“I want to remove this wall between my kitchen and living room but don’t know if its a load bearing wall”.
At Sketch, we approach these queries with a systematic and phased approach.
Stage 1: Site Visit/inspection
Just visiting your home/property and knocking on the said wall/s is not sufficient. We need to understand where the load is coming from and how it gets to the said wall/s. In addition, we need to understand what is supporting the wall/s below.
We have teamed up with a select couple of reputable builders, whom we have undertaken a thorough review/audit of in terms of their work quality, reliability and pricing structure.
Depending on the location of your property, we would select one of these builders to accompany us to your home and assist us in any exploratory opening up works, that may be required to prove whether the wall/s are load bearing or indeed not. There is no charge for the builder’s attendance, you only pay for our professional time as structural engineers.
If the said wall is load bearing, we would give you a written fee proposal for structural design required to unable you to have the wall removed or opened up.
Stage 2: Structural Design
On instruction, we would undertake a structural design, which may comprise of new steel beams and foundations or a spreading arrangement if you are located in a flat above ground floor.
Our design would comprise of structural calculations and drawings/sketches, which will be suitable for a Building Regulation Submission and for a builder to price from, including our preferred builder/s.
The benefit of using our preferred builder/s is that as a client you have continuity through out the process and the added value and assurance that the works will be carried out as we the structural engineer would wish them to have been.
Stage 3: The Works and Approvals
Prior to appointing your builder you should ensure that the following are in place:
- Acceptance/sign-off from managing agents if the property is leasehold
- An application for Building Regulation approval has been lodged with the local authorities Building Control Office. For small works of this nature this can be done through the “Building Notice” process. In essence, you don’t have to wait months for approval. The Building Inspector visits the site at key stages of the works immediately after the builder starts.
We very much hope that the above has been of use to domestic home owners in terms of understanding the process?
If you do have any walls you want removed then please do contact a structural engineer first.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog then please do consider contacting us if you are located in London, Essex or Hertfordshire.