sorry to say this but a homebuyers wouldnt necessarily have pointed this out. You should probably get a structural survey or a structural engineer to have a look. from memory a structural survey on a large house is circa £750 but if they are just looking at one thing it would probably be considerably less. In terms of how much it would cost to rectify... how long is a piece of string iyswim as i dont know anything about your house!!

remember also it might just be a builder looking for some extra work... so you might be ok.

unlikely an insurance compant would cover it as the house isnt falling down.

Lanky Fri 30-Jan-09 16:43:57

Just ask a structural engineer to come round and look at it. You probably need to put in a steel beam to strengthen the wall.

Guadalupe Fri 30-Jan-09 16:45:22

I would get a structural engineer to look.

We have builders in a house atm and they are putting an rsj in where we've knocked down a wall and chimney but I can't remember if they said they'd need a steel or just a bigger lintel to widen the outside door.

I didn't pursue it as I decided to move the outside door to the middle. I think we still need support though as it is load bearing.

JillJ72 Fri 30-Jan-09 20:42:44

Can I ask how much builders would charge for an RSJ to be fitted?

Good luck with your load bearing wall. Agree it's a good idea to get someone suitably qualified in to have a look; better to know than not... you may end up worrying if you don't, and it's less stress in the long run to know for sure it's all OK or it needs supporting.

citybranch Sat 31-Jan-09 13:16:09

Thanks for replies!
Seems as though structural engineer costs £300-£400 but that includes the calculations for an RSJ too. Its a bit pricey but suppose we had better go for that.

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