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Topic # 223902 23-Oct-2017 18:11
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Hey guys

My wife and I have just bought a house, quite a few weeks out from settlement so we don't actually have access to the property to be able to check this/get this checked.

In the photo there is a living room with two internal walls and a doorway enclosing a kitchen. We are tossing up ideas at the moment and are wondering if those two walls can be removed, whether they are load bearing, if anyone is able to tell from looking at the picture and having an idea of how this particular designed structure works or if we need to wait till we are in to get a professional to look at it.

Because we would really like to open up that kitchen but at this stage not sure if that wall can be taken down easily or if it will need to be properly supported. As I said, we will get a professional in to tell us as soon as we have possession of the house but till then want to brainstorm what could be done with the space.

Cheers

(This real estate listing photo is all I have unfortunately!)


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  Reply # 1888199 23-Oct-2017 18:22
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The rafters are doing the work. The wall is unlikely to be load bearing.

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  Reply # 1888221 23-Oct-2017 19:32
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Agree, looks like the rafters are bearing the weight. If the wall was, I would expect the corner of it to meet under the central beam, or at least on a rafter, to offer support.





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  Reply # 1888222 23-Oct-2017 19:38
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Sweet, that's what we wanted to hear. Cheers guys

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  Reply # 1888225 23-Oct-2017 19:43
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The other thing to consider is if the wall is a bracing wall or not. You should get the building plans off the council.

 

 


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  Reply # 1888226 23-Oct-2017 19:44
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How old is the house, and do you have a copy of the plans? Another question to answer is whether the wall includes a bracing element. In a more modern build, that would generally be the gib, with fixings at closer centres than usual. Older houses had diagonal timbers in the walls in various forms for bracing.

As some more general advice, make sure you live in the house for a bit before making any decisions on chopping and changing things, to get a good feel for what works and what doesn't.



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  Reply # 1888232 23-Oct-2017 19:57
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses.
How do I go about getting council plans? The house is in the manukau area, can I just request them off the council? I have had a quick look into this but have no idea how to find them.
The house is from around the 1970s.
With finding out if it's a brace wall, besides the plans, is there any other way to know besides checking behind the gib?





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  Reply # 1888234 23-Oct-2017 20:05
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Will the building plans be in the "property file" which is available from the council?

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  Reply # 1888235 23-Oct-2017 20:06
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It varies between councils, but you'll either be able to order a copy of plans and previous consents, or go in and view them and get copies. There will probably be a charge either way.

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  Reply # 1888236 23-Oct-2017 20:11
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Louis1985: Will the building plans be in the "property file" which is available from the council?


Yes, the property file is likely the collection of previous plans and consents. If it's not clear from the website, they'll be able to confirm what's included from a quick phone call.



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  Reply # 1888238 23-Oct-2017 20:19
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Awesome thanks for your advice froob.

What the council lists online is a bit vague and this is our first home so new waters for us.

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  Reply # 1888243 23-Oct-2017 20:36
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It is common for councils to have a computer terminal in their foyer, to allow you to view them at no charge. You simply enter the address, and the packet should appear if it has been scanned in. Many don't appear to charge or viewing them. However if you ask for a USB of them, they may then change. The charges should be specified in the fees documents. If you get a LIM, I believe councils will often also put the property file in that, but you should ask them. Also you should make sure you get everything in writing, especially when dealing with agents.




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  Reply # 1888246 23-Oct-2017 20:48
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Cheers mattw.
We got a LIM before buying but besides an old copy of a drainage layout there is no real information that is actually specific to the house, about about two thirds (of 29 pages) is varying street layouts of district and unitary plans so I'm assuming it' will be in the property file which manukau council says is $20 to view on site so will go down that route I think

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  Reply # 1888280 23-Oct-2017 21:45
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The Auckland city one charges a ton to print or save onto disk. I assume Manukau would be the same.

 

Cheapskates hint, take photos of the screen


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  Reply # 1888289 23-Oct-2017 22:14
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Louis1985: ...
The house is from around the 1970s.
With finding out if it's a brace wall, besides the plans, is there any other way to know besides checking behind the gib?




To check if gib is a bracing element, you can run a magnet over it to find the pattern of the fixings. I'm not sure when fixing the wall linings specifically for bracing became common.

You can also sometimes see part of in-wall bracing from within "unfinished" areas, like the roof space or basements. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it will be an option in your case.

Beyond that, probably looking at the plans is really the only option other than actually pulling off the wall linings.



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  Reply # 1888291 23-Oct-2017 22:20
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There is a roof space above the kitchen (so a regular kower and horizontal ceiling obviously than in that living area) not sure if there is access but happy to make one - if i get up there what should I look for in the framing of that wall that may determine if it's a bracewall?

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