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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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149 Questions: Architectural Services


How do I go about converting our extension into a new house?


2 years ago we got built a fully approved(council/regs) extension on the side plot of our house. This used to be an empty carport and now is a 2 storey, 2 bed dwelling with internal staircase and is internally connected to the main house via 1 door. We would like to know the best route possible to get this converted into a house on its own with a front door, no more internal door and have it listed with its own address?

I understand we would need it to comply with regulations, soundproofing, separate electrics meter, gas etc.

On top of this, who would deal with land registry, new ownership titles etc?

Ymaroofc 9th Feb, 2014 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

First floor flat - is a kitchen door a requirement for building regs?

I have just bought a first floor apartment in a Victorian conversion, which requires refurbishment. Currently there is no door on the kitchen and from a practical perspective, this works well. The layout of the flat means that someone exiting the second bedroom does have to pass the kitchen to reach the exit. My question is not whether this is advisable, but whether it is against fire/building regs? I have searched the internet and there is plenty of opinion - some saying yes, some saying no - but I wonder if anyone suitably qualified knows the definitive answer?

Many thanks.

Yroyal_borough 5th Feb, 2014 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

Steel Beam Design

I'm in the process of renovating my 1st house and intended to knock through a wall to make a kitchen diner. Having taken off plasterboard in another room I found that there were concrete pillars (50mmx80mm) every 400mm along the wall. These pillars have a bracket at the top of them that are used to join 2 steel framed joists that form the 1st floor.

Now knowing this I can't simply remove the wall and will need a steel frame to hold up these beam. My dad works for a company that kicks out steel beams on a regular basis so having it made is no problem but I have no idea what size the beam is going to need to be and therefore need to get this designed.

Question is who does this for me and where do I start looking for them?

Any advice as usual would be much appreciated.

Ym4ttc 22nd Oct, 2013 Architectural Services
1 Answer u1

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
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