widening an internal double door

Further to previous question about double door locking mechanisms, a further question comes to mind.
Currently undergoing drastic renovation of the two reception rooms. New floor, etc etc, lots of mess.
SWMBO would like if possible for me to widen the current internal double doors - they're 30" each, and about 4" too narrow to push one of the sofas back flush against them when they're closed. "Surely it's just a simple job" she says.... aaagh.
Anyway, I'm indifferent. If it's straightforward I'll gladly do it. Non-standard bifold doors are going to be expensive to have made, but that's her problem (she can pay for them!).
The house in question is your normal bog standard W London Edwardian terrace.
The wall used to be lath and plaster, still is in places. It is directly below the 1st floor dividing wall between two bedrooms. There is a large boxwork protrusion in the hallway that appears to conceal a meaty beam between the two side walls of the house. I expect this is providing the support for the 1st floor wall and all above.
Now, inside the internal wall there are fairly heafty vertical studs (or are these the horizontal ones?) and of course I'd have to shift one a bit to the right to be able to widen the door, or take it out altogether.
There is a wooden beam across the top of the door opening, this might need to be lengthened.
Now, is this wall and it's constituent components likely to be structural? What sort of pain am I likely to encounter if I embark upon this folly?
thanks Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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further
that's
are
the
http://www.trp.dundee.ac.uk/research/glossary/slapping.html
The top two pictures on this page:
http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/blakesleyhall/copyblakesnov/novwalk.htm
show how a lath and plaster wall is made up. Most of this type of construction are non supporting, but some do contain more robust framing and upright studs to give more central support to upper floors.
The only dangers of making larger apertures in a wattle and dob wall, are that you have to support the sections which have been cut away with an identical sort of make up. You might find it easier to remove a whole section of the wall between the studs and then fill it back in with a modern plasterboard and stud construction after you have the correct width and height you need for the new slapping.
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If you were going to do that then why not consider completely moving the doors so that you can put the sofa against a wall. Imagine what the buyersa nd sellres will be saying in decades time:
"Apparently the stupid # couldn't get his sofa in without a major refit."
--
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ah, but I didn't say we couldn't get the sofas in.
door removal and blocking up has been considered and rejected. Don't want to remove the wall - "through lounge" is no longer a real selling point as it's been done in just about every other house.
choice is between widening the doors to keep the missus happy, or deciding it's just too much expense and effort for marginal benefit and not bothering.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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Presumably the problem is that the sofa won't go into the door *recess*?
If so, why not re-hang the existing doors in line with the side of the wall which faces the room with the sofa? That way, you'll have an almost flat surface - and it won't matter that the sofa extends a bit beyond the doors. [You'll also make the other room slightly bigger into the bargain!]
Roger
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<snip> >

wall
doors.
You got it. It seems bizzarre, but it's not a particularly generously proportioned living room, and the extra few centimetres that the sofa could have been pushed back would have made a difference when entering and leaving the room, and with clearance from the hearth.
As it is, it just fits.
Rehanging the doors flush might also be a proposition, but they'd still have to open into the other room, which would make for a slightly non-standard door framing strategy. I'll run it by her when she gets back tonight.
It's one of those jobs that would be handy to do if it's not a massive amount of work, but not worth going to much expense over otherwise.
Looking forwards to getting the two rooms straight again, though!
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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"RichardS" wrote | door removal and blocking up has been considered and rejected. | Don't want to remove the wall - "through lounge" is no longer | a real selling point as it's been done in just about every | other house. | choice is between widening the doors to keep the missus happy, | or deciding it's just too much expense and effort for marginal | benefit and not bothering.
You could always look at this problem from the other end, and instead of enlarging the gap to fit the sofa, buy a new sofa to fit the gap.
Save an awful lot of work, and the missus can have fun choosing a new sofa.
Owain
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Almost certainly structural. I had *exactly* the same in a Victorian house, and wanted to remove the short - about 18" - wall that went from the doors to the outside wall, as I wanted a clear flat wall between the chimney breasts in the two rooms.
I ended up having to build an engineering brick pillar from the cellar up to first floor level in line with the hall/ room dividing wall to take an RSJ, the other end of which goes in the outside wall.
Don't be fooled into thinking an internal wall made of studding and lath and plaster can't be structural - it can and often is in these houses.
Get a structural engineer in before proceeding - that's what I did.
--
*How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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wrote:

directly
large
altogether.
Thanks, Dave.
Kind of confirms what I feared.
Further investigation under the floor has proved that there are two meaty uprights about 3" square either side of the door, and a similar timber running horizontally above the door opening. These aren't the original timbers.
Builders dont' put these things in for the fun of it (ie the builders that knocked the door opening through) so they must perform some structural role. I think I'll can this whole idea. The expense and delay just won't be worth it for the few inches that would be gained.
Missus is convinced that I can only ever see problems where others get on with the job.. I'm convinced she doesnt' take the slightest interest in any explainations and evidence that are offered in defence! What can you do..?!
cheers Richard -- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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I'm surprised if the opening was made after the house was built they didn't just put in an RSJ. Are there any other similar houses in the street with two seperate rooms?

The floor collapsing while she's in the cast iron bath she insisted on is a good start.
--
*Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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wrote:

meaty
Or the wiring suddenly developing a fault under the bath.
Moahawhawhawhawhaw !!! :-))
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Snip>>

that's
Simple solution if she's paying - buy a new sofa!
Ed
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Sorry, I should have read all the replies before posting. I hadn't noticed that someone else already made this suggestion.
Ed

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