Extending up on a block of flats?

by Readers Question

11:05 AM, 12th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Extending up on a block of flats?

Make Text Bigger
Extending up on a block of flats?

Our block of flats is 3 stories tall and semi-detached to a 2 story house. The ground floor is a communal entry, and a tunnel through the carpark.extension

We are 50% freehold owners, and both us and the other freeholder agree that we would like to extend up if we can. Ideally we would like to add additional floor/s with standalone flat/s to the building.

Before proceeding I’m aware there are restrictions on how many floors you can add without the need for a lift, so the first question is how many floors we would be allowed.

In addition, I also wanted to explore using the space in the roof for the top floor flat, so wanted to find out when you reach the limit of the floors allowed from the communal stairwell, whether you can then have additional stairs/floor within the top flat (like a loft conversion), making the flat split level. Depending on the regulations, the options as we see it are as follows:

Option 1: Adding 1 new floor / standalone flat
Option 2: Adding 1 new floor / standalone flat, and in addition converting the roof so that the new flat has a second floor.
Option 3: Adding two new floors, each a standalone flat
Option 4: Adding two new floors, each a standalone flat, and in addition converting the roof so that the top flat has a second floor.

Any advice on what the limits are for extending upwards would be greatly appreciated.

Simon



Comments

Graham Bowcock

12:53 PM, 12th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Dear Simon

This sounds like an interesting project with many aspects to it. I think the best thing you could do is engage a local surveyor with experience of such matters to give you good practical advice; they will have an eye to the planning rules and building regulations as well as local issues and, probably, even the commercial side to your proposal.

You may be able to persuade a surveyor to visit you and have an informal chat at a nil or minimal cost, especially if they thought there was a job at the end of it. The advice really needs to be specific to your property and your area; I suspect that members' views on here will be many and varied and not all up to date!

Good luck

Graham

Puzzler

21:56 PM, 12th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Are there 3 flats? You would have to involve the third one even if they are not party to the freehold. You would need a good structural surveyor, almost certainly a lift, an architect, solicitor, planning permission.

Adam Sturdy

22:06 PM, 12th September 2016
About 2 years ago

Agree with Graham above.
I would start with a chat with a planner (either local authority or consultant), and search on local planning portal to see what else has been done in the area. Check for heights in the area, and if it would 'fit-in', plus can the work be done without impacting the other flats.

Then a structural survey/engineers report to see if the foundations can support the extra weight. This will likely involve some inspection pits to see the foundations (unless you have the building drawings). Ultimately your foundations and budget, plus local planning regs are the 3 main factors to what you can do.
Then chat with an architect / designer.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

BTL property pick

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More