The removal of internal walls can completely transform your property. Whether you’re trying to create a more open living space at home or need the extra room in your business, the removal of walls has much to offer a space!
With vast experience as structural engineers in Cornwall and Plymouth, we answer your most pressing questions in our blog!
Why Knock Down an Internal Wall?
The removal of internal walls is often used to open interior spaces. With fewer walls to obstruct light, spaces become freer and beautifully enhanced by natural light.
Not only can open-plan spaces offer a chic feel to your home but it is also a functional desire for busy families who prefer larger areas. Another common reason why internal walls are removed is when building an extension.
Do You Need Planning Permission?
In general, planning permission is not necessary when removing an internal wall. This type of construction is classed as permitted development under UK guidelines, which means you would not be required to submit a planning permission application.
When Is Planning Permission Required?
Planning permission is required for the removal of internal walls if the building is listed. Any potential work on listed buildings needs Listed Building Consent from the proper authority. It is a requirement for any possible work to a listed building, whether to extend, demolish, or alter it in any way.
If you are altering the internal walls of a listed building, you will also need to gain the advice of legal experts and/or building conveyors to ensure the process is completed suitably.
Will I Need to Apply for Building Regulations?
Whenever your building is undergoing work, a Building Regulations application will likely need to be made.
This is different from planning permission and acts as more of an inspection to ensure that building work is carried out correctly and safely. If you are hoping to lengthen your home with an extension, you will undoubtedly need to apply and seek approval for Building Regulations.
For more information about construction and listed buildings, click on our link below:
There are a few structural implications that you need to know before removing any internal walls.
Know the Functions of Different Walls
One of the first things to know is the function of your walls and how each wall can be affected by the removal of another. This may need the expertise of a building surveyor if you’re unsure.
In general, there are three main types of wall:
Stud Partition Walls
Lath and plaster stud partition walls don’t support the structure as a load-bearing wall would and are relatively easy to remove.
Timber stud partition walls, on the other hand, can sometimes be supporting walls or act as buttressing for external walls, so you need an expert to perform checks first.
Partition walls have the potential to be a load-bearing wall, so it is essential to find out.
They are often constructed from brick or block and tend to be four inches in thickness.
As you can imagine, they are much messier and more challenging to remove in comparison to a stud partition wall.
An exterior wall is essential to the building’s structure and can’t just be removed. They will require special inspection and equipment for removal.
How to Tell If a Wall is Load-Bearing
If you want to know if a wall is load-bearing, we recommend seeking the expertise of an experienced and qualified structural engineer. Their assessment can ensure you avoid any costly and irreversible mistakes.
For more information about load-bearing walls, click on the link below.
Know If the Wall Protects Against Fires
The main reason you need to get building regulations approval is to ensure the wall isn’t necessary for fire protection. These walls don’t have to be load-bearing either, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.
Understanding Party Walls
If you are planning construction work on a semi-detached or a terraced property, you may need to rely on party walls for support when walls within your property have been removed.
It is essential to use a party wall surveyor specialist in these circumstances to ensure all legal compliances have been met. In some cases, party walls may not be resilient enough to support new loadings too.
Get a Completion Certificate
Once the internal walls have been removed, it is strongly advised to obtain a completion certificate.
A completion certificate is essentially proof that construction was correctly completed. You may face great difficulties without one, such as if you’re trying to sell the building after the work is carried out.
In order to obtain one, you need to organise a building inspection with Building Control as soon as possible.
How Long Does it Take to Remove an Internal Wall?
Like most things, the longest part can be the paperwork and ensuring you have the correct approval and professional opinion.
After this is complete, the wall’s actual removal usually takes one week, depending on the individual project and the size and complications of the wall.
The Cost of Knocking Down an Internal Wall
Like the time it takes to remove a wall, the same applies to its cost; it depends on the size and complexity of the job at hand.
Not only should you account for the demolition of the wall itself, but also consider any extras required such as the repositioning of heaters or sockets, as well as the cost of the building surveyor.
When to Get the Support of an Expert
In most cases, the removal of an internal wall will require the specifications of a structural engineer. When submitting an application to Building Control, they will most likely want professional input from a structural engineer on what beam or lintel will be required for the project.
Here at Martin Perry Associates, we have an extensive background in providing professional support in removing internal walls. We have worked on many projects that you can look at by browsing on our website.
If you require our expertise, why not contact us today by clicking on the link below?