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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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128 Questions: Architectural Services


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

Weight of a cast irong radiator (160kg!) supported?

I am replacing a wall radiator that I had and that was falling off my wall as it was too heavy for the thin wall. I thought I could put something that stands on feet instead of being fixed to the wall to solve the problem of the wall being too thin. So I started lookign at nice cast iron radiators. It seems that the one I would get will weight in the 160kgs. I am now worried about it being to heavy - I live on the first floor of a typical victorian house and my floor is just made of old pine floorboards.
On the other hand 160 kilos on 2 feet that's 80kgs on each and I don't see why it wouldn't hold but I'd rather be sure, I'm wondering if I'm not being stupid here.... Many thansk for your help! :-)

Yfloorandwallwork 15th Dec, 2011 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Plaster boarding old terraced house external walls

I live in a terraced house, which has been "refurbished". I have spoken to the architect who has insisted this is "good practice" and i fully agree that, on paper, it is much better with the insulated boards fitted. During the work, all the old lime plaster was removed to bare brick work. Back in the day, the bricklayers didnt worry to much about filling all the joints because the plasterer would fill it so behind the boards is very draughty and cold, hence any hole will cause a draught, under skirtings,sockets and switches ect.All cold air is directed under floors. The cavity hasnt been closed at windows and the cheeks have only 12mm uninsulated boards. All the cold air is then directed through any gap. The boards are on galvanised rails dabbed to the brickwork with bonding. I have asked for an air test/thermographic but they have insisted it is not required. In my opinion it is required where 5 or more properties are refurbished.
The houses are of traditional construction circa 1900, stone faced with small cavity then rough brickwork. How can this, although meeting building regs on paper be so much colder than a comporable uninsulated property and costing around eighty pounds a month to heat, without even maintaining 21 degrees in main living area and 18 elsewhere. Its only 2 up 2 down. Any comments would be welcome as i am up against a brick wall so to speak as i am not RICS,therefore they will not even talk to me.

Thank you very much MR Gannon

External walls are insulated via 12 mm polystyrene backed boards, apart from window cheeks and heads (not a separate sheet) No vapour check fitted, galvanised rails bonded to brickwork with board adhesive. The cavity between external skin stone and internal skin is rough brickwork and lime motor.
Closing the cavity at window/door openings and insulating inside the cheeks/reveals/window boards would go some way im sure.
MR Gannon, if you could direct me to some good practice or regulation i can quote it would be great. I am up against a wall as regards advice due to trying to argue against quoted figures, sap ratings and epc. As all materials are bba i am trying to argue "fit for purpose" "good practice" and of course good old poor workmanship.
The flooring is old board with in many places no tounge on the boards.

I realise you are probably a very very busy man, but if you could help me argue my point i would be extremely grateful.
It has become a point of principal, and i really HAVE TO prove things on paper.
I think "polished turds" is appropriate" but all the architect does is quote irrelevant u values to individual items in response to my queries. Refurbishment is supposed to improve the thermal properties, not decrease via air leakage.
Thank you for your comment MR Gannon

Ymick123 7th Aug, 2011 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Much difference in architect design for basic extension? How much would plans cost?


I will complete on a semi-detached house purchase in 5 weeks and would I like to build a double height extension as soon as possible to move the bathroom upstairs and maintain three bedrooms. When considering which architect to hire to draw up plans, would there be a great deal of difference in plans suggested? What should I consider when choosing an architect? How much would plans cost? I plan to get plans drawn and then get builders to quote - will the architect be able to draw plans with an approximate build cost in mind, or be able to advise whether a double height vs single height plus loft extension would be cheaper for example?

The adjoining house already has a large single height extension so I think I will need a party wall agreement. Will the architect be able to advise whether I need planning permission and start the process for building regs etc, advise what paperwork needs to be in place before builders start? Would this usually be an additional cost?

How much does it usually cost to put a party wall agreement in place?

Many thanks

Ysml_28 28th Oct, 2013 Architectural Services
2 Answers u1

Do I need planning permission for a car port?

do i need permission to have a car port built on my drive at the side of my bungalow?

Yally_55 8th Jan, 2013 Architectural Services
2 Answers u1

I need to find the location of a manhole

I am facing a drain blockage in my house and unfortunately i could not find where my manhole is kept. Could u please give me an information how can i find the location of manhole.

Ysheeja 20th May, 2012 Architectural Services
2 Answers u1
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