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Wall Piers in Kitchen after garage comversion

Discussion in 'Building' started by twixx, 28 Apr 2018.

  1. twixx

    twixx

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    We're moving into a house that has had its garage converted into a kitchen. The room has 4 "notches" that I assume to be breezeblock (hitting them suggests they're solid), that I am unsure of their purpose. Again, I assume supporting, but are they still required after the conversion? Why does a garage need these supports but no other room does?...

    capture20180428082929863.png

    At present, the high level shelves (not shown in the diagram below) are pretty much "half depth" because of these supporting walls.

    What is the purpose of these supports, and more importantly, can they be removed/knocked back to the normal wall?

    I'm guessing the answer will be leave well alone, but I am keen to understand their purpose, and I'm sure it wont be the first time many of you have seen this. What clever things could be done to maximise kitchen space because of these supports?
     
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  3. twixx

    twixx

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    I guess this is what I'm seeing, question is, what purpose do they serve and can they be shaved back?

    0100-basingstoke-hemelite-pq-garage-wall-4_main.jpg


    A quick Google suggests they may be called Wall Pier's and removal/touching them is not recommended, which is what I presumed to be fair.
     
  4. tony1851

    tony1851

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    They are indeed piers, and are intended to stiffen the wall, which is only 100mm thick; remove them at your peril.
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If you have piers like those, which implies a 100mm wall in the kitchen, then its going to be damn cold in there.

    Does that conversion have all the necessary permissions?
     
  6. twixx

    twixx

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    The house is 18 years old and bizarrely, I can't find any planning permission applications other than the initial planning req to build. I assume something like this will be flagged on surveys?

    Regarding "temperature", bizarrely, it's warm. But then the current occupier is a little older than we are, and has the heating on most of the time :D Tiled floor, single Rad, no UFH.

    capture20180428141446328.png

    capture20180428141457120.png
     
  7. endecotp

    endecotp

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    It’s the building regulations approval that will deal with issues like insulation.
    These are not geneally publicly available, unlike planning aplications.
    I’m not sure what the situation is for building regs paperwork done by previous owners of somewhere you now own.
     
  8. twixx

    twixx

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    We don’t yet own it, we’re working it through with solicitors. We’re just umming and aaahing over surveys. Do we just go valuation, or do we go Homebuyers/building.

    Swaying towards the basic valuation, on the basis the house is not that old and that we will be putting in a new kitchen, new boiler system and new windows.

    Other than subsidence, which there’s no visible signs of, what else could be highlighted by a more in depth report...

    Regardless of planning/building regs. What exactly would the issue be should it turn out there are no plans etc? Would it just be a ‘cold room’, or would there be repercussions.

    The current owners are not the type to skirt around regulations etc, so im sure everything was above board at the time this garage conversion happened... I guess that is unless they got hoodwinked by cowboy Bob...

    Though on the face of it, it all looks a’okay!
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I'd be interested to see how a builder has damp-proofed and insulated a single-skin garage and managed to leave the piers as they were.

    The value of a survey is in picking up things that affect your purchase - which are exactly the same things that a future buyer may pick up and will affect you selling it in the future.
     
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  11. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    It was pretty common until prolly a decade ago or something that BC (down here at any rate) would expect the walls to be insulated but let you leave the piers uninsulated. :eek:
     
  12. twixx

    twixx

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    Are we kind of saying, the most likely "issue" that could be caused by this practice is damp due to the single skin?

    The Garage > Kitchen conversion was done around 15 years ago.

    As you can see from the pictures, that external wall is pretty much covered from start to finish, so who knows whats behind the fixtures and fittings.

    Useful or not, that external wall, is actually protected somewhat from direct rain fall, due to the property to the side. Equally, it is also a foot or so higher than the ground level to the side.

    I ask all this, as a new kitchen is part of our plans. We had also been toying with the idea of bringing the rest of the wall out to the depth of the pier, I guess by doing this, it would allow for further insulation/damp proofing to occur, at least to the areas either side of the pier - understanding and accepting the pier would still be susceptible/a weak point for damp entry - unless we brought the wall out further, though that would be eating into vital floor space.

    Thanks for all your input thus far, interesting reading!
     
  13. Footsoldier888

    Footsoldier888

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    You should ask the seller if they have a completion certificate to prove it conforms to building regulations. If not then think about a lower offer to account for any work you will have to do.
     
  14. endecotp

    endecotp

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    One consideration is, if they didn’t bother with regs for that aspect then what other things did they not do properly? (Electrics? drains? fire safety?). A good survey may reveal some of this, but even the less-basic ones are full of “unable to inspect becasue....” stuff.

    You should definitely ask for a completion certificate, or other explanation, ASAP.

    Simce you’re planning to re-do the kitchen anyway, then as long as you’re prepared to accept a slightly smaller room (i.e. allowing for insulation), it may not be too pricey to fix.

    You could try to use this as a bargaining point to reduce the price. But that can backfire if they find another potential buyer who hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care about the problem.
     
  15. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If you have a proper survey done, you can also tell the surveyor your plans for any alterations, and ask him to specifically comment on them and whether feasible or any potential problems. This will be extra to the normal survey items.
     
  16. twixx

    twixx

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    Thanks all, will enquire about the conversion.
     
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