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Before I knock a wall down, what do i need to know?

(27 Posts)
MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 21:47:52

Don't worry, I am planning on getting a builder to do it, and I'm sure it will need a concrete lintel or RSJ putting in.

Do I need a particular type of builder? No one I know has been able to recommend anyone so I'm stuck with Yellow pages.

Do I need any kind of permission? Or to think about Building regs?

Anyone know about these things?

cheapskatemum Sat 29-Aug-09 21:54:22

I was going to say "Know whether it is load-bearing or not", but if you're cognisant with RSJs & lintels, then I guess you know that it is.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 29-Aug-09 21:56:45

Possibly your title suggests that you don't know much, but your op clarifies that you do grin

Is it worth looking at your local council's website re building regs? Afaik any decent builder would know about the relevant permission.

Do you have any neighbours or local friends that could recommend someone.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 21:58:06

It was originally an outside wall but it now leads into the conservatory. So it's about a foot thick and although it only holds up the kitchen roof, the chances of it not being relevant to some part of the overall structure are pretty slim grin

No idea on the difference between concrete and steel lintels though. Do I need to thin about that?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:01:41

I'm asking around for builders and everyone screws up their face when i say it's knocking down a wall. I'm getting nowhere.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 29-Aug-09 22:02:43

I would say that you just need to ensure that you get a good builder who knows what hes doing and who knows when to bring in someone else with necessary experience ie. a structural engineer to calculate the dimensions of the RSJ

Sidge Sat 29-Aug-09 22:05:59

Try Checkatrade if you're looking for a builder.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:11:55

sadly that Checkatrade website doesn't work round here. Don't know why, it's only South Wales fgs. I put in the city name and ask for Builders - General and it gives me a load of people around Bournemouth. hmm

[cursed]

MsHighwater Sat 29-Aug-09 22:17:21

If it was originally an outside wall, then (my architect dh says) it will be structural and you will probably need a Building Warrant before you can knock it down. My dh suggests you talk to your local Building Standards Dept.

Sidge Sat 29-Aug-09 22:24:03

How strange about Checkatrade! I just tried searching for a builder in Swansea (for eg) and came up with nothing!

Maybe you don't have builders in Wales grin

Could you try phoning them?

andirobobo Sat 29-Aug-09 22:25:27

If it is an external wall then you will need structrual calcs from a structural engineer and you will need Building Regulations from your local council. They will get the calcs checked and approved, and then your builder (when you find one without a wrinkled nose / face!!) will knock it down, but the beam in, get it signed off by the Council building inspector, and then you can finish off the plastering, etc to make it look good!

We have just had one fitted in out kitchen / diner, and it wasnt too bad!!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:25:56

Whats a building warrant?

MRhighwater, does it cost money and does it take a long time?

LackaDAISYcal Sat 29-Aug-09 22:26:02

You need a structural engineer!

And most likely building regs.

If you contact a local engineer then they will know of local builders who they do work with regularly who are experienced in that sort of work. Also check with your council's Building Control Dept. they'll let you know what you need by way of plans, calculations, certification etc.

Also, the type of lintel you need depends on the length of the new opening and the load that the lintel will be supporting. Concrete lintels are generally used for small openings, steel beams for larger more heavily loaded openings.

Mshighwater, are you in Scotland? the system is slightly different in England and Wales; they don't call it a Building Warrant here.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 29-Aug-09 22:27:28

A Building Warrant in Scotland is Building Regs Approval in England smile

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:28:13

Sidge, I do believe there are builders around. I have seen their vans <strokes chin wisely>

Maybe none are reputable enough to be on there!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:30:37

So, do I look in yellow pages under structural engineers?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:32:01

I think I will phone checkatrade, I like the idea of the website - maybe they don't know it doesn't work round here. Maybe they have a whole load of builders wondering why they're not getting any calls trough it.

KristinaM Sat 29-Aug-09 22:34:52

if you dont want your house to fall down or if you plan on selling it sometime i suggest you get advice on this

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:38:58

thanks Kristina. That's kind of why I'm here.

Any one ever used a website like this - Local surveyors direct?

LackaDAISYcal Sat 29-Aug-09 22:39:49

Have a look here for local engineers.

Or try the yellow pages; there is usually a big ad with a list of eningeering council registered engineers.

where are you?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 22:42:14

That looks the kind of thing! thanks Daisy.

I'm in Caardiff. I wouldn't have thought it was that difficult to find someone.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 29-Aug-09 22:44:35

Have a look here smile

KristinaM Sat 29-Aug-09 22:57:54

sorry mary to be so unclear. i meant professional advice from a structural engineer and the building control dept of your local council. exactly what lackadaisy and mshighwater said

i agree that advice from Mn is usually a good thing but you cant sue us if your back wall subsides

good luck smile

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 29-Aug-09 23:00:30

Very marvellous Daisy. I think I'll just have to phone round and see if they do something domestic like this. Hope so.

LackaDAISYcal Sun 30-Aug-09 00:11:05

no problems smile

I'm a (lapsed) structural engineer!

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