Ground floor layout rejig

Soldato
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Hello all,

So the mrs and I have pretty much agreed that our current downstairs layout has a bit of wasted space, as we don't use the dinning room that is all on its own.

We would both prefer to rejig the downstairs to merge the dinning room and kitchen into one large living area, allowing us to move our dinning table that resides at one end of the living room, in to the new large kitchen dinner. It would also mean that we would stop using the current dinning room as a dumping ground.

I have taken the original floor plan and done some crude ms paint skill on it to get the desired floor layout that we think would work for us.

uc


Now, the logistics side of getting this work done. Would it be a wise idea to get an architect in to look at the idea and see if it is possible or not. Originally, we though of extending off the back of the property to make a wider kitchen/dinner, but we though to just reclaim some of the hall downstairs as this is just a walk way and could be reused. If we did go for an extension, and architect would be 100% required, but in this case, it is just a rejig... is it wise to get one in anyway?

The lounge goes the full length, and because of this, it has an RSJ running from the wall with the stairs next to it, to the outer wall. That to me tells me that the floor beams are running from the back to the front, so an RSJ will be needed in the kicthen/dinner to keep the upstairs, well upstairs.

The only other problem I see is the WC and moving it. On the other side of the outer wall of the WC is a manhole cover, so my guess is that the soil pipe runs straight to the sewer which runs alongside the property. This would have to be dug up and the soil pip moved as well as the access to it (via the manhole cover). Is that allowed or even possible?

Thoughts? Are we aiming for a too big a change?
 
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Hopefully we should have about £30k to play with. Off the back of this, I want to get some power ran out to the garage which is not connected to the house at all.
 
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Thats a good point, but to be honest, I think we are happy with the house and where it is. We love the area and we don't expect to move for another 15 years or so.
 
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What sort of jumps through hoops do you have to go to in order to do internal layout changes like this?

I am assuming building control would need to be involved in checking that everything about the rejig is fine, and that planning permissions isn't a requirement.
 
Soldato
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The complexity of this project is not clear, until you overlay the upstairs layout.

You'll need to engage a structural engineer to carry out the beam calcs\drawings. Contractor will have something to quote\work from then and should involve local building control as it will be required.
 
Soldato
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That is some substantial knocking down of walls; you will definitely need a structural engineer to produce the calcs to submit to Building Control for approval.

I would say that RSJ/beams are not going to be sufficient to replace the walls; you will need "goalpost" frames to reinstate lateral stability the walls would otherwise provide. This may lead to requiring some work to existing footings, meaning breaking into the floor to cast concrete etc.
 
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Ok, thats interesting to know. I guess it all hinges on getting an architect and structural engineer in to tell us if it is even possible.

Anyway, here is the upstairs layout...

uc


The wall between the two bedrooms is a stud wall, and the wall between the stairs and the bedrooms is a brick wall that is floating (and must be on an RSJ) as underneath it is the hallway downstairs. If this is done, that wall will then have a wall underneath it as well.
 
Soldato
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Ok, thats interesting to know. I guess it all hinges on getting an architect and structural engineer in to tell us if it is even possible.

Anyway, here is the upstairs layout...

uc


The wall between the two bedrooms is a stud wall, and the wall between the stairs and the bedrooms is a brick wall that is floating (and must be on an RSJ) as underneath it is the hallway downstairs. If this is done, that wall will then have a wall underneath it as well.

WOuld be worth you getting an engineer come round to have a look and assess feasibility. May cost you £200-£300. I don't think you would need an architect's input at this stage i.e. you just want to know what walls can be knocked down.

Couple of tips:
Look on your local borough's planning portal for properties along your road with same plan geometry as yours. With luck they may have had work done requiring planning permission and if so, you could be lucky in that they would have proper architectural/structural plans to download. This will be free.
Also make an enquiry with the borough's building control. They sometimes keep records of similar plans, although only from last couple of decades. THey may charge you an admin fee to supply you with anything and they will usually only do that if you are the owner i.e. freeholder.
In summary, having actual plans with technical info is incredibly useful and cheap/easy compared to surveys.
 
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Have you thought about moving the kitchen up next to the downstairs WC, and then having some bi folds at the back of the house? Might open it up a lot, and during summer time you can open up the dining area.

At least that way al your plumbing is on one end too.

Just an idea.
 
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The door at the "back" of the property, isn't really the back. Its the side, as the front door is on the side of the property as well. The larger "gap" in the long wall on the side where the kitchen and dining room is, is a set of french doors which will open out onto the garden, so all good there. Not sure about bi-fold doors... not my kind of thing really.

Interesting about getting an engineer round first. I thought an Architect would have been able to answer those questions. I guess I am wrong on that then. Where is the best place to source a structual engineer? Wouldn't they need some sort of plans first?
 
Soldato
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The door at the "back" of the property, isn't really the back. Its the side, as the front door is on the side of the property as well. The larger "gap" in the long wall on the side where the kitchen and dining room is, is a set of french doors which will open out onto the garden, so all good there. Not sure about bi-fold doors... not my kind of thing really.

Interesting about getting an engineer round first. I thought an Architect would have been able to answer those questions. I guess I am wrong on that then. Where is the best place to source a structural engineer? Wouldn't they need some sort of plans first?

Architect won't know anything about the structural requirements.

An engineer can often go by just a client's own proposals/drawings at least initially (I have done in the past). And a survey would be just to verify what walls are loadbearing or providing stability and what would need to be provided if they are to be knocked down. You can then get the architect on board to take it forward and they can work with the architect on the construction details.

I don't personally know anyone in Berkshire. Where are you based exactly ? I would use http://www.ricsfirms.com/ for ease but you want a surveyor who is a chartered engineer (CEng) imo. I can recommend someone in Southampton though but travel expenses/travel time might not make it cost effective.
 
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