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Converting flats back to one house

(10 Posts)
wigglybeezer Fri 13-Sep-13 09:59:34

Just had an offer accepted on the flat below us, plan is to convert back to one house. Has anyone else done this? I am a bit worried about the hassle/ expense of reuniting the plumbing and wiring, any advice?

I am alternately excited then nervous, gulp, have condemned myself to years of DIY.

Kikibee Fri 13-Sep-13 11:11:29

We did this, lived in the top flat whilst sorted out downstairs, extended kitchen, converted old bathroom to utility etc. Phase two was spring out upstairs, removing old kitchen and sorting out services, I don't recall it costing loads, and at least during phase one we could live away from upheaval in relative calm smile

wigglybeezer Fri 13-Sep-13 12:53:37

That's exactly what we plan to do Kikibee, we have to put in an internal staircase and remove the old external staircase though.

InsertUsernameHere Fri 13-Sep-13 19:00:50

We're in the process of doing this. An interesting fact for you is that as you are changing the number of dwellings the work is liable for a reduced rate of VAT (5% rather than 20%). This relies on you using a builder/contractor as you can't claim the VAT back only not be charged it in the first place. See the hmrc site and VAT notice 708 para 7.3. (Just laughing at how dull I seem. I know properly interesting things too - honest)

wigglybeezer Fri 13-Sep-13 19:57:55

New that already! A Bonus, just a shame they abolished the 0% VAT rate for alterations to listed buildings last year as that would have applied to us too.

Chewbecca Fri 13-Sep-13 20:19:07

You need permission to do this I believe.
Our local council objected to one we had our eye on, on the basis that it would reduce the housing stock.
(I think the buyers did get permission in the end though)

wigglybeezer Fri 13-Sep-13 20:39:45

I have spoken to the council and they have said they are very unlikely to object but we are taking a slight chance going ahead with the purchase before putting in a planning application, we had to get in there quick and do a private sale before it went on the market due to the Scottish closed bid system. The fact it is a listed building and having one owner will facilitate keeping it better maintained should help.

Kikibee Fri 13-Sep-13 23:05:09

We didn't have to reinstate stairs though, that sounds a bit tricky......

bec0901 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:21:49

We did this at our last house in London. Didn't need planning permission so do look into that. It was easy for us because the man who split it in the 1980s didn't do a great job!

As others said, the easiest thing to do it live upstairs whilst the complicated ground floor is done, then rip out the extra kitchen when ready.

It was a dusty business, so glad I did it whilst pregnant rather than post-baby!

wigglybeezer Mon 16-Sep-13 21:19:34

We are in a listed building unfortunately (didn't relaise when we bought it!) so we need planning for everything, windows, sheds, fences ....etc. and major changes to the interior, luckily for us a previous owner removed all the period features downstairs so there is nothing to protect down there. We have lived upstairs for 15 years and its quite nice so we will just stay put until downstairs is sorted.

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