knocking down a wall

Supported Self-Survey

Ideal for someone who has the time and is confident to carry out the survey with guidance from us.

Here’s How It Works

Disadvantages of A Supported Self Survey

  1. It will cost you slightly more than our DIY package
  2. You have to spend time taking measurements and photos

Advantages Of A Supported Self Survey

  1. Bespoke virtual meeting with one of our engineers
  2. You will be confident that you have given us the right measurements / taken the right photos for us to make our structural assessment
  3. You can contact us at any time if you have any questions – we’re here to support you
  4. We can reduce the number of assumptions we have to make because we have the right information from you
  5. Liability: you are far less likely to give us the wrong information / missing information because you have followed our guidance
  6. Peace of mind that your design is being assessed by a Chartered Structural Engineer
  7. You will receive a comprehensive, well thought out design meaning your builder will have accurate information to base his prices on. Fewer assumptions = a more competitive quote. Your project should cost you less overall
  8. In the future you will be able to sell your house, as you will have the correct Building Control approvals
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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 need to ask any questions, or would just like to check that you are collecting the right information, you can call us, or we can arrange an online meeting via zoom or equivalent.

If you are still unsure about what information to collect, you can  upgrade to our “Survey” package, where one of our qualified engineers will visit your home and carry out the survey. 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 initial fee that you pay covers your training and the support we provide you during your survey and the liability we take making the assessment.

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'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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