Removing walls....

Soldato
Joined
9 Nov 2008
Posts
7,015
Hello all,

We have plans to remove a few 'walls' and want to see what people think with regards to load-bearing etc...

All walls are part of the original house which was built in the late 50's / early 60's. All walls are solid (brick I believe).

Floorplan:



I've removed a few extra bits of the house that are not relevant. The square of the entrance hall, kitchen and sitting room is the original house. All other bits are extensions from the late 80's / early 90's. There is a large boxed in beam that runs the width of the house from the middle of the sitting room, through to the middle of kitchen (horizontally when looking at the floorplan) - that seems to support the wall that separates the two larger bedrooms to above the sitting room as it runs directly under that but for the whole width of the house.

Wall 1 - downstairs archway



This is an archway between the entrance area and kitchen, although the floorplan seems to suggest there is a wall directly above it (for the smallest bedroom) there is actually around 8-10cm between the downstairs one ending and the upstairs one starting (upstairs one is closer to the bottom exterior wall, making the room smaller than the entrance hall). The walls do not go between the floorboards on the 1st floor and the joists run from vertically when looking at the floor plan.

Wall 2 - upstairs toilet / bathroom

No picture, these 2 small walls are solid and we'd like to knock through to make a bigger bathroom. There are no walls below (as this is the kitchen) and the walls don't seem to go below the floorboards. Above is the loft with water tank which has its own extra built up bit so the load is spread across multiple beams. They are obviously very close to the original external wall (which will be load-bearing).

Any thoughts? My initial gut reaction is Wall 1 might be doing something, although it's odd that it doesn't support the wall above it as they don't sit on each other. With Walls 2 I can't see them doing anything as they are in the corner of the house, right by the external walls and there is nothing below them.

I spoke to a builder who was round at the time doing something else who did the same checks I did (look to see what's near them, work out the direction of joists and said he reckoned wall 1 would be load-bearing and 2 not but wasn't able to say with any confidence.
 

Jez

Jez

Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,073
Hello mate :)

As you know, i have a fair bit of experience with knocking houses around like this.

Wall 1: You will need to open the floor or ceiling around this and look at where the floor joists above are supported. With the horizontal boxed beam quite near it, my gut tells me that i bet that this will not be load bearing but you will certainly need to investigate. Note, it is normal for older houses to have first floor non load bearing solid brick walls built on nothing but floorboards, the fact that these walls do not line up (and others) is a red herring as to whether the wall below is load bearing. As said, you must look at the structure inside the floor to see where the joists are supported.

Wall 2: Almost certainly fine to remove - you can probably easily view this from the loft and could also look under it inside the first floor floor (it wont be bearing if it is built onto a void), but i would say with near certainty that this will have no structural value. I'd bet good money that this will be built straight onto the first floor floorboards over a void.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
9 Nov 2008
Posts
7,015
Can't help, but lovely floor.

It'll be going when we extend the kitchen out the back, never really liked it but I'm told it's very popular. Previous owners left the paperwork for it and it's a year older than me!

Hello mate :)

As you know, i have a fair bit of experience with knocking houses around like this.

Wall 1: You will need to open the floor or ceiling around this and look at where the floor joists above are supported. With the horizontal boxed beam quite near it, my gut tells me that i bet that this will not be load bearing but you will certainly need to investigate. Note, it is normal for older houses to have first floor non load bearing solid brick walls built on nothing but floorboards, the fact that these walls do not line up (and others) is a red herring as to whether the wall below is load bearing. As said, you must look at the structure inside the floor to see where the joists are supported.

Wall 2: Almost certainly fine to remove - you can probably easily view this from the loft and could also look under it inside the first floor floor (it wont be bearing if it is built onto a void), but i would say with near certainty that this will have no structural value. I'd bet good money that this will be built straight onto the first floor floorboards over a void.

Thanks Jez, that's really helpful and I was hoping you'd see the post!

I did take some photos a few months ago above wall 1 (from the upstairs, when we were running some new electrical cables) so I will dig those out and post when I get home tonight.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
9 Nov 2008
Posts
7,015
Hello mate :)

As you know, i have a fair bit of experience with knocking houses around like this.

Wall 1: You will need to open the floor or ceiling around this and look at where the floor joists above are supported. With the horizontal boxed beam quite near it, my gut tells me that i bet that this will not be load bearing but you will certainly need to investigate. Note, it is normal for older houses to have first floor non load bearing solid brick walls built on nothing but floorboards, the fact that these walls do not line up (and others) is a red herring as to whether the wall below is load bearing. As said, you must look at the structure inside the floor to see where the joists are supported.

Wall 2: Almost certainly fine to remove - you can probably easily view this from the loft and could also look under it inside the first floor floor (it wont be bearing if it is built onto a void), but i would say with near certainty that this will have no structural value. I'd bet good money that this will be built straight onto the first floor floorboards over a void.

Not the greatest pictures but this is under the 1st floor floorboards, pic of floor-plan showing where I was and direction viewing. You can see the wall below it I think?





 
Soldato
Joined
25 Aug 2010
Posts
3,017
I've got a 60s bungalow and do a lit of projects which involve slapping old walls.. definitely get an engineer to check, on my own house I dropped 2 walls which weren't "structural walks" however they were doing a job of racking so I had to infill a window opening to do the job... it's not always as simple as just whether walls line up
 
Associate
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
499
Location
?????
Not the greatest pictures but this is under the 1st floor floorboards, pic of floor-plan showing where I was and direction viewing. You can see the wall below it I think?







I would suggest that is a load bearing wall as you have the end of a floor joist visible???
 

Jez

Jez

Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,073
Not the greatest pictures but this is under the 1st floor floorboards, pic of floor-plan showing where I was and direction viewing. You can see the wall below it I think?





Ah good pics mate :)

Thats load bearing im afraid mate, those pictures are good and unfortunately show the ends of the joists and how theyve been arranged to overlap on top of that wall next to eachother. If you can picture it, the one on the far left which we cant see the end of, that will end where the visible one to the right does, and ditto to the beam coming towards us on the far right which we cant see the end of.

Thats why its always essential that you check - definitely load bearing, that wall is supporting the ends of those.
 

Jez

Jez

Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,073
If in doubt, get an SE to take a look.
There is no doubt, Peerzy will definitely need a SE at this point anyway to design a RSJ - building control will insist on the calculations.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
9 Nov 2008
Posts
7,015
Cheers everyone - will get a SE to work out what is needed.

For wall 2 I'm actually having the hot water tank moved out of the cupboard next week so that will involve the floorboards being up to rework the pipes so I'll check that one as well.
 

Jez

Jez

Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,073
Wall 2 almost certainly will be fine (You can also view this from the loft very easily if you needed to).:)
 
Soldato
Joined
17 Feb 2006
Posts
8,622
Location
Winchester
It's not enough to just look at whether the walls are supporting floor or ceiling joists.

Non load bearing walls often act as "buttressing" for other walls, expecially cavity walls to stop them buckling/bending under wind load i.e they contribute to lateral stability of your property. If you plan to take such a wall out, you need to satisfy yourself, you don't end up falling foul of Building Revs Part A. There is guidance of max distance between "buttressing" walls.
 
Top Bottom