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Hi we have built a two storey extension on the side of our house. On the first floor the builder removed one of the steels at the side of the window. Downstairs the builder has removed both steels either side of the window and a diagonal steel from the corner of the building and another further along. Basically all the steels on the ground floor in the kitchen. He has assured us the horizontal steel above runs the whole length of the house the upper floor will remain supported. Is this correct? Or should we find some way of reinforcing it? Thanks

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Hi, you’re more than welcome! I’m no steel engineer, but I know that when extensions to BISF houses are built the usual method is to make an opening into the extension from the original house where a window was without removing the steelwork. Or in the rarer cases where the wall is removed, new steelwork is installed. What does building control have to say? This sounds like something they need notifying of.

I’ll post a photo of a house under construction so you can see the steel frame, maybe you could say what he has removed?

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Thanks for your prompt reply. He was supposed to block up either side and put an additional beam in, but he has since suggested that he doesn’t need to. He says he has 20 years building experience but I don’t think he had consulted a structural engineer. There is currently a steel remaining, which he intends to remove today. I will insist on extra support before this is removed. Thanks again Lisa

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Hi, I very much hope he has consulted a structural engineer and provided alternative support! The horizontal steel that supports the first floor does run the full length of the house front and back but does obviously need intermediate supports which it sounds as though he has removed. The diagonal bracing is also necessary to keep the corners of the house square and prevent it “flat packing”. I don’t mean to alarm you, but what he has done sounds alarming. I’d be especially concerned if he has removed the steel on the hallway side of the back door as that supports the end of the beam that runs across the middle of the house in the top of the living room/dining room and kitchen/hallway wall.

Ed

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