Rectify or replace 1980s loft conversion?

Rectify or replace 1980s loft conversion?

10:25 AM, 27th June 2022, About 2 months ago 7

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Hi Everyone, I bought a dormer bungalow and an indemnity policy for a rear loft conversion (large single, box room & shower room) that received planning permission in 1981 but for which there is no Building Regulations Approval.

The full survey detailed a slight slope in the floor of the corner bedroom of the loft conversion. Three builders have said rectifying the slope is a ‘straightforward case of removing the loft conversion’s internal walls, adjusting the joist height and reinstalling the walls, as per the original layout.’

I intend to sell up within the next 5 years and have read about purchasers reluctance to buy due to the lack of Building Regs, I am in a quandary as to how I should proceed in terms of rectifying the slope. My options seem to be to:

  1. Repair as suggested by builders
  2. Instruct a level 3 structural survey and rectify the issues raised in the report. (Would this require getting the LA building control dept. involved and if so would it void the indemnity policy?)
  3. Replace the entire loft conversion.

What would you advise?

Many thanks

Michele



Comments

NewYorkie View Profile

12:06 PM, 27th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I don't understand why they would need to remove internal walls to level the floor.

Replacing the loft simply to comply with Building Regs seems an unnecessary cost.

Michele Lewis View Profile

16:10 PM, 30th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Thanks for the reply. Regarding levelling from what I can remember the builders said they wouldn’t need to remove the current flooring to assess true extent of the sloping.
As for replacing the loft conversion, won’t not having a having Building Regulation or Regularisation Certificate put buyers off?
I’ve read quite a few stories where buyers are advised to walk away if one of the above certificate aren’t available.
When the time does come for me to sell I would like the process to be as straightforward as possible.

Michele Lewis View Profile

16:12 PM, 30th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Sorry, the builders WOULD, need to remove the flooring….

NewYorkie View Profile

17:40 PM, 30th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michele Lewis at 30/06/2022 - 16:10
I can understand removing and levelling the floor.

Concerning Building Regs, solicitors tend not to worry if the work was done over 10 years ago. But Indemnity Insurance is usually enough if they do cause a fuss. Check with them before you contact the council. If you contact the council first, you can't use Indemnity Insurance.

I sold my previous home without Building Regs. I had effectively demolished it and rebuilt and extended up and out. I had details of all Building Control interim visits and ended up with 2-3 ridiculous requirements which I queried. I didn't hear anything from them for the next 10 years, and gave up trying.

Chris H View Profile

22:43 PM, 30th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Hi Michele

At most in the UK, Council's cannot go back further than 15 years, if you wanted to level the floor (assuming the other levels directly below are not also dropping), then I would either price taking up the internal floor to level the floor (you do not mention how much so guessing not a few mm) and replace.

I have had dealings with a company called https://www.isnag4u.co.uk/, he was working for the other side, as they had a flat above and I reported they had two leaks I had found (tenant let me in to inspect) the owners dad went mad that I had been in the property, they then paid the company above to inspect and report the exact things I had found (I am qualified in F&M as well as a LL) he was very nice and helpful, I can recoommend him but have not used him yet, I plan to do so later this year on one of my other poperties.
Good luck and I hope you get the issues sorted.

Chris

Wyn Burgess

8:29 AM, 2nd July 2022, About 2 months ago

I think you need to get an assessment by a structural or building engineer to determine how much work is needed to achieve retrospective approval. Unless you are lucky it will cost more than carrying out a loft conversion from scratch as replacing beams, replacing the staircase to increasing headroom, adding insulation may well be required etc etc.
This was true of the last conversion I helped with, the client had been let down by a builder who had not bothered getting Building Control in from the start.
You can then get a ball park cost from a contractor and decide whether it is worth carrying out the works. I think without BC approval you can only market the loft as storage though buyers will be quite clear as to the benefit they can make of this 'storage'.

Michele Lewis View Profile

23:36 PM, 5th July 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 30/06/2022 - 17:40
Sorry, what is an F&M?

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