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 Post subject: Removing a stud wall
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:43 pm 
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I am thinking of removing an internal wall between two rooms, and want some advice. The property is a lease-hold mid-terrace ground floor Victorian flat, not listed or in any conservation area. As far as I can see the procedure is.
  1. Be absolutely certain it's not structural!
  2. Notify relevant people
  3. Electricity off. There aren't any sockets or switches on it, but best to be certain
  4. Remove plaster
  5. Saw up and remove the studs
  6. Clear up large amounts of dust
  7. Fix the ceiling and wall plaster where the stud wall used to be
  8. Redecorate

Removing the wall itself seems fine - it's the other bits I want advice on. I'm fairly sure it's not structural (it's an internal stud partition wall), but it would be good to be certain. :-) Other posts I've seen suggest looking at the joists above to see whether they cross the wall, which makes sense, but I don't own the upstairs flat so can't very easily start lifting carpets and floor boards. Is there any other way to be certain?

Who needs notifying before I start? Building regulations look like they apply, so I presumably need to speak to building control. Does the party wall act apply too? The partition wall abuts the wall shared with my next door neighbour, and the ceiling/floor shared with my upstairs neighbour - does removing it count as work on these party structures? If so the freeholder will also need notifying.

My last question is about making good at the end. Will this involve filling the gap in both wall and ceiling with plasterboard, and then skimming the whole lot, or is there an easier way? I'm not about to try learning to plaster on my living room ceiling, so if not I'll need to get someone in to do that bit.

Sorry for all the questions at once, and thanks for your help!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:25 am 
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Hi Ivan,
If the timbers run vertically from floor to ceiling, it ain't structural!
You could switch of the electrics, but once you have removed one side of the plaster, you will see any cables.
You do not need to notify anyone, hell, it's your house and your not actually doing anything to the party wall.
Yes, strips of plasterboard will need to be fixed, if your wall is lathe and plaster, plasterboard may need to be double thickness.
For an imaculate finish, get a spread in, but if you fancy ago, you can always plaster with Multi-board finish and sand back (with an electric orbital sander) any rough bits.

S


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Thanks. That's a useful tip for the plastering. I may have a go myself then, and can always get someone in to finish off if I'm not happy. If/when I go ahead I'll try to post back my experience (hopefully on this thread, not the rogues gallery) for anyone else that stumbles across this thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:13 pm 
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whats 'multi-board finish'?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Simon Site Manager wrote:
If the timbers run vertically from floor to ceiling, it ain't structural!


Simon, can you explain? Surely some walls like this maybe structural?

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Maidment Properties - Bathroom and Kitchen Specialists - Dorset


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:26 pm 
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come to that... ever tried sanding finish plaster?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Hi Darren,

Highly unlikely that a timber stud wall would be used to support something above it and if it is, it shouldn't!

Hi CW,
I have heard of multi-board, or have they stopped making it now? I skimmed my en-suite and sanded back any dodgy bits.

S


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Simon Site Manager wrote:
Highly unlikely that a timber stud wall would be used to support something above it and if it is, it shouldn't!


Really are you sure? So these walls are wrong then? I'd better let the building inspector, who approved it, know then. Sorry, just because it's a stud wall it doesn't mean that it's not structural.


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100_0845 [800x600].jpg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:43 pm 
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as far as im aware theres never been a product known as multi board finish...
theres thistle 'multi' finish, for backgrounds of a medium suction and theres thistle 'board' finish for low suction backgrounds such as plasterboard...

then theres multiboard, which is a board..
http://www.british-gypsum.com/products/ ... board.aspx

if the op's plastering skills are not particularly good i'd usually advise a tape and joint method using easifill,
http://www.british-gypsum.com/products/ ... -fill.aspx

finish plaster sets quite hard in comparison and is a lot harder to sand..

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:35 pm 
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darrenba wrote:
Sorry, just because it's a stud wall it doesn't mean that it's not structural.


That was my worry. I'd wondered if you could tell from the studwork around a door-way or something - I see your picture shows a big wooden lintel over the door. Is there any other way of telling (eg. relation of wall to floor joists/boards etc.)?

cwplastering wrote:
if the op's plastering skills are not particularly good i'd usually advise a tape and joint method using easifill,
http://www.british-gypsum.com/products/ ... -fill.aspx


The op suspects his plastering skills are not particularly good, but hasn't yet confirmed this as he hasn't done any. That's why I was originally planning to get someone in for that bit. Tape and join seems easier, but I've seen other peoples houses where you can see the shape of the tape sitting underneath the paintwork, and I'd assumed it always tended to look a bit like that. Are there lots of tape and join plasterboard walls around that you just don't know about, does it always look a bit rubbish, or is it just the method of choice of the incompetent DIYer resulting in all the bad examples?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:07 pm 
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its just easier than skimming mate but like anything else, you have to take some care or the results will be poor...
if you do it in two coats, letting the frst dry before applying the second coat then the results will be better...
plaster products suffer from shrinkage to varying degrees as water has volume then evaporates, what your probably seeing is one coat filling that looked ok when it was done but shrank back on drying leaving the tape / edges visible...
the thing with easi fill is its very easy to sand, like car body filler...
if you can screw a bit of plasterboard in the gap so its below the finished surface of the ceiling, tape the edges with paper tape (doesnt show through as much) and blend your easi fill a foot either side it'll be as good as finish plastering when its done...
using silk paint always shows up imperfections too, just the way the light falls on it..

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:12 pm 
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It's quite common to find that the floor joists above cross on a studwall. This is where people get into trouble 'cos they don't see a wall above so think it's not supporting anything.

If it's a conversion flat pop next door and see if they have a wall in the same position.

It may well have been installed during the conversion in which case it will be 99% ok to remove it :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:15 pm 
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OK. Thanks everyone. I'll let you know how I get on.


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