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Creating garden access from a first floor maisonette

(4 Posts)
HannaB2016 Sun 25-Sep-16 14:27:39


Anybody out there ever installed an external staircase on a first floor maisonette to get over the steep internal staircase that so many seem to be built with? Am looking for a first floor flat with garden in south west London and I keep finding purpose built maisonettes with a steep internal staircase from the kitchen down to the garden. I know it's possible to block that up, install an external staircase instead and knock through the kitchen wall to create a door. Thinking is to have just enough space at the top of the stairs to stand with a glass of vino on a summers evening, and the external stairs would be less steep so more likely to use the garden.

I know it's possible but have no idea how much it would cost or how big a job. Does anyone have any experience with this? Massively appreciative of any advice and/or cost indications.

Thanks x

SarahSea1 Sun 25-Sep-16 16:27:30

It's not a big job but would involve building control (to ensure staircase risers, new door opening etc to regs) and possibly a party wall agreement with your downstairs neighbour - as well as permission from the freeholder unless you're share of freehold - in which case you'd still need to involve downstairs neighbour as they'd presumably have the other share. I'm assuming you're looking in LB of Wandsworth who are slightly less strict, but some councils won't allow any sort of terrace as they impact on privacy. I thought quite a few flats already had the external staircases?

rubybleu Sun 25-Sep-16 21:46:31

If the freeholder is a housing association or council be careful - they can be very awkward to deal with. I've just concluded a six month bun fight with my freeholder (a London borough) who had a "computer says no" response to us changing a window to patio doors on the ground floor to give us direct access to our garden.

lalalonglegs Sun 25-Sep-16 22:53:12

Ha, ha, ruby, not Islington by any chance?

OP, I think the problem that you will encounter with your scenario is that a staircase with enough space at the top to stand and drink wine will create massive overlooking problems for your downstairs neighbour and, potentially, your other neighbours too so you would need to convince them that this wasn't going to affect their enjoyment of their gardens.

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