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Conversions - General

Loadbearing wall archway opening

I'm looking for advice please. Can anyone tell me what permissions / building control there should be for a load bearing wall opened up to an archway between kitchen and breakfast area. The work was done by the owners before us but I have no idea just how long ago as they lived in the house for over 30 years. Now I'm coming to sell the buyer is asking for info. There have been no structural concerns raised by the surveyor either when I bought and now when coming to sell but I presume it was their surveyor that raised the question. The wall is 3.6m wide and archway opening 1.9m with 63cm of wall above the arch. I look forward to your suggestions of how I should handle this?

4 Answers from MyBuilder Conversion Specialists

Best Answer

Hi, I suspect the survey has concerns over if there’s a strong enough lintel over the archway as well as the archway construction. If it was constructed a long time ago there would be no building control records because planning permission was not necessary as it was a internal alteration. You may need to get a builder to knock out some plaster to review what’s holding everything up to satisfy your buyer and survey . Good luck


Answered 9th Dec 2019

If you do not know when the work was completed you could check with local Building Control.

However I think a better option would be for your solicitor to offer the purchaser an Indemnity Policy against any issues with Building Control.

These are quite common in house sales and relatively low cost, certainly less than any investigative work and retrospective Building Regulation Application & Fee.


Answered 19th Dec 2019

Hello Adam,

You will need a surveyor to look at it. He should be able to advise you on how to ensure the load bearing wall is adequately supported.


Answered 9th Dec 2019

First of all, on structural changes, good advise is to have a building inspector to check the work has been done properly.
The other is use a structural engineer and he would tell you the correct steel or concrete lintel to be used. If you were to employ someone competent to do this job properly, then you may decide not to use an inspector but as long as your confident the person doing the work is reliable and is taking full responsibility.
In your case, the work was done by the previous owners and if you have no paperwork from your solicitor then the chances are, there isn’t any.
As the structure seems sound to you and I’m sure it is, you could advise your solicitor of this and offer to take out a indemnity insurance which may cost you between £80-£130 through your solicitor. I would advise this as it will never come back on you then or will it cause a problem when your house is up for sale.
I hope this helps, I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about other the insurance cost,


Answered 9th Dec 2019

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