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Is that a Structural Wall?
Chartered Surveyors and Structural Walls
This article on Structural walls has been written by Independent Chartered Surveyors. We pride ourselves on our high standards of work. We can offer Independent Valuations, Home Buyers Reports and Specific Defects Reports as well as Structural Surveys and Building Surveys which will help to identify a structural wall.
If you are looking to carry out design work or alterations we are more than happy to comment upon it as long as we know prior to the actual survey. Once we have been to the property we can also do 3D design drawings.
For serious structural problems we can do a Specific Defects Report also known as an Engineer's Report. This is useful if you have cracks to try and solve the problem or even better before you remove a wall or a potential structural wall.
This article won't make you into a Chartered Surveyor or a Structural Engineer but it will give you a basic insight. We have a wealth of knowledge on structural walls and just about anything property related. Please do not hesitate to call us on our free phone number 0800 298 5424.
Why is it important to know if it's a structural wall?
Walls come in many shapes and sizes; probably the most dangerous are what are known as structural walls as you can't just remove them from a property as in simplest terms they are holding things up or in place. This can typically be the roof or the floors. Also adjoining buildings may rely upon the wall as well which we find that people never think about.
Cracks to walls
Put this into perspective, the removal of a structural wall would at a minimum cause cracking within your property, possibly your next door neighbour's property as well! At worst it could cause a collapse in part of the property. Whilst today whole buildings don't generally fall down because people have learnt over the years not to remove structural walls, with construction becoming more complex it can be very difficult to identify what is a structural wall.
How do I make sure I am not taking down a structural wall?
The easy answer is to get a property professional in such as a Chartered Building Surveyor or Structural Engineer who is used to dealing with this type of problem. Alternatively you could risk it with a builder who says that he has carried out this type of work before! Remember anyone can call themselves a builder, a surveyor or an engineer. It is important to insure that they are Chartered Building Surveyors, Chartered Engineers or Chartered Builders and we can take a calculated risk of removing a structural wall � but it is your calculated risk and it is you that will have to pay the price to sort things out.
You can take a calculated risk of removing a structural wall
You can take a calculated risk by going to a builder or similar person who has taken down many walls over the years, but who may not understand always where a structural wall is. We generally find that with most builders they come from a trade background such as a carpenter or a bricklayer and whilst they have had practical experience of carrying out work to structural walls they often have been under instruction by a Chartered Building Surveyor or a Chartered Structural Engineer. We recently took down a wall in a house and were quite surprised that the joiner that we have a lot of respect for who has been in the trade many years and in fact we have had to talk him out of retirement to do the work we wanted was still never sure whether it was a structural wall or not.
We have been advised that it is not a structural wall, what do we do?
Make an opening to see what is inside the wall
There's not much to a modern stud wall
Looking inside a non-structural wall
The big view of the wall
The lost art of plumbing and structural walls
Electrics, the hidden danger within walls
Remember Surveyors can see things that an untrained eye won't see
Whilst a Chartered Surveyor literally can't see through walls they certainly from their experience get an understanding of what a building is likely to be made up of. They do from the different finishes that they see to a property get an understanding of the quality of the work. As you can see in the photos this non-structural wall has been moved gradually ensuring that none of the electrics or plumbing was damaged.
Independent Chartered Surveyors
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a chartered surveyor, and many of us are also chartered builders, with regard to valuations, mortgages, mortgage companies, surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports/specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a chartered surveyor to give you a call back.
If you have a commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold then sooner or later you may get involved with dilapidation claims. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.
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