Open plan living has become incredibly popular, giving home owners more space to play with and the ability to create rooms that can adapt to the needs of inhabitants. Whether it is kitchens, lounges or dining areas, opening up the space can provide many benefits and give homes more flow. The designs can even add value to the home.
Refurbishing or renovating an existing property to make it more open plan is possible but a great deal of care is needed to ensure the work does not put the structure at risk. Rushing in and removing walls without first checking their status and structural integrity is very unwise. It can increase the risk of the property becoming unstable and collapsing.
Before any walls are removed or changes are made to the structure a full survey is needed. This will look carefully at the property, determining which walls are structurally integral and cannot be changed. The information will also be important for when it comes to designing temporary works.
Work on load bearing walls and columns must always be approached with the utmost care because they are so integral to the structure. This does not mean that less care can be taken with walls not deemed load bearing though. Over time these surfaces can become crucial to the stability of a structure, particularly as the building settles and the load spreads out.
Temporary works to support the structure and bear the load should be put in place before any work begins. These need to be designed by an experienced structural engineer, ensuring they are up to the task. It is essential that they satisfy the relevant competencies. These are in place to ensure that the supports are stable and fit for purpose. The HSE has set standards for them, ensuring health and safety is the priority.
At Denon Construction we have great knowledge of the competencies for temporary supports and ensure the systems we put in place on sites meet them. We do this because the last thing we want is them to become unsafe due to instability. We want every project to progress safely and the work to be done to a very high standard.