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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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318 Architectural Services questions

Major house alteration

I would like to change our semi from 525 sq ft to approx 900 sq ft by adding extensions to the rear (3m or more) and side but I would also like to change the shapes and sizes of the rooms too, basically re-designing the whole layout. This would involve moving supporting walls (they all seem to be supporting) and knocking down a central chimney breast which may support the loft conversion floor). Could anyone tell me is this even possible? Would it just be too costly to be worth it? We have a very large back garden but limited space at the side ( 7 ft increasing to 11 ft). Thank you

Structural calcs for RSJ - Trade advice

Dear all, we have employed structural engineer to do the calcs for the steel lintel to be inserted into boundary wall of our bungalow. We would like to have bi-folding doors installed. The span is 4100mm. What is really confusing me is the fact, that he suggested what RSJ we need for this, but he is also suggesting to use 150x200mm bearing beam and plate one side and 250x200 bearing beam and plate the other side. Is this normal? I thought that the RSJ is normally supported from the brickwork. Thanks for your help

Cavity wall insulation

When building a masonry wall with an insulated cavity, is the cavity meant to be fully filled with insulation or is it meant to be partially filled with an air gap.

My builder has fully filled a 75mm masonry wall cavity with rolled insulation, same kind you put down in loft floors. A friend told me that there's meant to be an air gap to prevent water transfer between layers.

Please advise

Many thanks

drawings and planning

i have seen some land with planning approved for a dwelling that i want to buy. if i meet the criteria approved in the plans what is the likelyhood of it being fully approved? is it like a small percentage that get accepted if there is outline planning approved? really cant afford to end up with something useless! and before i buy the land, if i get the drawings made, how can i submit them for approval before i buy it? really considering buying something "made" already.. *sigh* ...really confused by it all.

thanks in advance to anyone crazy enough to give me some sort of answer :D


EDIT: 23rd december
i decided against the land as the solitary tree has grown since the outline planning and cannot be moved or anything built near it... the plot is now too small.

thanks for all the answers. :D

I want to extend over 3 meter's deep and have semi detached house

On the left side the neighbour has a 3 meter extension already so from his mid point at a 45 degree angle I could go to 3.8/4 meters without blocking his view. On the other side the neighbour has confirmed to me he would not object as he wants the same, I understand only 3 mteres falls within permitted development what are the chances of me getting 3.8/4 given the new relaxed laws

Also if the neighbours don't object could they still refuse?

do I do a 45 degree angle from their extension or original window?

This extension is within 2 metres of the boundary and size will be 6.5 metres wide 4 meters deep

Building regulations.

Currently have a single side extension that goes to the boundary. The side extension is at the bottom of two neighbour's garden. Have applied for planning to build another storey on top of the existing which has been approved, the wall being rendered and painted. The architect said that we did not need full plans as it was a straightforward build, I.e 3 walls and roof which any builder could do. One neighbour is now refusing to allow access for the scaffolding to hang over his space which we need to build and render the wall. However will now have to work overhand but can we change to brick at the side and do we need full building regulations. Any help would be great. We have tried reasoning with the neighbour without success. Additional info. Neighbour has now written stating that no access allowed for either building or scaffolding. If we put the scaffolding on the front and back of our property but the scaffold poles overhang his land I.e. the bottom of his garden, to form a suspended platform is this allowed. LABC have said full plans not required just building notice will be sufficient. Informed planning that we cannot access neighbours property and wanted to change to brick and they said as our house is formed of part brickwork and rendering this will be ok. Can the neighbour object once we start the work and stop it.

Demolition of wall


I just bought a house and would like to knock down one of the walls that creates a hallway between the front entrance and the reception room to the right. The wall is solid, but on the floor plan there is no wall above it on the same line (as there are for the other surely structural walls). I am trying to figure out if the wall is structural / how I can be confident that my builder can knock it down. Do I need to have a structural engineer come and look / Or could someone tell from the floor plan?


I am looking at a brand new house just built that has a shower cubicle in the corner of the bedroom?

does this meet with building regulations it is not within a separate en suite and it does have a sink as well .I have seen this in older properties where they have been fitted years later and i am concerned that condensation may be an issue etc ,

two storey garage conversion

Hi there,
We would like to convert our garage in to a chill out/sleepover room. And also make the 3rd (6'2 by 6'5) in to a decent sized (14ft by 10ft) master bedroom over the garage. Our neighbour has two large trees directly next to our garage. Would the trees be a problem?? How deep would the foundations need to be??
Would we need a lot of work doing??
Thank you for any feed back, its greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for your time!

Building lines and planning


I just have a query in regards 'building lines'. In this plan:

I have added a new house I want to build on my plot after knocking garage and added the new boundaries that will exist. My original house is number 19 and the new one 19A.

My query is in regards the need to follow the building line of houses A and B. If you look at houses C and D they dont have the exact same line on the other corner and surely it is more important that both 19 and 19A are on the same building line? I provide also a view from outside houses A and B facing my corner plot:
Front view of line:
Will I have planning issues assuming amenity and parking space is covered?


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