removing a wall

DIY: Do It Yourself Survey

Ideal for someone;

  1. Who is an experienced tradesperson and doesn’t require any guidance collecting the relevant information
  2. Who is looking for a fast response.
  3. Who is confident they are able to do the survey themselves without any guidance.
  4. Looking to save some money in the short term.
  5. Who knows what information we need to assess whether a wall is loadbearing and if it is, what loads it is carrying

If you are not comfortable providing the correct information, check out our Supported Self Survey package.

Here’s How It Works

Advantages Of A DIY Survey

It’s cheap and you will save some money (in the short term)

Disadvantages of A DIY Survey

  1. You won’t be sure that you have given us the right measurements / taken the right photos
  2. We will make our structural assessment based on the information you provide (even if it’s inadequate)
  3. Our calculations will contain a lot of assumptions – so there will be a long list of caveats
  4. If you haven’t provided us with the correct information and we have made the structural assessment – the liability is your problem
  5. If you remove a loadbearing wall and later it is found to be loadbearing – dangerous for you and your family – worst case scenario, your house might fall down
  6. Your builder will add in “fun factor” to his prices, as your drawings will be full of assumptions – you’ll get inflated prices, it will end up costing you more in the long run
  7. In the future you will not be able to sell your house without the correct Building Control approvals

** WARNING: This service is for experienced tradespersons only

If we do not receive the correct information that we require to carry out the structural assessment, you will need to upgrade to our “supported package” where we can advise you.  This will cost you more overall if you need to upgrade to this service at a future date.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What approvals will I need?

You probably won’t require planning permission. If the wall is found to be load bearing, it is classed as a “Structural alteration” and you will require Building Regulations approval.

If your building is Listed, Listed Building Consent is almost certainly going to be needed for this work – this is not the same as planning permission and operates independently. We can help you with this if it’s requried.

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.

If I'm not sure what measurements to take, what do I do?

If you are unsure of the measurements to take then you will need to upgrade to our Supported Self Survey package. Here you will find simple instructions detailing the areas that you need to measure and photographs that you need to take. Click here to find out more.

What if the wall is non loadbearing, do I get my money back?

If your wall is found to be non loadbearing we will issue you with a letter confirming this (you may need this when you come to sell your house in the future) and there is nothing further to pay. The fees that you pay covers our time making the structural assessment and our liability. 

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

A party wall is the dividing wall between you and your neighbour, ideally it is best to avoid working on or near a party wall, however, if there is no alternative you may 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”.

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 load is 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 Flush 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. 

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 and you don’t risk abortive work

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.

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 £200 – £250

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