View Full Version : Merging Window and door for 1 large opening
26th Feb 2008, 01:34 PM
Just finnished my first major renovation project - fixing our floor and polishing the orginal boards... now my mind is moving onto the next thing...
I plan to build a deck out the front straight off the living room, there is already a small "verandah" there but its good for not much...
Anyway my reason for posting in here is the wall from the living room to where the deck will be has a door at one end, then 1500mm wall and then 2100mm window the window starts about 1ft off the ground and the top is level with the top of the door. I would like to remove the wall below the window and the wall between the window and door making 1 large opening that I can then put bi folding doors into. I have never done or had done anything structural like this to a house before so I don't even know where to begin, I am guessing its a job for a professional and that a large beam would be installed across the new opening or similar? oh yeh, i should add the house is timber frame with weatherboard cladding on the outside - no bricks involved...
Any information is greatly appreciated... I can take a pic and post if it helps in anyway...
26th Feb 2008, 03:18 PM
You'll need to find out whether the wall is bracing/load bearing before you do anything else. Is it possible to get a copy of the plans from the council?
26th Feb 2008, 03:34 PM
It is essential to know if the wall is a bracing wall but being external I would assume it is. That is not the end of the story. There is a way to remove the parts of the wall even if they are bracing and still maintain the adequacy of the structure. But what is needed are the locations and types of bracing of all the wall is the same direction.
I have created a timber portal before that is rigid enough to act as a bracing element but they are hard to achieve.
26th Feb 2008, 03:52 PM
I have some "rough" kind of plans here that were given to us when we bought to prove that additional structures were approved... What do i look for on a plan to tell if the wall is a bracing wall or not? if theres no indication on any of these plans then i will go to the council and hopefully get a copy of the originals...
26th Feb 2008, 05:21 PM
If they are not on the plans you may need to assume that there is bracing in the walls and come up with a solution then when you get to the job, if it is there you implement the solution otherwise you just install the beam and the bifolds.
27th Feb 2008, 12:48 AM
This seems to be an exterior wall. So it's a safe bet that the offending part is helping to support the roof or second storey (if there). Best engage a professional.
27th Feb 2008, 09:56 AM
No doubt it will need a beam to support loads but the issue is the bracing. Judging by the tone of the authors post, I would recommend a professional to size the beam and investigate the bracing issue. Sometimes bracing is at the corners and so it is possible that bracing will not be present.
27th Feb 2008, 10:04 AM
Don't worry guys when it comes time I will get a professional in... There is no upstairs to worry about but the house has already had a parralel (sp?) external wall removed in a previous extension... Think I'll concentrate on building the deck and once its done seek professional advice - I should probably get an engineer in before a builder do you think?
27th Feb 2008, 10:07 AM
.............. I should probably get an engineer in before a builder do you think?
Yes, but after you get a copy of the plans from the council.
27th Feb 2008, 10:28 AM
In addition to the beam size, the engineer or building designer will also detail any increased stud sizes required either side of the new opening to transfer the load to the footings.
[ I like engineers, but why not engage a 'building designer' who can document & provide plans ready for council approval]
27th Feb 2008, 12:36 PM
What are the qualifications of a building designer?
27th Feb 2008, 01:45 PM
Good question Dvd.
'Building Designers' are required in all states [ as far as I know] to be registered. A part of the registration process basically requires the individual to show that they have the necessary skills to design a home and have the necessary indemnity insurance [if they stuff up]
The latest figures I have show that "Building Designers' provide working drawings for over 65% of new home constructions & 85% for additions.
Personally [ & I have many fiends who are 'architects' & 'engineers' ] I get annoyed when I read plans that constantly have the notation - 'refer to engineers detail' when many design firms & Building Designers such as ourselves go the extra distance and provide structural detailing, slab design etc. [within the relevant standards & building codes]
27th Feb 2008, 03:42 PM
I have never come across a building designer before. So the plans are architectural or structural or both? Because there are some major differences in the drawing types. Are they more of an architectural based but use standards to design structural elements or like draughtsmen?
27th Feb 2008, 06:42 PM
Yes, close enough -"architectural based but use standards to design structural elements"
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