Removing a load bearing wall could help you create open spaces within your property creating large rooms but can be challenging and even more so if it’s your first time and you don’t know where to start. If you are removing a wall and need assistance or require a site visit for guidance, Structural Hub ltd will be able to help. You can contact us on book in a consultation.
Load bearing walls vs Stud walls
There are two types of walls commonly found in your property, a load bearing wall or a stud wall. A stud wall also sometimes called a partition wall is usually a timber wall and is not carrying any loads and removing them are safe to do so. However you should bare in mind that some stud walls can also be structural and are usually found in pitched roofs as support timber walls. A load bearing wall is one which is transferring some sort of load above it from a wall, roof or floor and transfers it to another structural element below it which may be another load bearing wall, foundations or structural support.
What is required
Once it has been identified that the wall you wish to remove is a load bearing wall a structural engineer will work out the loads it is carrying and will carry out calculations to determine what type of support it will require. Usually is a single beam can be used which the structural engineer will calculate the size required and specify the pad stones required at the ends of the beam. However at times it require more than just a single and will require other structural elements such as a columns or posts if the existing end supports are not adequate. To make it easier the beam can be designed in 2 or 3 pieces so it can be connected together on site making it easier and more practical for builders to install. At Structural Hub ltd we can carry out calculations for your designs and can also produce 3D drawings if required for your builder to carry out the work making it easier for the builder to build.
You will also need to contact building control to ensure that they are notified and that your work is inspected and approved by gaining a building certificate after completion. If you do not obtain the required building control approval there could be serious legal and costly implications. You can either use a Building Control Officer from your local council or you can use a private sector approved inspector.
Choosing the right builder
It is important that experienced and competent builders are used to carry out the works safely and adequately. This is important because not always would defects show up in the property immediately and it may only be after a few years that the property has suffered from loss of structural integrity and eventually causing collapse when unexpected. It is also important for the builder that suitable temporary supports are used during construction to ensure that the existing structure is left intact with no defects.