Are these walls load bearing?

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Old 05-18-15, 11:59 PM
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Question Are these walls load bearing?

Hi All,

I just moved in with my girlfriend to our new home (built in 1970's) in the UK.
We are doing some 'facelifting' in the property, like removing all the wood which you see on the walls, and fitting a new kitchen.
My question is, can we remove both these walls, or at least on of them? It would make the kitchen much bigger and more comfortable.

The 2 walls are sitting in the middle of the ~6m wide property about a meter apart. They are 8-9cm wide, with the thin but tall grey bricks (sorry, I don't know the appropriate name).
The beams are sitting on both of them, but the joints are only on the left handside one. There are no walls sitting right above them, only the cross beams.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 05-19-15, 12:08 AM
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Attachment 50746

Some more pictures
 
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Old 05-19-15, 03:21 AM
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Welcome to the forums! While this is primarily a North American forum, we'll try to sum up what you have, although UK codes will be different.

It appears much of the construction is of concrete block. Most often they are installed to support overhead members. Otherwise, why not use wood? It is cheaper and easier to install. With that said, I would have to assume the concrete block walls are load bearing at some point. Enlisting the services of a structural engineer would be in your best interest. They could assess the situation on site and give their blessings or recommendations.

If they should give either, let us know as we can follow their lead to advise how to do it.
 
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Old 05-19-15, 03:52 AM
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I can't see the pictures?
 
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Old 05-19-15, 03:58 AM
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Not sure why?? have you tried a different browser? cleaned your cache?
 
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Old 05-19-15, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for the answers, I tried to sketch up how it looks, see below.

The cross beams are ~40cm apart and are joint from the 2 sides on the middle-left wall. I didn't have the time to ask an architecture to take a look at it yet, but a friend of mine who worked in construction assumes that only this wall is load bearing.

Any thoughts on this version?
 
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Old 05-19-15, 09:40 AM
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I was on my phone using safari. I'm now on my computer using safari and I see things just fine

Anyway

If that wall runs up all the way up to the beam then it is in some capacity load bearing even if it is not a "load baring wall"

The question is does that wall need to bear weight. My gut feeling based on that diagram you drew is no. That gut feeling is worth what you paid for it. You need to do a load calculation (or have it done).

Also don't assume that because of the construction material that it's supporting wall. Wood being cheaper and easier to install is true in specific regions only. In many places the opposite is true.
 
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Old 05-19-15, 10:13 PM
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It appears much of the construction is of concrete block. Most often they are installed to support overhead members. Otherwise, why not use wood?
I worked for several years with a man that emigrated from Germany after WWII. Hans told me the story of when he was able to, he contracted to have a brick house built. When he saw the builder framing the house with wood he stopped him and asked why since it was to be a brick house. The builder told him it was only a brick veneer and that was the way all "brick" houses were made.

I don't remember if he had the house finished that way but Hans told me it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. He said that in Europe all houses were made of brick and stone and as a result were mostly fireproof. Also, that they lasted for hundreds of years. He thought it insane that one would build a house that was expected to last maybe fifty years at best and also be susceptible to being totally destroyed by fire.

I think that wood is the preferred material in the US mostly because we have a huge supply of wood. If we didn't, then it wouldn't be the predominant material used for residential housing.
 
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Old 05-20-15, 02:49 AM
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Looking down on your drawing, it would appear the left interior wall is load bearing. The right interior wall may not be, depending on the distance from the right outside wall to the left interior wall.

Furd, I have learned, too, that many houses in the Northeast are built with structural brick. I didn't know that, and was under the impression all "brick" were veneer.
 
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Old 05-20-15, 04:41 AM
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a man that emigrated from Germany after WWII. ........... he contracted to have a brick house built. When he saw the builder framing the house with wood he stopped him and asked why since it was to be a brick house.
I painted a house sided with T-111 for a couple. She was from Germany, they met while he was in the service. She told me that when her parents came to visit that they thought her husband was very rich since they had a house built out of wood. I guess after 1000+ yrs of people using wood for shelter and fire that trees aren't as plentiful in Europe as they are here.
 
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Old 05-20-15, 11:58 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts, I think you guys might be right...

I sketched up the plan floor maybe that's gonna be some help. It's a mid-terraced house btw.

I'd want to knock down the 85cm long wall which is 220cm away from the outer wall (well joint wall with the neighboor actually).

There's already a 34cm long, 19cm wide hole cut on it for the old ventillating system, and it's made of bricks 45cmx21cmx6cm.
 
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