Structural Alterations

Structural alterations refer to any kind of major change to the structure of a building, usually for a different use. This includes tearing down walls and floors and rebuilding them or adding more rooms to a building.

The most frequent kind of structural alteration consists in increasing the space available in a building. Usually, this requires additional rooms. If this is a one floor building, the process should be relatively simple: foundations should be extended, or more piles should be added if this is the kind of foundation the building is supported by. Much of this initial process will be established at design stage so that the correct sequence of events will be put in order. It will more than likely be a requirement to excavate and make a trial hole where required so that existing foundations can be physically checked to ensure that any further works to be carried out will be suitable.

The additional rooms are then built as if they were a building of their own standing right next to the existing building. The two buildings are usually linked by hallways, or the wall standing between the two buildings can be tore down to create a large room, or a door can be added in between. If the building is built on more than one floor, the additional space can be built on one floor only or on several floors that will match the height of the existing floors to allow for a connection.

If there is no need for additional rooms, work may include tearing down ceilings or walls inside of a building. For instance, classrooms can be created by merging two smaller rooms together. If more habitable space is needed, walls are usually built. For instance, an attic can be partitioned into several rooms and used as an additional floor. If you are going to tear down walls and rebuild them, the possibilities are limitless: remember to design your house or building that will be convenient for its intended use.

No matter what kind of alteration you need to do, you will need to obtain proper authorizations from building control. Keep in mind that these alterations are not limited to building or tearing down walls: they may include building appropriate electric, plumbing and heating systems for the new rooms, while respecting safety measures. The usual course of action for building control compliance would be to submit either a formal plans building application for approval depending on the scope of the project it may be suitable to submit a building notice, whereby only a couple of days’ notice is required to start the works. Inspections would be made as the work proceeds, but this can carry more risk. A formal building application may take up to 6 weeks for approval of the scheme, but it comes with more certainty as the plans submitted will be checked and approved prior to the start of work on site.

Before starting the work, you should hire a professional architect and builder such as Renov8 Construction Services that will come up with several solutions to change the building. You can then establish a budget for each of these solutions and choose the best one in function of cost and functionality.

You should then hire a team of professionals that will map out the building and come up with a precise plan of action. Things should be done in a precise order to avoid issues. Working with professionals guarantees you to alter your building in a way that fits safety guidelines and regulations. Their experience will also reduce the risks of committing mistakes.

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