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Architectural Services Questions

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260 Architectural Services questions

Can architect provide detailed drawings from engineer's drawings or do they have to visit the house?

I have drawings from a structural engineer for the removal of an internal wall. My builder has requested more detailed drawings. Could you please confirm if an architect can provide these drawings from the engineer's drawings or does he/she have to visit the house?

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

what is needed?

how many days will be needed to complete this work?

What is the best way to work out whether a wall is supporting or not?

What is this fishy smell

Hello. I have seen a similar question posted. I hope someone can help me.

Every now and again possible once a week or so I notice a strong fishy smell in my hallway, in the corner of the hall. I have smelled paintwork and flooring but nothing seems to actually smell but the fishy smell lingers in the air.

The building is Victorian terrace flats. I'm a ground floor flat with a basement flat below and two flats above me.

There are no plug sockets or visible wiring near where the smell is strongest
Please help.

well room

I have a room under my garden that is accessed via the basement of my house. This room contains a floor level well, approximately 20 foot deep. I would like to have a conservatory on my house but it would go over the room roof and so I am concerned about the weight causing the roof to fail or the walls to fall inwards. Should I get this well and room filled in first? I have heard of people filling them with sand.

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.

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?


Wall solution and foundation ideas for side return kitchen extension on terraced house

I am looking to extend my kitchen into the side return of my terraced house. And open up the kitchen into this extra space of 1.5 meters x 4 meters.

I am presented with a problem that our brick party wall is being used by our neighbour with his kitchen conservatory extension to support his polycarbonate roof. Although he has used this wall, I'm aware this shouldn't have been done.

I am looking at building my own wall as rebuilding the current party wall to be used as the new extension wall is not a option for my neighbour.

The problem with this is that I would have to underpin 4 meters of this wall and the cost would not be feasible for the amount of overall space gained, especially when it would be cheaper by miles to rebuild this wall properly.

One option is to look at a monolithic slab foundation where I can build a wall off, is this correct? As it takes the load of the wall across the surface area, so the depth would not interfere with the current party wall?

Also as space is minimal, are there any other alternative ways of rather than building a brick outer wall, I could use other materials or methods within building regs to build a thinner wall, such as cladding systems etc? I have looked at SIPs but even these are still quite thick.

The intention is to open the kitchen up into this new area resulting in taking down the existing external wall. So the new wall would need to be sufficient to act as a external wall. So I imagine a timber frame and wood cladding with insulation and waterproof membrane wouldn't be sufficient enough for use as a extension wall, or would it?

Any help with ways around having to underpin the party wall and thinner alternatives to build a wall for my new lean to style extension would be great.

Many thanks

Building regs - Doors and stairs

I have a small barn conversion over 3 floors. The ground floor is a kitchen, stairs up to the first floor and a lounge/ensuite spare room. First floor is 2 ensuite bedrooms either side or the stairs and futher stairs up to the loft room.
I want to open up the ground floor and expose the stairs to the first floor. The bedrooms both have doors on and therefore would be the barrier against fire (from the kitchen/ground floor). But that would be the only doors, so there's no barrier should I convert the top floor into a bedroom.
Am I right to assume I would not get building regs sign off due to the top floor having no door?
The issue is it's a loft conversion so the eaves impead the space above the stairs. And I don't want to hide the beautiful exposed original oak beams.
Could I put a door at the top of the stairs from the ground floor to the first?

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