My builder removed an internal structural wall upstairs and down without any calcs

Discussion in 'Job Talk' started by sarah Miles, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. sarah Miles

    sarah Miles New Member

    Hi I really need some advice please?, I am having my late Mums house done up,(three bed semi) the builder removed the downstairs structural wall between kitchen and dining room as agreed, we talked about the possibility of removing the same wall upstairs between box room and double room but i wanted to see building calculations first.
    Popped into the house today and he has removed the wall upstairs! he has messaged me saying that there are no calcs needed as it has nothing to support.
    I am rather worried that there is nothing supporting the roof apart from the outside walls.
    Should I be worried?
    This last year has been horrendous in so many ways for my family (as it has been for so many) so any advice to either put my mind at rest or to help stop making a bad situation worse would be so very much apricated!
     
  2. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    If it’s not supporting anything it’s fine. Ask the builder to explain why it’s not supporting anything.
     
  3. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    As the downstairs was a structural wall, I am guessing that building control and a structural engineer were involved. Why not ask the BC, after all they have to sign it off !
     
  4. sarah Miles

    sarah Miles New Member

    This is the problem, he just went ahead and did it without any building control consultation, despite me asking for this to be done prior to knocking down any walls!
     
  5. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Active Member

    Not all solid walls are structural, a good builder would be able to identify this himself, all it takes is a look above to see if it is supporting anything.
     
  6. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Well do you have BC officer involved? If so ask them. If not then stop the builder as he is not doing what you asked
     
  7. Astramax

    Astramax Screwfix Select

    My late father was a building control officer who's the job also involved the interests of ajoining property owners due to similar actions as the op's builder.....resulting in total collapse of the building....hope he's well insured of which you no doubt you have already checked before he started working for you. :oops:
     
    Hans_25 likes this.
  8. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    Much caution needed here.

    Walls can be load bearing in more ways than one, I had such a wall here in the kitchen that had nothing above so was not "loading bearing". However it did provide buttressing support to the adjacent spine wall which had the whole of the roof pressing down on it. Had I removed the kitchen wall, the spine wall would have a lot less strength and be over stressed. I had to take down the spine wall and rebuild it in stronger, wider 140N blocks.

    Get some professional advice if in any doubt, BC officer at least, Structural Engineer ideally.
     
    goldwise and Astramax like this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    How do you know the roof requires supporting? Is the roof a cut roof or trusses? It's the homeowners responsibility to inform building control, not the builders.
     
    goldwise likes this.
  10. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Best get a structural engineer on site. At best, he/she will confirm builders logic, at worst he /she will specify remedial action. He/she will let let you know if BC needs to be involved; this can be via the council (usually a bit of wait to get one but often cheaper) or private ( accredited ones of course, usually more flexible in terms of timescales) . Money well spent as you need the proper paperwork if you ever need to move and sell the house.
     
  11. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select


    Realistically you don't need any of that before it's determined that the upstairs wall was indeed supporting the roof in some shape, for all the info that has been given it could have been a simple stud wall and the builder may have been correct, no one knows yet, especially with no photos or floor plans to give a sense of context.
     
    goldwise and jonathanc like this.
  12. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    I agree with you, but as we don’t know the situation, I was playing it safe. When it comes to house sales, solicitors these days are hyper cautious about paper work and certificates. Where one is not available, the vendors solicitor may offer to buy indemnity insurance to prevent the sale falling through, but this may not be satisfactory to the buyer or their solicitor.
     
  13. goldwise

    goldwise Active Member

    Do the council provide a structural engineer if you request one? I'm looking for one but those I've seen online seem flashy and expensive with photos of huge projects they have worked on. What's the best way to find a SE for a small domestic project, like a wall removal?
     
  14. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    No councils do not provide SE. But they can provide BC at cost. There are plenty of small SE around. Just ensure they are part of a recognised body like Institute of Structural Engineers.

    https://www.istructe.org/ a list of local engineers can be found here.


    most are one man band.
     
    goldwise likes this.
  15. goldwise

    goldwise Active Member

    Sorry, I misread about being able to get an SE via council. Thanks for the link.
     

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