Changing interior wall on permitted plans

7 Apr 2014
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United Kingdom
We've recently bought a house with planning permission already granted for a small two storey extension. The current plans show the dining room and kitchen as two separate rooms, next to each other but with no connecting doors. We'd like to knock through the wall between these rooms to make a more open plan feel, it will be more of an opening rather than one big room. It's a load bearing wall (existing wall not new extension wall) so I know will require a suitable supporting beam.

We've spoken to the architect who did the plans (he's now semi retired) and he's said we need a structural engineer to survey it and give us measurements/details for the support. Then the architect will amend the plans and we then submit for building regs. The architect didn't want to be committal to a price for this but when I pushed he said maybe £200-400.

Does this sound normal? From what I've read online it sounds standard to bring in a structural engineer - do we then need to go back to architect or can structural engineer amend plans? How do we go about finding a structural engineer - is there something we should be looking out for? How much should we expect to pay?

Does the architect's price for amends sound right? I know we're paying for his expertise but it sounds like the structural engineer is doing the hard work here and architect is just drawing what he's been advised, surely it's a quick simple job but maybe I'm totally missing something?

If we wanted to use a different architect for the amends would this be easy or difficult? Would we need to get electronic copies of plans from him and presumably he'd charge us if we did? We have a paper copy.

I am assuming that we do need the amend to plans? I know we need to get building regs approval, but not planning permission for the change. How long does it normally take to go through building regs?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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For an internal structural alteration, you do not need to amend the plans; £200 -£400 is outrageous for such a simple amendment anyway. If he's quoted that for such a minor amndment, makes one wonder what he's charged for the plans. And yes, the SE would be doing the work on this, not the architect.

You also do not have to amend the plans for a Building Regs application, as you are allowed to make internal changes, as long as what you do still complies.

Depending on your inspector, he may require structural calcs for the beam, in which case you would go straight to a SE and forget the architect.

If it's a simple structural alteration, for beam and padstones, I would say top-side £200.

A building regs approval should take round 4-5 weeks, but you can start once the application is in, subject to 48 hours notice, so you don't have to go to the back of the queue as with Planning.

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