All you need to know about demolishing an internal wall internal and how much it costs?

•What is the process for knocking down a wall? 

•Who will I need to employ? 

•Are there any internal walls that can’t be removed? 

Hopefully these and other questions will be answered for you in this article

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that before you knock down any internal partition walls then you will need to identify which walls are load-bearing (carrying load form joists above) and which are non-load bearing!

I will give you a number of ways that you can determine which walls are load-bearing however you should take professional advice and speak to an architect, architectural technologist, or a structural engineer prior to carrying out any work.

Property programmes such as “Location Location Location” and “Grand Designs” often show spaces that have been opened up to provide kitchen / dining – open plan “American-style” living.

These are among the most popular changes to an existing house that we do.

Please note however that whilst removing non-load-bearing partition does not require building warrant approval, a building warrant will be required for the removal of any load-bearing petitions, and dependent on the extent or span of any partitions removed it is likely that the structural engineer will require to be     engaged to calculate the size of any beams and their supports.

How do I know if a wall is load bearing? 

Load-bearing partition is can be assessed on a number of ways.

1.Often load-bearing partition in a modern property built from the 1980s onwards will usually use 4×2”s or 100 x 50mm studs. Non load-bearing petitions will likely use 70 x 50 mm studs therefore the overall wall thickness in load-bearing wall will be an inch wider than other walls not load-bearing.

2. By working out the span of the ceiling joists above it is often possible to determine which walls are load-bearing. It is common practice for Joists to be able to span between 3m and 4.5m m quite easily, however spans above that are rare  20 to 30 years ago.

3. . If it is best practice to look underneath the ground floor into the solum (subfloor) and you will find that a load-bearing partition will be supported by a brickwork or blockwork wall this wall will have been taken down to its own foundation.

4. It may be possible from the loft space to be able to identify which roof timbers span onto the partitions – you may want to get a joiner to advise you in this instance.

What to do if your wall is load bearing? 

If you find that the wall that you want to remove is load bearing –  then what should you do next? This is the point that you should consult with a professional to advise you.  Highland Architecture would be happy to advise you on your project requiring a building warrant. We would then forward your proposed layout on to a Structural engineer to advise on costs.

To give you an idea of the costs for removing the load-bearing wall you should budget for the following fees.

•For Architectural fees budget between £500 and £800.

•Structural engineer –  If a beam is required and it needs to be calculated by a structural engineer then you should budget approximately £200 for this.

•Building warrant fees for internal alterations are not too costly. If the total of Construction work is deemed to be less than £5,000 then the fee to the local authority would be £150.

How long will the building warrant take to be passed? 

How long will it take to get a building warrant for demolishing an internal wall?

Internal alterations can usually be assessed quickly by the local authority. It would normally be 4 to 6 weeks from the point of an application going in to it being approved.

Once you have your building warrant – you are free to start demolishing your wall.

Remember to notify the building standards section of your local council that you are about to start the work !

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