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  • FIRST POST
    • yezi_lovely
    • By yezi_lovely 16th Jun 17, 12:31 PM
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    yezi_lovely
    Notching 40% joist depth, did they break building regulation
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 17, 12:31 PM
    Notching 40% joist depth, did they break building regulation 16th Jun 17 at 12:31 PM
    Hello all,

    Our upstairs neighbor have recently refitted their new bathroom which is above our bedroom, since then, whenever they have shower, the sound of water hitting the floor is clearly coming through to our bedroom. After they refuse to do anything to improve the situation, we decided to sound proof our bedroom ceiling. After removed our ceiling, we realized what they have done. They have lowered their shower tray to directly above our ceiling, because we discovered part of the joist (depth 7") have been cut, almost 3" was taken out to fit in a new waste pipe for their shower, although few bars of wood were added to the joist, we are not sure if they breached building regulations for doing so? Any advice is welcome. Thanks
Page 1
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 16th Jun 17, 1:21 PM
    • 1,249 Posts
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    FreeBear
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 1:21 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 1:21 PM
    Joists should only ever be notched an eighth of the depth of the joist (22mm for a 7" joist). There are also restrictions on how far away from a wall the notch can be.

    I'm guessing the properties are leasehold ?

    In which case, a call to the land owner and building control is in order - You have a ceiling that is liable to collapse and cause significant damage. If you have legal cover on your household insurance, it would be worth contacting the insurer as well.
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    • yezi_lovely
    • By yezi_lovely 16th Jun 17, 5:19 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    yezi_lovely
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 5:19 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 5:19 PM
    Thanks. We are 50% and 50% share of freehold with upstairs, does that change anything?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 16th Jun 17, 6:19 PM
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    Furts
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:19 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:19 PM
    The "few bars of wood" would have to be designed by a Structural Engineer in order for the work to pass a Building Regulations Inspection. It would also receive a careful inspection from any Inspector knowing such work was being undertaken.
    • bob_a_builder
    • By bob_a_builder 16th Jun 17, 6:51 PM
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    bob_a_builder
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:51 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:51 PM
    Would building inspectors normally be involved with a 'simple' bathroom refit ?
    • phill99
    • By phill99 16th Jun 17, 7:20 PM
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    phill99
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 7:20 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 7:20 PM
    Would building inspectors normally be involved with a 'simple' bathroom refit ?
    Originally posted by bob_a_builder
    If it affects structural integrity of the building, then yes
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    • Furts
    • By Furts 17th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
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    Furts
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
    Would building inspectors normally be involved with a 'simple' bathroom refit ?
    Originally posted by bob_a_builder
    Yes if it also involves new connections to a svp, altered drainage, new drainage - you get the idea. Then there is bathroom venting if none before, basically if a new shower room is being created.

    All a difficult area because OP was not the applicant. The problem lies with the person upstairs allowing bodging to occur. Clearly they did not care.

    A fundamental here is why was the shower tray not moved a bit to put the trap in a location to avoid the joists. That would be the neighbourly thing to do. This could have been as simple as keeping the location exactly where it was but turning the shower base by 90 degrees.
    • yezi_lovely
    • By yezi_lovely 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
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    yezi_lovely
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:19 PM
    Thanks all, to give everyone an update, we have notified the council, and the council has sent them a letter, but they have denied the work they've done, and saying that the joist was cut over 10 years ago at the exact same place. We are very disappointed at this outcome, as there is nothing we can do any more.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 7th Jul 17, 8:22 AM
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    Furts
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:22 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 8:22 AM
    You asked the question, and you now have an answer. This is what you need if you go to the next stage, which seems to be litigation.
    Or you repair matters yourself, which I suspect could be cheaper.
    Or you discuss matters with the flat owner on costs.

    It is a crazy situation because the flat owner has been notified that their floor is potentially dangerous, and could potentially sag/collapse.

    The council lacks resources to fight battles such as yours, so it is unlikely to go further here.

    The response is unsatisfactory, and ignores the concept of Duty of Care. Even if the response is true, one does not blast on with work knowing the work is wrong.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Jul 17, 9:21 AM
    • 986 Posts
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    teneighty
    Not sure why this is in the "quotes" section.

    You have 2 separate issues and a 3rd one I've added for good measure.

    1. Structural alterations to reduce depth of floor joists. The existing 7" joists have been cut down to around 4" so you need to check if the 4" joists will span the width of the bathroom. If the span is short enough 4" joists might be fine.

    2. Sound Insulation. Have the upstairs neighbour's compromised the sound insulation in the floor by cutting in to the floor and lowering the shower tray.

    3. Have they compromised the fire separation between the 2 flats by cutting into the floor and lowering the shower tray?

    I suspect that all of these will not comply with building regulations and the freeholder should not have approved them.
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