Converting semi to two flats - planning etc.

Mulling over an initial idea to convert my mother-in-law's 1930s 3 bedroom semi to a downstairs flat for her, and an upstairs 1 bedroom flat she can rent out c/w her garage for some extra income.
She already has a downstairs loo in what was the coal house under the stairs, and is happy with a shower room rather than a bath. So my idea is when you come in through the front door, the hall is partitioned off so that is the access for upstairs ONLY. What is left of her hall the other side of the partition forms a shower room adjacent to the understairs loo. Upstairs, the layout is retained as-is, except the smaller of the three bedrooms becomes a kitchenette.
Now this is all fine in theory, but wondering if anyone has any practical experience of any pitfalls such as:
Does it need planning permission? Do building regs stipulate extra noise insulation would be required or that the wiring etc. would need to meet later standards etc. etc.
Just to confirm, I'd be looking to do the changes in such a way that they could be reverted back at a later date when the property was sold.
TIA, Midge
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are a few issues here which will have a bearing. For a start you will need planning permission for change of use, and consent would depend on local planning authority policies. Once over that hurdle you will need building regulations approval.
For the design of the conversion you would be well advised to seek professional help, also for building regulations drawings as conversion to flats means that the structure would need to comply with fire, sound, thermal insulation regs as well as other compliance areas.
Regarding changing back to the status quo, yes it should be possible although the costs would need to be weighed up against the affect on the property value (s).
If you need further help please email me
Andrew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's really helpful - thanks. It gives us an idea and that's all I was looking for at this stage.
Midge.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[Default] On Mon, 25 Oct 2010 13:24:17 +0100, a certain chimpanzee,

IANAPlanner, but B/Regs-wise:
Structurally, the regulations only apply to the work you carry out, i.e., if you open up a doorway, there should be a lintel over. You are not required to upgrade the existing structure.
The means of escape in case of fire should be fairly straightforward for ground & first floor flats - mainly escape windows from habitable rooms. That and smoke detection is normally sufficient.
You will need a sound resisting floor between the two flats. Exactly how need to do this will depend to some extent on what work needs to be done to the building - if the ground floor ceilings need to be replaced, then it can incorporate resilient bars, etc. Otherwise you may be better with an an acoustic overlay.
A change of use from one dwelling to two brings with it a need to carry out work to make the flats comply with some of the other requirements, in particular, drainage & waste disposal, ventilation, conservation of fuel & power, etc. -Kitchens, bathrooms, etc., would require extract fans. -You need somewhere to store two sets of bins, and both flats should have access to it within a reasonable distance. -You would certainly be expected to replace any single glazed windows and insulate any accessible lofts. -If you are renovating large areas of walls, ground floors, etc., then these should be insulated. Any replacement &/or new boiler(s) must achieve a minimum efficiency.
Two leccy meters, two gas meters, two water meters... And getting the utility companies to fit them.
--
Hugo Nebula
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Hugo. We're not in too bad a position on some of those areas.....
The house has recently had the loft insulated and cavity wall insulation added, and the windows were double glazed some time ago. Pretty sure there are large openers for escape purposes too. Heating is electric rather than gas so is not ideal but one less utility to worry about I suppose.
Interesting point on the ventilation - downstairs loo and kitchen already extracted, and upstairs bathroom and kitchen could be dealt with easily. The downstairs shower room will be a nightmare though come to think of it - it will need to be ducted across the hall to an outside wall.
No water meter currently, but does turning the property into flats mean you end up having to fit them?
Midge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just been reading up on sound insulation between the flats, and all of a sudden, the other issues pale into insignificance lol
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes this is probably the hardest part. The best way is to suspend an additional plasterboard ceiling below the existing ceiling on resilient bars, and to make sure the construction is suitably specce'd so that it will pass the dreaded sound testing (without carpets), this is partly why you need to get professional designer help.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
> Structurally, the regulations only apply to the work you carry out,

Building regs will apply to all elements that are involved in the change of use as a new dwelling is being created

That's not quite right, the stairway needs to be a protected escape route these days.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[Default] On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 11:06:05 -0700 (PDT), a certain
and wrote:

Part A (Structure) isn't an applicable requirement relating to a material change of use. One is therefore only required to comply with Part A in so far as the work is a material alteration, i.e., the _work_ one does must comply, but there is no requirement to make the _building_ comply with Part A where it didn't before (so long as you don't make it worse).

Maybe I worded it wrongly. The two flats would need to be separated by fire resisting construction, and if the upper flat didn't have a 'front' door directly to the open air (i.e., it exited into a common stair or common lobby at ground floor), then that common area would need to be separated by fire resisting construction. I was trying to say that within the flats, a protected corridor & stair is not the only way of complying for a ground and first floor flat.
--
Hugo Nebula
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.