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.
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
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
[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.
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
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?
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.
[Default] On Wed, 27 Oct 2010 11:06:05 -0700 (PDT), a certain
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.
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
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