Planning to knock down your internal walls to get some natural light and make your home look more spacious? Well, that is certainly a great idea. Renovating your old property might call for the removal of the internal walls. In general, older homes lack natural light in some rooms and the layout might just not suit the modern living.
So, it is definitely okay to go ahead and knock down your internal walls. However, there are some critical aspects for you to ponder over before you get to it. Careful planning not only ensures sound structural alterations, but it also prevents the loss of any essential period character. Without any delay, let us quickly evaluate these essential points.
1. Seeking Planning Permission
If the property is listed, then you should consult the local planning department for planning permission. If not, you can directly go ahead with your plans. However, it is always wise to consult structural engineers to get the design of the supporting structures right.
2. Check Whether the Wall Offers Fire Protection
Some walls in older homes are designed to offer fire protection. This allows you to escape house fires. So in instances like converted loft, you can expect fire protection from the walls surrounding the staircase. This helps you to quickly exit the premises in case of house fire. These walls are best left intact.
3. Beware of the Load-Bearing Walls
Being fundamental to your house’s structure, these walls provide the necessary support to the entire building. Based on the structural needs of your house, these walls will be built with either solid masonry or metal frame construction or a thoughtful blend of both. Demolishing this can adversely impact the structure of the entire building.
4. Identifying Load-Bearing Walls
Load bearing walls are the ones that are important for supporting the structure of the whole building. So, it is essential to seek a specialist to check whether the wall you want to get rid of is a load-bearing wall or not. This gives you relief and you can confidently go ahead with the process of knocking down of that wall.
5. Do Not Mess with the Party Walls
You should be extra careful about the beams in the party walls that divide you from your neighbors, in case of semi-detached and terraced houses. The best way would be to seek a specialist surveyor regarding structural advise and compliance.
6. Costs and the Time Involved in Demolishing
These are the two major aspects that you should be evaluating before you begin knocking your internal wall down. Once you get all the approvals, make a cost estimate and analyze how long the process might take. This helps you to make alternate stay facilities during the work.
While considering these aspects covers pretty much everything, it is also critical for you to estimate the amount of mess and dust associated with indoor demolition. You can try putting dust screens in place to minimize the amount of construction mess. Last but not the least, checking out whether your current home insurance policy covers the cost of your demolition can be a great way to stay in control of the financial aspects too.