plan drawings and RSJs

Hi all,
I am planning on drawing my own plans for a rear extension. If it's within our budget, we would like to support a section of the existing rear wall with an RSJ. Also, the neighbours have removed their chimney breast in the back room using another RSJ- makes for a much nicer open plan space. Unfortunately, their building firm is no longer trading- other builders I have contacted want plans drawn before meeting to discuss things.
I was wondering whether anyone had experience of the costs involving in using RSJs- the neighbour has theirs positioned so that they cannot be seen- i.e. above the level of the ceiling. This looks really good- is it expensive? Same for the chimney breast? We are in Oxford, if there are regional price differences. The house is a 1930's semi, 3 bed.
I am fairly competent at Adobe Illustrator, and was thinking of doing the plans to the scales required by planning and building regs, and having them printed on a large format printer. Has anyone got good or bad experiences of trying to do their own plans?
Thanks,
Ben
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Ben Micklem wrote:

RSJ's themselves are cheap. Builders costs vary around the country. It can be DIYed, at your own risk !

I've just finished plans for my extension, putting them into building control today. I used "Vector Engineer Pro-tools" drawing package. You can measure angles and things with a CAD-style package. Not sure if you can do some of the useful CAD functions with Adobe. Usual scale for plans will be 1:50. This put my extension elevation drawings on A4. The floor plans were for the whole house and needed A3. I printed on 2 x A4, sellotaped together and photocopied to get rid of the sellotape ! Good experience so far and I've learned a lot. I did start them about 3 months ago ! I asked lots of questions on this group, as others will testify. Simon.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I did my own plans for a 2-storey extension about 4 years ago, using Design-CAD 3D. I managed to get everything onto A4 sheets - and had the Planning Permission plans bound into a booklet by the local stationery shop.
The work was done on a building notice rather than full technical plans submission, but I discussed everything in detail with a BCO in order to make sure that what I was proposing would be acceptable. I then drew detailed plans in order to define exactly what I wanted the builder to do.
If you're planning to use an RSJ to support something currently supported by a solid structure, the BCO is likely to insist on seeing loading calculations - for which you may need to employ a structural engineer, unless you can do them yourself.
--
Cheers,
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Ben Micklem wrote:

You could do it, but ensure that your measurements are accurate and the plans to scale and proportion or else you find that things don't quite work out when the builder comes to do the work and he charges extra for dayworks.
You also need to have a good idea about how a building is put together, so that you don't specify a design that will cost you more to build than it should. Its the details which make the difference.
Also remember that there may be structural calculation required- which you may have to pay extra for.
A new steel in the lounge is going to cost between 1500 and 2500 - depending on how much demolition, support and making good is required.
dg
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