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Moving the bathroom and thus the soil stack - can it be done?

20 replies

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:26

We are thinking of re-locating our bathroom from the back of the house to the front as this would give us an extra bedroom.
(Front bedroom is huge with two windows so would become a decent sized single and a bathroom, current bathroom is size of (small-ish) double bedroom so this would go back to being a bedroom instead of a ridiculously large bathroom)
Moving the bathroom would mean moving the soil stack from the back of the house to the front. I appreciate this is not a diy job and we need to get a plumber on the case, but are there any pitfalls, rules, laws I need to be aware of?

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verylapsedrunner · 05/05/2009 19:31

I suspect you might need advice from a structural engineer type person, and make sure you get Building Regs consent.

noddyholder · 05/05/2009 19:31

It depends where the main drain is.

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:35

The main drain (you mean the one underground yes?) runs alongside our property from front to back. It actually runs under our side path - we checked. It would be accessible from our soil stack by means of taking up our front garden. There is actually a manhole cover in our front garden.

Also, how do I go about starting this project. Do I need builders, or an architect, help the desperately clueless please...

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hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:36

Meant to say, we would get a builder to do all the work, this is not a diy job (well, for us it is not)
The builder would know about structural engineers and building consent, or is that for me to arrange separately?

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noddyholder · 05/05/2009 19:41

Are you an end terrace?

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:42

Semi detached - Victorian.

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hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:44

Why? [curious]

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noddyholder · 05/05/2009 19:45

I am in a victorian terrace and wanted to do this and it was a big job.Is your current stack on the side wall as that is easier than if its the back wall apparently.get a good plumber round and ask them to price the job abd tell you what it involves.You need building regs and permission sometimes when sewerage/drains are concerned but it can always be done.

scienceteacher · 05/05/2009 19:46

It's easily done. We had a couple of ensuites fitted. Our drain runs along the side passage. The builders did a bit of digging to access the drain, and then installed the stack.

I don't think you need any permission to do this work - it is not anything structural, nor does it affect your neighbours.

The plumber who does the work will know.

benfmsmum · 05/05/2009 19:48

We moved our bathroom last year but as a much bigger house extension project and also not as far as from the front to the back of the house!!! Sounds to me like it could be done in your case. (We did however move the kitchen from the back of the house to the front with all the associated plumbing and drains)

We had a architect draw up plans etc for the planning permission first and then got the builders in. Builders said the plans weren't good though and basically spoke directly with the planning people at the council and partly used the plans to get the thing built!!

Good luck!! Mine was a huge job with loads and loads of mess but all worth it in the end!!

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 19:51

I love you I was sooo worried you were going to come back and say 'soil stacks must never be moved' or somesuch.
Current soilstack is on the side wall right at the back of the house.
Only problem is, due to the layout of the upstairs front bedroom (location of chimney breast, access from landing, location of windows) the bathroom bit would be on the right hand side of the room - where we join next door.
There are Victorian properties in a neighbouring street who have the bathroom in the same location as I am proposing, the soil stack is fitted to the front of the property, it runs inbetween the two upstairs windows. That was what I was hoping to have done, and then get a connection made sideways or diagonally under our front garden to to the main soil pipe. Front garden is tiny and house is narrow so it does not sound as dramatic as it sounds.

[panicking now as you will tell me this is a different matter and cannot be done]

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benfmsmum · 05/05/2009 20:03

I think most things can be done at a cost!!! If it has been done elsewhere in your street then you'll probably have no problems. Make sure you get the proper planning permission though.

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 20:09

Not in our street, but in a neighbouring street where most victorian semis are similar to mine. (my street is a higgeldy piggeldy mess of different styles)

at the mention of cost. I have no idea how much I am looking at. And am too afraid to get quotes in case this whole idea is a pipe dream and out of our budget [wimp emoticon]

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barbarapym · 05/05/2009 20:12

I've seen similar things done with ensuites to the main bedroom. I have a feeling there might be planning implications, but in the first instance I'd ring a few reputable plumbers and get them to look at it for you. I'd get at least a couple of opinions. Or your council might run a free planning surgery - I went along to one of those and got 15 minutes with a planning officer before we made the decision to buy our house.

We moved a soil stack from the back to the side of the house, and linked it to a new one coming from the new downstairs loo. It was horrendous - weeks of digging and all the floorboards up. We needed all sorts of plans and permissions from Thames Water to move drains and suchlike, so we used an architect and structural engineer - but it was part of a complete renovation and rebuild so much worse than what you're planning.

noddyholder · 05/05/2009 20:23

Is it conservation?If not then you should be ok from a planning POV but still speak to building regd as they deal with enquiries all the time.

benfmsmum · 05/05/2009 20:25

I agree with barbarapym you should get in touch with a plumber first to see what they say about the practicalities and likliehood of it being able to be done and ballpark figure for completion and then look at the planning permission.

Get three or four quotes too though. We had 3 done and actually went with the dearest company as they were the most realistic and the job came in on budget. The cheapest was about 20k out!

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 20:27

No, not conservation at all (quite an ugly little street near the village hight street, redeeming feature of the house was period features, large rooms and a whopping 120ft rear garden )
Thanks for all your advice. I was panicking about contacting building regs etc and be laughed at
Will start taking steps to make this happen

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benfmsmum · 05/05/2009 20:34

Good luck!! As I said before it will be a complete mess and half way through you'll probably think - WHY!!! but it will all be worth it in the end. I know from experience!!

hippipotamiHasLost26Pounds · 05/05/2009 21:18

Thank you
Just bear (bare?) with me when I come on here sobbing about the building work

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benfmsmum · 05/05/2009 22:33

I'll be here with a tissue and a duster!!!

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