Removing A Wall ?

Contemporary, open-plan living spaces are a popular design choice for the modern home.

open plan

Wall Removal Package

Over the last two years it has become one of our most popular packages, as homeowners are seeking a warm and welcoming sociable hub for the whole family. 

Is Your Wall Loadbearing?

Before you start knocking down a wall, you need to find out whether or not the wall you are taking out is “loadbearing”.  

Wall removal

To help you, we have put together a collection of our most frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell If My Wall Is Loadbearing?

Generally, it is relatively easy to establish if the wall is carrying vertical load.

If the wall runs perpendicular (at a 90-degree angle) to the joists, there is a good chance that it is load-bearing.

When the wall runs parallel to the floor joists above, and there isn’t a wall above, it probably isn’t load-bearing.

However, you cannot rely on this completely as sometimes there are other structural factors that you need to take into account eg lateral stability.

What approvals will I need?

You probably won’t require planning permission.

If however the wall if found to be load bearing, it is classed as a “structural alteration” and you will require Building Regulations approval.

How long will it take to obtain approval?

Once your application is registered with the council, it can take anything from one week to eight weeks, depending on which council you are submitting to and how busy they are at the time of submission.

How long do you take before you can attend site?

We can visit site normally one week from instruction, often sooner.

Why do I have to pay for you to come out to site before hand

Our policy is to take a deposit before our engineers visit to cover their travel time and time on site.

If your wall is found to be non loadbearing. We will issue you with a letter confirming this (you will need this when you come to sell your house in the future) and there is nothing further to pay.

If however, your wall is loadbearing, we will take dimensions, photographs and prepare plans and structural calculations.

What's The Difference Between a Building Notice and a Full Plans Application?

A Building Notice Application doesn’t require detailed plans to be submitted. All charges (plan and inspection) are paid at the time of deposit.

Although you only have to wait 48 hours before starting the work, you do not have an approved plan to work to. If the work does not meet regulations, there may be a delay while the work is corrected and you may not know that the work is incorrect until it is inspected.

We would not recommend this route and if you start building work before you have approval, it’s at your own risk.

Full Plans Application

  • You know that as long as you carry-out the work in line with the approved plans it will meet the regulations
  • Everyone involved knows in advance exactly what is required. There should be few nasty (or expensive!) surprises
  • You can provide an approval notice to financial institutions, solicitors, and so on, when you are applying for loans or moving home
  • As long as the work is carried out in line with the approved plans, and all the relevant inspections find the work is of a satisfactory standard, you get a completion certificate
Can I submit the Building Regulations application myself and save money?

Yes you can, but our fees include for us submitting the application on your behalf and being available to answer any technical queries that they have.

What happens if my wall isn't loadbearing?

If your wall(s) are not load bearing you won’t need Structural Calculations or Building Regulations approval.

We just charge for our time on site and a letter confirming that the wall is non-load-bearing (you will need this confirmation if you ever come to sell your house)..

The new beam will go into the Party Wall - do I need to tell my neighbours?

A party wall is the dividing wall between you and your neighbours property.

Ideally it is best to avoid working on, or near a party wall, however, if there is no alternative you will need to comply with Party Wall Act, we can help you with this.

To avoid this, we’d look at designing either a “goal post” or a “picture frame” structure.

What is a Goal post?
goal post

Imagine a goal post made of steel – two sides and a top.

The load is transferred down both side columns and onto point loads in the ground.

If, however the loading are too much, we would recommend a picture frame / box frame.

What is a Picture Frame/Box Frame?
Picure Frame / Box Frame

Simply a four-sided frame made of steel.

Used mainly where the loads are too much for a goal post or greater lateral stability is required.

“Picture Frames” are often used in situations where you are removing virtually all of the back wall of the house and extending into your garden.

Downstand Beam or Flushed Ceiling?

Downstand Beam

Downstand Beam

As the beam is not hidden within the depth of the ceiling joists it is cheaper than a “flush ceiling”

A steel below the ceiling reduces the sightline and gives a less impressive feel.

Flush Ceiling

“Flush Ceiling”

Is where the beam is hidden within the depth of the joists so you are left with a “flat” ceiling. 

This is a more expensive build option but it gives you a nice, clean line without any downstand.

Particularly if your extension is double height, you want to feel that extra height as soon as you walk into the room. 

Is my house insurance valid whilst the building work is taking place?

You will need to make contact with your house insurance provider, they normally require you to cofirm how long the works will take and evidence that the works are being undertaken by a competent person/company.

When can I start building work?

We would advise that you wait for Building Regulations approval. That way your builder knows exactly what to build and the sizes of the steelwork required.

How much is the Structural Assessment and Design going to cost me?

You will have our fees, please click here for a quotation, plus building control fees – typically £400 – £500.

We can give you a more accurate cost when we submit your application.

Can You Submit To The Local Authority On My Behalf?

To save you hassle and time, we submit the building regulation application on your behalf to the Local Authority and deal with all their technical enquiries.

This service is included in our fee. 

Please note, Building Control fees are in addtion to our fees and are due once your application is submitted to the Local Authority..  

5 Things To Bear In Mind When Removing A Wall Or Knocking Through:-

  1. A wall that is solid is not necessarily load bearing
  2. A wall that is stud is not necessarily non-load bearing
  3. Your ground floor wall may be taking the weight of the floor joists from your bedrooms above, or the weight of another wall built directly above it.
  4. It may also be taking part of the weight of the roof, so it’s vital to get it checked out if you aren’t really sure what you are doing, or looking for.
  5. You will need to apply for Building Regulation approval, which may require structural calculations to make sure the beam is designed to carry the weight on it

How Can We Help You?

We arrange to come to your home and make a structural assessment. 

If the wall is loadbearing, then we will take measurements and photos, prepare plans and structural calculations.

If the wall is loadbearing then you will require building regulations approval.

If it isn’t found to be loadbearing, then you will not require local authority approval to remove the wall. We will confirm this in writing to you (you may need this if you sell your property in the future).

Request A quote today!
Call Us: 0118 962 9666 Request A Quote

Can’t Thank Them Enough

“I had never used a structural engineer before, I always thought they were for big commercial jobs.

Renovating my kitchen didn’t seem like a big job, but without MAPL’s input I would have ended up spending a lot of money on a kitchen that I would never have been happy with….

instead I have a kitchen I love, the whole family do.  Seriously can’t thank them enough.  I’d recommend them 100%.” Click here to read more.

Debbie, Finchampstead

Excellent Service 

“May I thank you and your guys for the excellent service”.

Phil Jackson, Wraysbury

Quick Response

“We chose Michael Aubrey Partnership as they were recommended to us.  We were kept well informed, it was painless to get building regulations and we received quick responses to any questions.  

Michael Aubrey Partnership provided us with the drawings needed to make our kitchen / dining room open plan.  

A specific feature that we found useful, was the detail provided with the drawings and calculations.  We would recommended Michael Aubrey Partnership.”

Simon Watts, Farnborough

Excellent, Honest, Informative, Helpful and Reliable

“Michael Aubrey provided me with structural calculations for openings in walls, including those for a major house extension.

It was very useful to be able to talk directly to a structural engineer over the phone and by email and Michael Aubrey’s service was an excellent, honest, informative, helpful and reliable.  I would recommend Michael Aubrey to colleagues and friends.”

Jonathan Clarke, Reading

No Stress For Me

“Michael Aubrey Partnership provided advice and drawings for an internal load bearing wall. 

Leigh-Ann was most helpful arranging engineer’s visits and keeping me up to date. 

Michael Aubrey saw the project through from first contact to submitting plans to the council.  Most useful when I have a job to go to. 

The service provided was very transparent and I would certainly recommend Michael Aubrey to colleagues and friends”.

Andy Jones, Woodley