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Attic/loft conversion - building regs

(12 Posts)
5littlechickens Tue 02-Feb-16 20:24:17

I'm about to get my loft converted but the plans are only being prepared now and they want to start in 2 weeks. The builder is local and just does loft conversions. I've looked on council website and seen there are 2 ways to get building regs approval via full plans and building notice.

Now I know the builder will use council building inspector. Will I end up with the same paperwork whichever route we go down? I am a bit concerned as I looked on forms for when you move house ( property information form)and you have to supply approval and completion certificate. Would I get both of these with building notice route? I want to make sure everything is in order as it's not our forever house!


DickDewy Tue 02-Feb-16 20:27:42

You can do it on a building notice and you end up with the same Completion Certificate as if you had done it under full plans.

They cost the same - the only difference is you pay everything upfront with a building notice.

The most important thing is to have your structural calculations done before you start work.

Toomanycats99 Tue 02-Feb-16 20:34:43

I am currently going through this. As far as I understand if it falls under permitted development you don't need to inform council which most loft conversions would as long as the extra space does not exceed a certain amount. However if a neighbour complains and the the council don't agree that it falls within permitted development you may have to remove the works. I have just recently heard a case this has happened. We are having a certificate of lawfulness which is basically the council saying yes this falls under permitted development. It's about £88. We have been told 8 weeks for results. The other thing to bear in mind is that you need to get a party wall agreement from your neighbours and this is meant to be served 2 months before work begins. I don't know if you have done that already.

DickDewy Tue 02-Feb-16 21:05:37

No. Toomanycats99, this is incorrect.

Permitted development refers only to planning.

You always need to make a Building Control application for a loft conversion, regardless of whether or not planning permission is needed. It will cost approximately £500 and is required by law.

5littlechickens Tue 02-Feb-16 21:24:13

Thanks DickDewy, they are doing structural calcs. Is building control your profession? The thing I am concerned about is I've read that you don't get building regulation approval if you do go down building notice route. They inspect and issue completion certificate but not approval. Thanks

DickDewy Tue 02-Feb-16 21:26:42

Yes and yes grin

You're right - you won't get an approval of your plans if you choose the building notice route. But you will get the completion certificate at the end of the works and it is this which is the important document - you will need to produce it if you come to sell your house.

Icapturethecastle Tue 02-Feb-16 21:26:55

Hi if you are in a semi you will also need a party wall agreement with your neighbour before the work starts.

AnneElliott Tue 02-Feb-16 21:29:09

Dick, you will get a completion certificate which ever route you go down. Just so you're aware, you can also get building regs sorted with an approved inspector. We did that and got a much better service, although it does cost more.

DickDewy Tue 02-Feb-16 21:30:50

That's what I said - you get a completion certificate but not an approval of plans.

And yes, you can use an approved inspector but don't expect to see them as much.

5littlechickens Tue 02-Feb-16 21:47:20

Thanks all, I'm mid terrace but have got both neighbours to sign party wall agreement saying that I can start sooner.

DickDewy, you don't think it's a problem not having approval? I suppose I should check with Solicitor as our council website says mortgage companies require it. Can an independent inspector approve plans or do they just do inspections and issue certificate?

Sorry for all questions, I'm stressing about doing it properly!

DickDewy Tue 02-Feb-16 22:29:06

If you're worried about the approval, make a full plans application and wait for the approval notice. It will take between 5 and 8 weeks (if it goes over you can ask for your money back!). Unlike planning permission, you don't actually have to wait for the approval to start work (but it rather negates the purpose of going down this route).

The only thing you have to have is the completion certificate.

But honestly, people build new houses on building notices - it is not a big deal. Building notices are sometimes a PITA for the inspector - occasionally problems will not be apparent until the works are well under way and that might cause a delay.

Where I work, the applications are split about 60/40 between full plans and building notices.

Imperialleather2 Tue 02-Feb-16 22:31:25

The mortgage company require completion certificates not plans approval.

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