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Knock down first floor landing wall

Discussion in 'Building' started by Phil Mortlock, 13 Oct 2020.

  1. Phil Mortlock

    Phil Mortlock

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    Hi all,

    Not had much experience in knocking down walls/structual work however will preface my post by saying I will not undertake any work before having it properly reviewed by a structural engineer - just can't get him out anytime soon so looking for initial thoughts. Saying that I'm quite handy and have done all aspects of the downstairs renovation so far (apart from plumbing & gas work).

    The house is a 1907 semi detached properly we bought 6 months ago to renovate as our first home - the staircase runs from the front door (which is on the side of the property) straight up through the middle of the house to the landing.

    The landing is very enclosed and dark so we were wondering if we could open it up by knocking through one of the internal walls at the top of the stairs. The wall is a brick wall but we're unsure if it's load-bearing or not. I've taken some small areas back to brick and can see a wooden lintel above the door frame - don't know if this is simply supporting the brickwork up to the ceiling or offering some structural support to the attic/roof joists above.

    Looking in the attic I THINK the joists span the length of the house apart from a single joist which has been cut in half (?) to fit in the attic hatch, in an opposite direction to the wall I want to knock through. Don't really know about roof/attic structures - are there likely to be any beams under these joists for support?

    One side of the chopped joist is above the bathroom/back bedroom stud wall so unsure what's actually supporting it and the other half is above the wall I want to knock down on one side of the landing, and the wall to the main bedroom on the other side of the landing. The attic has been boarded over so it's difficult to get a look underneath.

    I've attached some pictures to explain which part of the wall we're looking to knock through to open up the landing stair case, along with some very rough MS paint drawn plans of the first floor & attic.

    Are initial thoughts that the wall would be okay to knock through without adding additional support or not? Should I bother? Am I going to run into any other problems??

    Happy to provide extra info/pics for understanding.
    FloorPlan.png AtticPlan.png PXL_20201013_132934203.MP~2.jpg PXL_20201013_132915179.MP~2.jpg PXL_20201013_132925888.MP~2.jpg


    Cheers,
    Phil

    p.s. we've tested the artex and no asbestos so don't worry
     
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  3. Phil Mortlock

    Phil Mortlock

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    Is anyone able to offer any advice at all?
     
  4. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    It would be very odd if the joists did span from front to back- what distance would that be? 9 metres? 8?. Even if they are continuous that wall marked in red will still be supporting them.
    If you have a conventional roof there won't be much load from that coming down onto the wall.
    Job 1 has to be lift the loft boards and have a look at the top of that wall, measure the joist dimensions and see if they are continuous or (as is more usual) stop at that centre wall.
    EDIT Nothing impossible about your plans...
     
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  5. big-all

    big-all

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    probably built with a chimney up each wall that would be corbled[/\] in the roof space to a square stack
    do you have any fireplaces or chimneys in the area
     
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  7. Phil Mortlock

    Phil Mortlock

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    I'd say it's 8-9m a across. I've just prised some loft boards up and through the mist and the rubble this is what is directly above the red wall I want to remove, marked in red:

    PXL_20201019_162222340.MP~3.jpg

    Not sure if this picture is enough to help understand what's going on but it's too dusty to stay up there - will pull up more boards when my dust mask arrives along with spending some time clearing out the dust to make it usable storage space.

    Not sure I fully understand what you mean but there are 2 chimney breasts on the party wall, and 2 chimneys so they look to remain separate all the way up.

    PXL_20201019_162222340.MP~3.jpg PXL_20201019_164207060.MP.jpg
     

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  8. big-all

    big-all

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    its when the stairs go up the spine off the building under the ridge line you will have two half stacks each side off the stairs that meet up in the attic but th is is not the case in your property
     
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  9. Phil Mortlock

    Phil Mortlock

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    Bumping this as I've managed to lift most of the boards in the attic and have a look at what's going on.

    The joists don't span the full length but are half length and rest on one of the centre walls - the wall that I don't want to knock down.

    I've put together a basic layout diagram that I think is a fairly accurate representation of what's going on in the attic (not to scale though) above the wall I want to half knock down. Grey are brick walls on either side of the staircase and I've shaded in red the parts I want to knock down.

    Any more thoughts on this as a DIY job without needing a beam of any sorts?

    Attic.png
     
  10. jacko555

    jacko555

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    Im not a builder or engineer but had a structural engineer draw up plans to reinforce an over extended floor (as in, the joist sizes and lengths were borderline, and, over the past century more and more had been loaded on it - a new brick wall, purlins on the wall from a loft rejig, screed, underfloor heating, tiles, and, each joist was notched with a 50mm hole in the middle)

    Anyhow what I took from the plans and installed steel beam is joists bend, the longer they are. The beam was places to effectively support each joist in the mid point, and that meant the calculated load was good.

    Looking at your last pic, if its the right hand wall, surely that is supporting, along with the left hand wall? Removing it would mean the beams have another 1m or 1.5m length?

    And the new loft hatch also means removing some from the support of both?

    It all may be fine. Get a SE to come and draw up plans. Then you can assess. Mine was very helpful
     
  11. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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