Which professional do I need to review a supporting wall that's been fettled with?

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About five years ago I took a hammer and chisel to a supporting wall. The wall is the central column you tend to get in smallish semi detached houses between the front door and downstairs window (6m x 6m house, standard 70s build i.e. bricks, textured render, tiled roof). Essentially there used to be a glass partition running from the front door to create a hallway. So this column between the window and door had a right angle that came into the house and a door hanging off it. In my enthusiasm I knocked out the glass partition and the part of the column/wall that came into the house.
What remains is a bloody small column. Previously it used to be one breeze block length x one breeze block width and came into the living room by the same amount. Now it's just one breeze block length x one breeze block width. Unfortunately I only realised what I'd done after I stood back and admired my handy work (about 30 seconds from "job well done" to "f**k"). This isn't really helped by the fact most of the front of the house is a massive window and double door frame. So this internal roof bearing column is supporting pretty much three quarters the width of the roof on my side of the house (approx 4m).
Anyway, it's five years later and a couple of earth quakes have been and gone. The column still stands, the house is still here. Nothing has bowed or cracked. But it bugs me every time I look at it. So I have a couple of questions:
- Anybody know the minimum width of an internal wall that bears the weight of the roof? A builder quoting on another job had a quick look. Stated that it looked small, but measures approx 5cm larger that the minimum column width. - Who do I need to contact to get this thing checked out and suggested corrective action if required? Surveyor? Building engineer? Building regs?
Thanks for any tips.
Tim B
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To restore balance to the world Tim B wrote in CW4Gl.39182$ snipped-for-privacy@newsfe16.ams

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That would do me ... if it was going to move it'd have moved by now ....
Ash
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Ash wrote:

weight of the roof and upper floor is equally distributed 50% on either side of a lintel, then it holds approx 4m of upper floor and roof.
I pretty much agree with what you and several family members say. But this thing really bugs me. Essentially I've halved the size of the wall and removed a corner. I have no idea if this was supposed to act as a buttress or if it was just a sturdy way to hang an internal door. So I think it's time to pay a professional to give it their stamp of approval, or suggest remediating action. I'm also not sure if such work requires formal approval by the planning office.
Tim B
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Five years on and nothing's cracked or sagged, that's a result. If you start inviting officialdom to have a look at it, you'll be opening a can of worms. Leave well alone. And if it comes to light at a later date, deny all knowledge.
Steve
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A
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Abbot wrote:

small). I'd rather it all be certified by that time as safe and with all the appropriate planning etc.
Tim B
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A civil engineer; they are trained for that.

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Stewart wrote:

After doing some more looking, it could be structural engineers that I require.
Tim B
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Tim B wrote:

A demolition expert.
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Robin T Cox wrote:

Tim B
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Got a structural engineer booked 270+VAT to review, do the calculations, write a report suitable for building regs and suggest remedial action if required. Most quoted 170+VAT for the visit and 70+VAT per hour of calculations from there on.
Tim B
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Let us know what he finds wont you?
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Ash wrote:

Tim B
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On Fri, 17 Apr 2009 20:40:13 +0100, a certain chimpanzee, Tim B

If I understand, you are referring to the external wall? If so it should be ~275mm thick (from the outside to the inside), and you're saying it's about 450mm wide (when viewed from the front). I then gather that there was another section of wall at right angles to the external wall that was ~450mm long (one breeze or concrete block's length). Am I right?
If I am, then I would suggest that the original construction may have left a bit to be desired. That pier between the window and door should have been a sixth of the total opening width of the door and window combined (in other words, if your widow is 3m wide, and the door is 0.9m, the pier should be at least (3.9m/6 = ) 0.65m wide.
Having said that, I wouldn't have thought a short column like that would require buttressing, so the return pier may not have been structural unless it was required to hold up any of the floor above.

For elements such as buttressing walls, chimney stack supports, etc, where they are not overloaded but are required to prevent something else from failing, they tend to be in a binary state; either no sign of failure, or a pile of rubble.

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Hugo Nebula wrote:

Thanks for the detailed response. The structural engineer has been down and doesn't think there is an issue. We've had a brick porch built on the outside of the column, which he stated will provide buttressing through the wall ties to the inner layer.
The only possible issue he sees is getting it through building regs where a good margin for error is required. So he's off to do the calculations. By the way he was talking, building regs pretty much assume the brickie was having a bad day when mixing the mortar, so allow an error margin of three times the maximum load. Do quote me on this, it was a week ago and I was having a few issues with my central heating at the time.
When I get the results back, I'll post a follow up.
Thanks again
Tim B
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Tim B wrote:

As promised, the results were:
- The current pier can support 47Nm within building regulations margins. - The load on the wall is calculated at approx 57Nm. - Needs to be rebuilt with a much stronger engineering block. - Has been standing for 5+ years without any movement, therefore probably can leave the job until next time we decorate.
Oh well, I was hoping it would come in within the margins for building regs. Although I removed the butress, he had stated that it's probably been replaced by building a porch perpendicular to the outer leaf. The rest is handled by the various ties.
Tim B
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Thanks for the update Tim
Ash
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Tim B wrote:

<fx confused> Surely a newton metre is a measure of torque? This sounds to me as if you wall can stand up to a force of about 5 1/2 kilos leaning on it a metre from the ground. Which is not a lot!
Andy
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I've been wondering about that. Shouldn't it be rated in KN per sq metre?
Steve
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