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Recently removed load bearing wall

Looking for any advise. I recently had a load bearing wall removed and RSJ installed.

It was agreed a completion certificate would be provided but after chasing this up for some time I have recieved a certificate of completion which leads me to believe no inspections have been carried out and from my very limited reading I don't believe there is enough support for the RSJ. Which is being supported by a column left next an archway, the RSJ goes into by around 140mm and is 300mm wide.

I have raised this with the contractor, building control and their trade body but have yet to hear anything back.

Rather concerned by this as cracks have started to appear in our stair case which is adjacent to the RSJ and the wall appears to have bulged to me it looks like the first floor has moved along.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thank you for the reply. Not sure if this is the best way to reply but can't see any other option.

I'm unsure if padstone was used but believe it was as there was a light grey (concrete looking stone) placed inbetween the RSJ and existing wall.

Yes I have recieved a structural calculation.

I have contacted local authority for regularisation so think my next step is to wait until they inspect the work. If there is anything else I can do in the meantime don't hesitate to contact me.

3 Answers from MyBuilder Architectural Designers

Best Answer

All beams will generate a concentration of loading at the supports, which will need to be supported by the walls and ultimately the foundations. If there is insufficient strength to the wall(s) to support the loading, either by strength or size or both, and/or lintels do not have capacity to support the load over, there is the potential for cracking to occur. There will be an element of the deflection to the beam also, but this can be controlled by providing a stiff member, relative to the elements and loading over. Were padstones provided? Padstones are sized based on the loading at the supports and the characteristic strength of the either blockwork or brickwork, which the beam will be ultimately be supported on.
Were any structural calculations provided for the installed, structural beam?


Answered 14th Jul 2022

Contact a Structural Engineer and ask him to visit and inspect the works. Show him the calculations and get him to give you his opinion on those and the way they have been interpreted. You will have to pay him for his time, but having a qualified pair of eyes giving everything the once-over will put your mind at rest, or give you guidance on how to proceed next.


Answered 18th Jul 2022

Unlike an inside removable wall, load bearing walls help to support the weight of the structure. After the load bearing wall is no longer supporting the weight of the structure, you will need to have a plan in place ready to immediately replace the wall with a load-bearing beam, sometimes also called a structural beam or a support beam.

There are several options with terms like “simply supported”, “fixed”, “overhanging”, “double overhanging”, “continuous”, “cantilever”, or “trussed”.

However, there are two basic ways to offer support to your house or other structure after the load bearing walls has been removed. Use a beam with vertical posts, sometimes called columns. Or, use a support beam alone. Whichever you choose, the new structural beam will need to adequately withhold the weight that was originally put on the load bearing wall that was removed.

Out of the four external walls, at least two of them are probably going to bear the load of the building structure.

A structural engineer will be able to tell you if these two walls are the front and back walls or the side walls and guide you through any exterior load bearing wall removal that is needed. Either way, the two exterior load bearing walls are going to run parallel to each other.

To determine whether or not an interior wall is load bearing, the structural engineer will look for walls that run parallel to the peak of the roof, as this wall is probably vitally important to upholding the structure.

The next step will most likely be to notice if the building is more than one story. If so, the engineer will look for what is called Platform framing, which means the load bearing walls will be stacked on top of each other from floor level to floor level.

Finally, the engineer will probably peel back the drywall to look to see what kind of material makes up the wall frame. Is it reinforced with steel bars or concrete? Chances are, it is a bearing the weight of the structure. As you can see, the structural engineer adds valuable knowledge and skill that is worth the cost.


Answered 1st Sep 2022

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