Wall removal and building regulations


Postby kakourdos » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:38 pm

Hello All,

I just got a house. It is a 2 storey townhouse (ground, and two floors) build in 1990.

I would like to create an open plan feel on the first floor, which would require to remove a wall. Not much DIY on that, I will get professionals to do it.

I'm a bit confused on the building regulations and I would like your view.

I have attached the floor plans for the first and second floors. The objective is to remove the wall (highlighted in light green) on the first floor.

Note: I am aware about the party wall act (just in case that additional support is required).

Kind Regards,
Kakourdos


(first floor image)
[img]http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/9f6c4b2de8.png[/img]

(second floor image)
[img]http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/b622f2bb52.png[/img]
kakourdos
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:44 pm

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Postby kakourdos » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:17 pm

Hello All,

I just had a chat with a very helpful person in BC.

The verdict is, I would need a sprinkler system for the "project" to be approved.

Descisions descisions.


Cheers All,
Kakourdos
kakourdos
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:44 pm


Postby steve bain » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:44 pm

i think i would have to disagree. if the wall is structural and requires steel work etc then yes i can see BC being involved due to regs on structures. If it is simply a stud wall then it can be removed.

i don't understand the sprinker thing either. if the house is 3 storey you need a secure means of escape. normally the stairwell which has fire doors etc allowing 30minutes burn time. If it is 2 storey it is deemed low enough you can jump out the window safely if there is a fire. so i would say that the wall can be removed and no sprinklers needed. but you do need to find out if the wall is structural first or not - is it supporting anything above?
steve bain
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Postby kakourdos » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:53 am

Hello Steve,

I may have been unclear on the number of floors of the house. It is 3 storeys in total. Ground, 1st and 2nd. As such it has to conform with section 2.6 of the fire safety building regulations (Google "planningportal.gov.uk/wales/professionals/buildingregs/technicalguidance/bcfiresafetypartb/bcapproveddocumentsb/bcapproveddocbvol1/ Relating to Dwellinghouses ").

If you think that is not the case, can you point to a direction to support your view? Obviously, I would rather not go towards the sprinkler system route if there is a way.

Regarding the wall, at this stage I have assumed the worst case scenario, as the water tank sits above and very close to the wall. The guy at BC suggested an alternative way to put the supporting beam (if needed) in such a way that a party wall act won't apply.

Regards,
Kakourdos
kakourdos
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:44 pm


Postby steve bain » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:50 am

sorry. my mistake. i thought it was 2 storey. In that case yes the stair is the protected escape well, and yes the only solution is sprinklers or an external escape stair from the top floor as far as i am aware.

With the sprinklers you do have to consider the damage that could be done if they are accidentally triggered. in alot of cases it is worse or as bad as a fire! another option could be to have 'hidden' door which is magnetically held open. when the fire alrms are triggered the door releases into the closed postion. Although this is generally more applicable to new builds as the door can be disguised as part of the wall.

BC are correct and i would follow their advice. Its nice too see someone actually using them! party wall is not hard to do if you had to and is pretty much cost free to do yourself. In basic terms it is a letter informing the neighbour of your plans saying you will repair any damage and they sign it to say they agree.

you must really want to do this as it will end up being a fair cost.


i'm an architect by the way although it doesn't been i am correct or there isn't a clever solution out there. but this is a common difficulty people have.
steve bain
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:43 pm


Postby kakourdos » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:08 pm

Hello Steve,

Removing that wall will increase the sense of space massively.

At the moment I am waiting for a quote from Google "nationwidefiresprinklers.co.uk" They seem to be a large enough company so that would probably be towards the top end of the range. If the price is reasonable I may spend sometime to look for someone local for a more competitive price. We'll see....

Cheers,
Kakourdos
kakourdos
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:44 pm


Postby steve bain » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:33 pm

i know what you mean about the door. sometimes removing the smallest thing makes the world of difference. in my own hope i removed a doorway in my hallway which was the remains on an old kitchen. i now have a long hallway and when i walk through the front door i see the valley beyond through the picture window at the end. brilliant!

have a think about a concealed door that lives in a recess in the wall. it can even be painted the same so in essence looks ike a panel in a flush wall. a bit of a feature if you will. a company like (Google "allgood.co.uk") will make an autocloser triggered by a fire alarm. s if there is a fire the door closes and seals the opening. you meet regs.

i am worried about the idea of sprinklers in a domestic environment tbh. i believe it is standard practice in new zealand though.

good luck with the project.
steve bain
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:43 pm


Postby fencesllove » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:22 am

I agree with you Steve...sometimes removing the smallest thing makes the world of difference.
fencesllove
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:30 am


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