Whatever the cause of the work it’s essential to understand your home’s existing structure before beginning the work, as it may require a new structural design and building regulations approval.
Who should I talk to first?
A structural engineer should be consulted if you are planning an unusual design, changing the opening in the upper floor, or if the stairs support the floor above.
What sort of work is involved in fitting a new staircase?
The existing staircase needs to be assessed, to check whether it provides support to the floor above.
If it does, or the floor opening needs amending to suit the new staircase, then new beams are likely to be required to ensure support of the floor is maintained.
A structural design may be necessary and a structural alteration will also require building regulation approval.
This is building work under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM2015). These Regulations impose health and safety duties on all parties (client, designer and builder) involved in a building project.
Why is a structural engineer necessary?
If the support for the floor is affected, large new loads are being added to the floors and you will need structural expertise to ensure your changes are safe and appropriate.
Without structurally sound changes with approvals in place, it could become very difficult to sell the property.
Surveyors are quite adept at spotting changes to the original layout and will advise a buyer to ensure relevant approvals are in place.
What should the structural engineer provide/ not provide/ guarantee/ not guarantee when dealing with stair replacement?
The structural engineer should detail alterations on construction drawings and provide calculations justifying the design for building regulations approval.