Changes to Victorian conversion flat


Hi! I am interested in finding out about changes to a Victorian conversion flat that I am planning to buy.
With a few changes which I have identified, the flats value could easily increase by 50k. It would also become my dream home! The question is; how difficult, time consuming and expensive are the changes?
I want to do the following:
1) Put in an extra window in an existing brick wall. (Should be a large 'Victorian look' sash window of decent quality) Price & time..
2) Knock down approx 3 metres of inside existing (original) wall (am assuming it is brick..)
3) Put up 6 metres of new inside wall, including a (Victorian look) door.
Am I right to think that as a single woman I had best hire a professional to do the job? Although I don't mind doing DIY, I can't see myself knocking down a brick wall.
If you have any recommendations for a good builder in SW London, please let me know!
Very grateful for your advice!
Johanna
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things in. Also an architect to advise on the planning and documentation to submit to the local authorities. They should both be able to recommend a good builder for you too.
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On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 12:09:31 +0100, a particular chimpanzee named
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lintels and beams will you need?), there is the fire safety aspects (amongst others) to cover:
1a. Will the new window be close to a boundary, and are there any other windows on that elevation? See 'unprotected areas' in Approved Document 'B'.
1b. Any new or replacement window must have a U-value of 2.0W/mK or less (low-e coated double-glazed units with 16mm gap between panes). The only exceptions are for listed buildings and conservation areas (in which case, you've got more trouble than Building Control).
2. Assuming your flat was converted legally and to the requirements of AD 'B', and the building has three or more storeys, your front entrance hall will form a fire resisting lobby to the stairs. You can't remove this, nor can you change the doors for non-fire-resisting doors.
3. Unless you're on the ground or first floors, then the internal alterations can't form an 'inner room' (one whose escape is wholly through another room). You will need to maintain a hallway.
Is this building Listed or in a Conservation Area? If so you may need a Listed Buildings application (in which case your best laid plans may be shot to hell).
You will need a Building Regulations application even if it's only for the installation of the new window in the external wall. Consult a Structural Engineer WRT the knocking down of walls, and a Building Surveyor or Architect WRT the alterations to the layout.
--
Hugo Nebula
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==================Removing a wall and inserting a new window will both need strong temporary supports (usually 'Acrow props'). In many buildings these supports will need to be taken down to ground level unless the floors are exceptionally strong.
If your proposed flat is on an upper floor then you may find that the occupiers of the ground floor flat(s) won't allow you to insert the necessary supports because they would cause considerable disruption to their dcor.
I would suggest an informal discussion with a competant builder to make sure that your proposed alterations are feasible having due regard to what other flat owners would allow you to do. I doubt if you could persuade many people with nicely decorated flats to allow you to knock holes through their ceilings and floors to accommodate your building works!
Cic.
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