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Architectural Services Questions

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228 Architectural Services questions

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

Can it become an open plan area?

Hi guys, can you kindly have a look at the flat in the link bellow and let me know if the kitchen can be united with the living room to form an open plan area? I do not know if they are structure walls. Checking the floor plan (in the link) you can see that as soon as you came into the flat, you can see the corridor. The kitchen is on the right hand side and on the left hand side there are cupboards and behind that, the living room. so the kitchen wall on the right will need to vanish and the cupboards in the left hand side will also go, the whole corridor will go. kitchen will be united with the living room creating a massive space. The flat is for sell, I have to put an offer in by Wednesday max (30/03) but first I need to know if the modifications I want can be done. Thank you so much for giving me a hand. Take care.

Expectations of an architect

We've moved into a 4 bed semi that we wish to extend quite a bit - couple more bedrooms and bathrooms, utility room, cloakroom, bigger kitchen and living room. The house seems to have plenty of potential - room to go back and sideways and also an internal double garage that could be converted.

I've drawn up a floorplan that seems to work and checked the feasibility/costs with a builder, but I imagine a professional could do a better job.

But I've never worked with an architect and don't know what the norm is - do you have to commission them and commit to their fees before you get any kind of drawings from them, or would they come round and do a back-of-the-fag-packet floorplan sketch in order to win my business?

My concern is that I don't want to commission an architect and pay out a few grand only to find they draw some plans that are no better than what I've already come up with.



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.

Legal height for fence front garden

Hi, I share a part wall with my neighbour and today out of the blue there is a fence erected on top of the wall which measures approx 1.95m from my side and from his side is 2.17m. Road is on a bit of a slope and all the garden on the street are fairly open with some that have hedges but they are quite short like 1m. And this fence just looks odd, blocks out the sunlight to my front garden and as the road is one way I can't see on coming traffic anymore when I reverse the car as the fence is totally blocky my view. I tried to talk to my neighbour but he just shrugged me off. What should I do?

Any advice is appreciated.

Update from Blackburn council -

Further to your email regarding the dividing fence at Longshaw Lane. I have visited the property this morning. In your e-mail you raise concerns regarding the height of the fence and the loss of light the fence creates. Under the Town and Country (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 Part 2 Class A, the provisions state that a gate/fence/wall or means of enclosure would not require planning permission if the height does not exceed 2meter from ground level. I have taken a measurement at the site and found that the height from ground level taken from your side of the property is well within this limitation as your ground level far exceeds that of your neighbour. The height at your neighbours side does exceed 2 metres but only by a minimal amount. In light of the extent of the breach and the impact this breach is having on both properties we will not be taking enforcement action in respect of this .

Work carried out to a party wall may be subject to the Party Wall Act, however this is not a matter for the Planning Section, any provisions of the Party Wall Act that may have been breached and are relevant to you and your neighbour maybe be a civil matter that you feel you may want to pursue.

If you wish to discuss this further please call me on the direct land line below.

Kind regards

I am furious to say the least. Seems like they can't be bothered.

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

Outbuilding question

I would like to build an outbuilding which would run along the boundary with my neighbour. My main concern is the ground is sloping with the rear of our garden approx 1 m lower. The majority of my neighbours garden is at this lower level. Are there any height restrictions relating to outbuildings built on the boundary?

building warrant plans

I am very confused. The architect company we asked to do our plans has produced plans which 2 independent builders have pronounced on as 'not building warrant plans' and say that there is a lot of useless detail on them.
The architect firm insists that they are complete and ready for submission.
What detail do you need on these plans? Do you need to put in radiators and things like outside lights? Also, does an extension (ground floor extension) need and air test? These plans ask for an air test, but 3 builders have said you don't need an air test on this. Does it matter if too much detail is put in the plans?
As you can see I am VERY CONFUSED and we don't want the plans passed and quoted on and then have to make changes that will cost us money.

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