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BISF House of My Dreams in Braintree Essex  

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tomkis1972
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Hello, I'm currently buying a BISF house in Braintree, Essex.
It's my first house and I want to do a huge renovation.
I have read through the entire forum and It's amazing.
The first time I heard about BISF houses was from my Estate Agent, when I had my first viewing.
At first I was scared but now, after read this forum, I'm really happy that I bought it.
I've just finished building school and I've been working for 7 years in UK in maintenance, 2 years ago I also got my electrician qualifications. I have a lot of experience with refurbishment, decorating, plumbing and electrics, but I don't have any experience with BISF houses.
I Know that it's only the construction type that is different, but it's also the most important part of house.
I haven't bought the house yet, but I want to be prepared for everything before I have the keys in my hand. After this I will just get on and DO IT!
I hope that all professionals and BISF house owners will help me.
I can promise share on this forum with my all new experience acquired during the renovation.

My first idea:
I read somewhere that in BISF houses I can take out all of the internal walls.
For me it's possible because all weight from upstairs take huge steel floor beams.
Can anyone confirm this?
With external walls I want just make additional doors for toilet and doors from existing kitchen to existing toilet make wider about 60cm.
I worry a little about the water heater tank between bedrooms 1 and 2. If need I to, can I move it or remove it and buy a combi boiler?
I will remove fire and chimney.
I will put some images to help you understand my idea.
Thanks for any help
Tom

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tomkis1972
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No one can confirm that I can take of all internal walls?
Write any comments please
Tom

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gregorybarrett1983
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Tom

At last there is another person with a BISF house in Braintree on this message board, most of the houses are still council owned so they would not bother on this forum. I brought this as my first house 9 years ago now. I am on Rosemary Avenue near St. Francis school so you must be close on Coldnailhurst or Deanery Hill/Gardens. You really have grand plans with your house. What have you done so far?

I have completely refurbished my house but did not go the extents of changing the glass fibre insulation. Instead I used a bubble wrap with foil to reflect the heat in with an air gap then plasterboard on top. I don't know how effective this is but it was allot cheaper and easier then filling with expanded foam type of insulation. I completely stripped the old plasterboard and hardboard from the walls and re-built the internal stud walls. I have changed the layout upstairs slightly to make a bigger bathroom, removed the old chimney and made the old airing cupboards into built in wardrobes. Downstairs I still have the hallway and lounge with double doors into the dining room. I blocked the back kitchen door off which makes the kitchen allot bigger and put bi-fold doors where the dining room window was. This opens onto decking and paving but still have to finish the 130 ft garden. Eventually I want to put a conservatory on the back too. I have plans to make the coal shed extension into a utility room with a door into it at the bottom of the stairs. Where I want to put the door there is a diagonal brace which people on this forum think it is al right to remove as other people have done this.

Greg

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Ed (Senior Member)
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Hi and welcome Tom! It's a big and exciting task you've got! We were in a similar situation two years ago but as I work full time it has been coming on fairly slowly.

Anyway, about the internal walls. Upstairs there are no structural elements in the internal walls at all - all the support for the roof is in the external walls and roof trusses. Downstairs though there are three steel elements in the internal walls.

1) A large steel beam across the width of the house in the top of the wall between the living room and dining room, living room/kitchen and hall/kitchen.

2) A steel stanchion supporting the above beam roughly half way between the doorway opening between the living room and dining room and the chimney flue.

3) Another stanchion where the living room/kitchen/hallway meet.

I found this photo of a BISF house where the wall between the living room and dining room has been removed that shows the first two.

Ed

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tomkis1972
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Thank you for your response Ed..
That steel beam across the width of the house looks huge and holds just upstairs floor and walls plus furnitures. It's not problem form because I will do 2 or 3 ceiling levels, and will be cover. For me problem are that two steel stanchions. Who can tell me what I have to do to remove them?
1. Any local professional building company?
2. Any building designers?
Other question is that I need any permission to do this job before, or any confirmation, assent after this. Who can do that certification?
Tom

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Ed (Senior Member)
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Hi Tom, I've never heard of anyone removing the two stanchions in the middle of the house. Maybe Marc has more information? In theory you could, if you replaced or supplemented the existing steel beam with a larger one. I would think it would be a very big job, if you could even get it into the house.

Ed

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