Tag: wall

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The Party Wall Agreement

What is the party wall agreement? 

The party wall act was designed in England and Wales to legally settle construction disputes between neighbours. Sometimes, carrying out building work can be loud, messy and quite disruptive. This can cause a dispute between you and your neighbour when they start to complain.  Furthermore, this act prevents this from happening and is settled legally. If your neighbour complains to your local council with a valid reason of why your project would affect them, they can stop you from starting. 

Reasons why your neighbour might complain  

  • Firstly, noise  
  • Lack of light  
  • Lack of privacy  
  • Could affect their home. For example, change their foundation or look of their home. 
  • Finally, damage to their home  

Will this act stop my project? 

There is a chance your neighbour could stop you from carrying out building works if you live in a semi-detached, terrace, flat, or your detached home is close to your neighbours’ properties. Before starting building works you must serve your neighbour a notice so they know that building works are going to be carried out. After this, your neighbour has 14 days to say that don’t agree after the notice has been served. So, other things you need to think about that can stop your project is: 

  • Floors and ceilings  
  • Shared boundry walls 

Building works that come under the party wall act 

  • A loft conversion that means the boundry wall will need to be worked on  
  • Adding another storey which is on the boundry wall 
  • Changing your homes foundation  
  • Rebuilding a boundry wall 

What is a party wall? 

In addition, a party wall is a boundary wall that separates adjoining homes. So, technically speaking you only own one half of the wall meaning, if you’re wanting to carry out any works on that shared wall you will need to ask your neighbour for consent. 

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All there is to know about a cavity wall

What is a cavity wall?  

A cavity wall is constructed with two separate walls for single wall purposes with some space or cavity between them. They can be described as consisting of two “skins” separated by a hollow space (cavity). The skins typically are masonry, such as brick or cinder block. Masonry is an absorbent material that can slowly draw rainwater or even humidity into the wall. One function of the cavity is to drain water through weep holes at the base of the wall system or above windows.  

What is the purpose?  

The purpose of a cavity wall is to ensure that the inner skin of the wall remains dry and that no moisture penetrates the inside of the building. 

History of the cavity wall – 

Cavity walls existed in Greek and Roman times, but only developed as a component of more recent construction in the 18th and 19th centuries. Even during this time, they were very rare. The use of metal ties to connect the two skins only emerged in the second half of the 19th century and then became more common towards the beginning of the 20th century. In the UK, most new, external masonry walls have been cavity walls since the 1920s.  

Insulation –  

Cavity wall insulation is used to reduce heat loss. This happens by filling the air space with material that inhibits heat transfer. This immobilises the air within the cavity, preventing convection, and can substantially reduce space heating costs.  

During the construction of new buildings, cavities are often filled with glass fibre wool or mineral wool panels placed between the two sides of the wall.

Advantages of cavity walls –  

  • They act as good sound insulators  
  • Economically they are cheaper than solid walls  
  • They also reduce the weights on foundation because of their lesser thickness  
  • Moisture content in outer atmosphere is not allowed to enter because of hollow space between the skin. So, they prevent dampness  
  • Cavity walls give better thermal insulation than solid walls. It is because of the space provided between two skins of cavity walls is full of air and reduces heat transmission into the building from outside. 
Architecture & Building, Interior Design

The basic need to knows of removing a load-bearing wall

Open plan designs are becoming very popular for homes and homeowners. Although, knocking down a wall can be more complicated than you think. Carry on reading to find out what you need to know about removing a load-bearing wall.  

What is a load-bearing wall?  

A load-bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. Whereas, Non-load bearing walls, also called partition walls, don’t support loads from above and are simply there to divide spaces.  

How to check if a wall is a load-bearing?  

The easiest way to check if a wall is load-bearing is by knocking on walls. If the walls have a hollow sound that means it’s not a load-bearing wall. Whereas, if there is a hard thud it could be load-bearing. Although, the best way to check is to have a consultant visit your home and do a thorough check.  

You remove them yourself?  

While the majority of homeowners choose to hire a contractor because this project can be quite difficult, however, permitting authorities will allow you to do the work yourself. DIY homeowners must follow the local building requirements and pass inspections just like a builder would.  

However, it is recommended to hire a structural engineer. This is because they will inspect the house, calculate the size of the beams and posts you will need, and determine whether you’ll need to add supports.  

Do you need planning permission and building regulations?  

Unless your property is a listed building, you won’t need planning permission to remove any interior walls. However, if you’re removing a load-bearing wall, you will need building regulation approval from a qualified inspector.  

Usually, the removal of a load-bearing can be completed with a building notice. Although, the inspector may tell you to hire a structural engineer who can specify an appropriate beam or lintel before they grant approval.  

How much does it cost to remove?  

The most commonly removed walls are those between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. On average, the prices range from £1,250 to £1,750 to remove the wall and £800 – £950 to install structural supports. 

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