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Architectural Services Questions

Our expert architects have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as planning permission, structural surveys, hiring the right architect, architectural drawings, saggy roofs, removing walls, extensions, building plans and much more.

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136 Questions: Architectural Services


Crack appearing. Advice needed !

Over the last couple of months I've noticed horizontal/vertical (and a faint diagonal) cracks appearing along the plaster on the stairs. Also cracks have appeared where the wall meets the ceiling and around the door jambs to the bedrooms and lounge. Not sure what is causing this or if this is a more serious issue? The house was built in the 70's and there was previous mining activity before the 60s. The surveys when I bought the house 9 years ago stated that any ground movement should have stopped. Can anyone advise or signpost me to who could advise?

Follow up:
Hi Chris.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. A friend has now recommended a structural engineer so I will approach them bearing in mind the suggestions you make and see how that goes. Cheers.

Ychanecia 5th Apr, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Submitting full plans to LA

Architect is drawing up plans for an extension and we are going down full plans route to get building regulation approval.

Architect is in a different county to to where the house being extended is, but she says it will be submitted to her local authority (because it's easier and they have the contacts there).

Is this a valid way to do it? will I not have to pay two sets of fees (one to each LA). Once to get approval and then again to local LA for the inspections they come out and do?

Ylistwriter 21st Feb, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

wall belly

We're interested to buy a flat in Victorian end of terrace house. This property requires refurbishment and we haven't had building survey yet. But viewing this property i've noticed that indoors the external wall is curving and the adjacent floor is bumped (no traces of dump though). My question is how critical this wall belly is, will it affect the wall stability and how likely are problems with wall cracks and floor shifting etc. Can this be fixed within reasonable time and money wise solution?

Yvic_96 7th Feb, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1


How would you recognise if a house wall had serious structural damage caused by subsidence and needed underpinning, or if a crack was just a crack and had to be filed and a helibar put in place. I am asking because I have an outside wall that has a crack 4 mm wide on the inside and a bit wider on the outside, that appeared to widen after a new roof was built?

Ybirdinhand 27th Jan, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Architectural Services

My Architect, who I hired from Mybuilder.com is not responding to any calls for couple of months now. He has not given me the scale drawing of my extension (which is approved by the planning dept) for builders to work, what do I do now? It's delaying the starting of work, and I have no idea how to get hold of the scale drawing. Please help. Thanks

Yranu 17th Jan, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

can i knock cupboard through to open up kitchen

I have two old style cold cupboards in my kitchen that id like to knock down but they are under my stairs/landing and am unsure if they are loadbearing, the stairs are on the external wall and downstairs is seperated by a wall between kitchen/livingroom

Ydiymam 6th Dec, 2012 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

How can I position my door?

We are moving a staircase as a part of a renovation project. At the foot of the stairs we'd like to have a doorway into another room. The door would open into the other room rather than opening onto the landing. We're unsure if the Building Regulations permit this - it has been suggested that we need to ensure that there is a gap the same width as the stairs before the edge of the door.

Yextensionproject12 30th Nov, 2012 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Is it legally binding for an architect to demand an interim payment?

Ycham_75 3rd May, 2012 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Splitting a two bedroom flat in two 1 beds..... but complicated!

Right, firstly i'll do my best to explain the situation.

Two mid terraced houses (side by side) had their ground floors converted to shops the first floors of both were then knocked through to create a two bed flat with access via an alleyway, round the back, and up some exterioir fire escape type stairs.

I would like to convert the flat into two 1bed flats by bricking up where the party wall was knocked through and giving each flat its own front door (still via the steal stairs)

Hope that has made sense.

Do you think i have a good chance at getting planning permission to do this?

The current flat has electric and gas supply. How would i split these so that the new flats had their own metres and supply etc? Can this be done easily?

Would like to hear any general advice or things i should consider before listing jobs on this site.

Thanks for your time

Yjwcanx 16th Dec, 2011 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1
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