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1930s Semi landing held up by doorframe?!

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by fredsmith1985, 15 Jan 2018.

  1. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    Good evening,
    I'm in the process of ripping out our pantry, putting in a suspended floor and fitting an understairs toilet. I've read around a bit and looked on a few forums but can't seem to figure out what is supporting our landing, aside from possibly the door frame to the pantry below which to me seems odd. I've stopped mid ripping out to ask someone with far more knowledge and experience than myself for a bit of guidance. I have already taken out the one side of the door frame before I realised that I should probably stop. I've attached a few picture of the landing, the landing from below, a picture looking up above where the door frame used to be (which is what makes me think it might be supporting it, due to the timber unless it's just this thick so that the lath and plaster is the right thickness for the wall) and anything else which I though might be useful.

    I'd like to know if you would think it safe to remove the rest of the door frame? Also any ideas what the big bit of vertical timber might be supporting.

    IMG_20180115_204928.jpg IMG_20180115_204948.jpg IMG_20180115_204853.jpg IMG_20180114_191655.jpg IMG_20180115_204916.jpg IMG_20180115_204928.jpg IMG_20180115_204948.jpg IMG_20180115_204853.jpg IMG_20180114_191655.jpg IMG_20180115_204916.jpg
    Any comments or thoughts greatly appreciated,
    Ed
     
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  3. This ones tricky, and it's possible that the central piece of wood may well be holding up the stairs, so you'd need a lintel across the opening to replace it.
     
  4. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Is it in line with the newel above?

    There could be a trimmer / beam running across the head of the door to the kitchen, its a bit hard to tell.
     
  5. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    Thanks Doggit, we suspect as much but wanted to check.

    Hi Notch7 if you're looking at the post the newel is just to the left of it.

    My main worry is I've taken out something that is supposed to support the landing and it's going to give way, do you think that is the case or is the landing above supported in some other way?
     
  6. It'll depend whether the landing is solidly hung and supported from the upper floor level, or whether they have supported the stars on the central door frame, and then constructed the landing.
     
  7. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I guess you mean the door jamb you took out and is leaning back in place?

    Hard to tell, you might need to open up above it to see more.
     
  8. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    Yeah, but that's just a bit of timber I thought I should put in to support it when I realised it might come crashing down. I unfortunately broke the original door jamb when I took it out. If it helps make a diagnosis the wall to the right of the centre door frame to the kitchen is a brick wall that supports the upstairs wall. I'm guessing the advice here would be get the door frame supported asap until I can find out how the landing is supported. What size timber would you recommend for this as the one I took out wasn't very beefy?
     
  9. I actually wouldn't panic too much, as it the central piece that taking the real weight; the wall string on the stairs will be well secured and plastered into the wall, so the worst you should get is a little movement on the wall above it - try not to bang up and down the stairs too much, and you should be fine.

    But you haven't said what you're trying to do. If you just want an open space, then you need a reinforced concrete lintel over the two doors, and that'll need setting in the wall about 100mm deep, and about the same on the other wall as well. Now that would normally require a pary wall agreement with your neighbour, so how well do you get on with them.
     
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  11. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Ah ok.

    Well in the last pic, viewed from the kitchen, if there is a supporting beam, lintel, trimmer whatever it must run across the head of both door frames, about where the architrave is -any higher and it would hit the stair string. The post could be supporting perhaps.

    It doesnt look like youve taken out anything critical - the jamb against the wall could be supporting, but a lintel or beam is more likely in a pocket in the wall.

    Pretty steep flight of stairs!
     
  12. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    Thanks Doggit good to know. We're getting a structural guy around to come and draw up some plans for opening up the back wall of the lounge in to the kitchen/dinner. We were hoping that it was possible to leave a section of the existing wall either side and put the lintel on that to support the bedroom wall above. For the understairs toilet to work we'd also need to take out that centre post (as otherwise the door opening would only be 55cm) so now I'm hoping it's possible to keep two sections either side of the current lounge wall and then extend the lintel across where the doors are in the picture supporting the stairs and than buried in the external wall (that the stairs are on). Do you think this would be plausible? We would not be doing that work ourselves...fitting the understairs toilet would be the extent of my "skills".
     
  13. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    That's what I was hoping too...but I can put my hand up above where I'd taken the jamb out and there's nothing going in to the exterior wall like a lintel or beam which I though there might / should be.
     
  14. Notch7

    Notch7

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    So the post may go up and be screwed to the side of the stair string, then a beam going across above the door frame.
     
  15. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    That's great guys thanks so much for your help. I'll temporary prop it up and wait to see what the structural guy says can be done with the beam. Thanks for taking the time to get back to me.
    Cheers,
    Ed
     
  16. fredsmith1985

    fredsmith1985

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    Evening everyone,
    Did a bit more excavation today, starting to think the whole frame can come out, thoughts?
    Cheers,
    Ed
     

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  17. Notch7

    Notch7

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    It looks to me like the post in the middle is supporting the stairs and everything else is infill.
     
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