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Steel beam intrusion query


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Hi everyone


We are building a double height extension and although we expected that there may be some visible steel work, we did not realise that it would be a 26cm intrusion.


In the image i've attached the areas filled in red are our property (including the existing courtyard area) and the parts above and to the left are owned by two other owners.  I've tried to mark out the two floor extension we are having with red lines. The green line is where we are told a steel beam needs to be placed to support the bricks to the building above us.


We had thought that maybe the beam could sit to the side of the upstairs building/above our new extension and be supported with a thinner beam underneath but this doesn't seem possible.  We've been told that the only way we can have the extension is to put a solid beam inside the existing part of our building and this will be visible by 26cm.


The look of the kitchen would not suit an exposed beam and having plaster will add even more depth to the beam.  We can't push the steel work higher as it will be inside our neighbour's floors.


Is this really the only way?  Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.






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Your SE will have presented you with the easiest Cheapest option 

From my understanding of your sketch are you not wanting to see the horizontal beam in your kitchen or a virtual beam or both 

If horizontal are have you enough headroom to drop the ceiling 250 ?


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What you’re saying is you need to support the upstairs floor from the underside and the engineer is proposing a beam under the ends of the joists and the wall ..?? 

You’re going to need an agreement with your upstairs neighbour anyway, so why not just ask them if you can insert the beam into the wall at floor height and capture the ends of the floor joists into the steel web..??


Alternative is to make a feature of it and step down at the same time - put a dining area in the lower section so it looks like it’s designed that way.

How high are your ceilings anyway ..? Other option would be to drop the ceiling in the kitchen all around the edge for about 300mm from the wall and light it from behind the drop section giving the illusion of a “raised” section in the middle. 

Plans would help here btw

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Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions.


@wozza that's not a bad idea.  I will ask our SE and see what he says.


@nod i'm not sure what a virtual beam is but yes, we don't want to see the horizontal beam at all.  Unfortunately the ceiling height is already quite low.  After the plastering we are told that the ceiling height will be 2250mm so sadly there isn't much wiggle room.


@PeterW We have a party wall agreement but i'm not sure if our neighbour will agree to us putting the beam underneath her floorboards.  If they do, would this not mean that their floorboards will have to be ripped up?  Unfortunately the ceiling height is already quite low.  The second floor of the extension will be a kitchen, and i've the proposed kitchen design without the beam which I hope can be of some help.


@ProDave It is but I think it will be worth it :)


Thank you again everyone!

Screenshot 2020-02-01 at 19.12.52.png

Screenshot 2020-02-01 at 19.11.45.png

Edited by sw879
Images didn't attach first time.
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