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Removing Wall from cupboard under the stairs


Guest Tianna
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Guest Tianna

Hi, I am looking for some guidance on fire rating. We live in a three-storey new build house and we have a cupboard under the stairs on the ground floor. Unfortunately this cupboard is a bit of dead space for us and we were hoping to remove the wall and door and leave it as an open space into the hallway. I have spoken to one of the developers who told me it is not a structural wall so removing it wouldn't cause an issue, however he said he needed to check whether or not it may void the fire rating and the NHBC warranty, but they are taking too long to get back to me so I thought I'd ask the question in this forum just in case I can get some advice and guidance. 

Obviously I do not want to remove the wall if this turns out to be the case, but If anyone can give us some advice on other options or if there is a clever solution to this please let us know. 

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I cannot see a detrimental fire safety problem if you removed the wall, providing the staircase remains underdrawn and the hall/landing remains as sterile as can be expected.

There would be no legislation involved, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 doesn't apply and building regs would not have issued the completion certificate if it had not complied, I do not believe removing the wall would make the means of escape any worse. The Housing Act is pretty vague anyway and I cannot see the local council raising any objections.

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thanks so much for your reply. So do you think that if we go ahead and remove it would we have any issues with the NHBC 10 year certificate? would we need to do a full on survey if we were to sell the house within the next few years? Sorry if this may be out of the initial post. 

 is there a specific kind of plaster that would need to be applied under the stair case to protect from fire if we remove the wall and door?

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I have no idea how it will affect your NHBC 10-year certificate or if you will need a full-on survey. I think standard plasterboard would suffice as I cannot see any difference in the fire risk either side of the staircase, providing you do not use under the staircase as storage.

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  • 2 years later...
Guest MKay

I have exactly the same problem with the dead space under the stairs with the same short fire door underneath.  I want to knock it down and put a functional cupboard in all that space.  Mine has the electricity meter box I there though.  Will it affect thr fire safety?  Also, will it affect the stairs structurally if removed.  I am aware that this is an old post.  I hope someone can help.  Thank you so much. 

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Domestic premises are not subject to the RR(FS)O but are subject to the Building Regulations and Approved Document B Fire safety.  Consequently this is a matter for building control and you need the advice of a BCO/AI, however you could check out ADB_Vol1_Dwellings_2019_edition_inc_2020_amendments.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)  I would recommend as the electricity meter is a possible fire hazard and should be separated from the means of escape route by 30 mins fire separation exclusively.

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