Conversions - General Question

A garage in my property is being converted to a kitchen with no building regs, help!!

Hi

Could anybody help me please? I bought my elderly parents a bungalow 6 years ago as they had some financial difficulties. My dad is a retired builder and has always been pottering around but he has now taken it upon himself to extend the sun room by about 6 foot and convert the garage to a kitchen and he just doesn't care about building regulations. Everything he does is with wood, ie no brickwork and whilst everything is very practical I'm really worried as I've heard that if not done properly it can be illegal, not valid for insurance purposes and can devalue the property. I've been made to feel like I'm interfering for bringing this up and the latest is that I should mind my own business and I can pay for any rectification when they are dead and buried.

Could anybody give me some insight into what they should be doing? In a nutshell:

The garage door has been removed and a timber partition wall has been put in.
The concrete floor has just been tiled over.
The ceiling height is the same as before and it is a flat roof
The actual brick building is not connected to the house other than by various "wooden"makeshift walls that connect to the extended sun room
A window has been put in with just a top opener, ie no means of escape.

The insurance issue in particular is really worrying me, any help and advise would be gratefully accepted.

Many thanks

6 Answers

Best Answer

On the moral side i agree with your father, you should mind your own business and rectify once they are gone.
On a legal side you should pick up the phone and call building control and your insurance company
Note: the odds of a house burning down are about 1 in 1,200 which may be a risk worth taking for the sake of the family relationship

Answered 1st Aug 2011

Michael Murphy Builder

Member since 26 Nov 2009

Hi Daisy
there seems to be some confusion to your question. Planning Permission and Building Regulations are 2 separate things.
For the work to be legal, ie not in breach of building regulations, the work would have to comply with the latest regulations and be approved by a Local Authority officer. This can be done on a Building Notice rather than a plans approval.
If the work does not comply, then it is very likely that this would affect any claim made against an Insurance Company, particularly if there is a problem that adds to fire risk (ie unprotected wooden structures) and means of escape.
The loss adjusters do not take prisoners!
Planning may or may not be required, Building Regs compliance certainly is.
Their are many requirements to make a building comply with regs, other than the issues raised, compliance is the main reason building work is so expensive, and the Building regs have recently changed.
I think all of your concerns are valid, it is no doubt a tricky situation, but perhaps make your father aware of your concerns, particularly relating to the fire and access points.
It may help you to speak to a building control officer off the record, sometimes they will take calls without names details etc but does depend on the individual local council & officers.
Good luck in this regard,
Steve Nicholls
BSc(Hons)Residential Development

Answered 1st Aug 2011

Steve Nicholls Builder

Member since 31 Jul 2008

Hello Daisy.
Planning could also be an issue if you are changing the appear ance. Of the property
The new kitchen will need to be properly insulated and adequate ventilation need
To be in place.
As far as I am aware if the insurance company comes round after a fire for instance and they find out you have not gone through the correct channels that will say you are not covered.
Wesley Lee
W Lee carpentry Ltd

Answered 1st Aug 2011

W Lee Carpentry Limited

Member since 28 Jul 2011

Hi, its quite difficult to give you good answer without seeing that. Anyway you cold do some extension and conversion without permission but you have to inform building control about that, and everything is always depends of area added to the property. In this stage will be the best to speak with any officer from build regs. If all the changes are done correct, should be no problem to get acceptance from council. If you are local to us, i can pop in to site and give you advice after.

Regards
Seb

Answered 1st Aug 2011

ARTspace

Member since 21 Jul 2011

hi timber structures are not a problem they are not classed as permanant cos have no footing wot he is doing is easy reciftyable in years to come would all come out in a day all building regs covers in this area is insulation i would not worry it is just like putting up a shed it is all classed as not permernant if still worried contact your local building control thanks and good luck

Answered 1st Aug 2011

RG CARPENTRY AND BUILDING 24HR LOCKSMITH

Member since 31 Oct 2008

By the sound of your descriptions, none of the work done would meet building regs standard, some of it may have needed planning.
Also all the bits of wood hes added here and there would be a fire hazard.
Are you sure he was a builder.
Best to inform your insurance co, and b/c for at least your own peace of mind.

Answered 1st Aug 2011

B J D BUILDING/ROOFING

Member since 29 Oct 2008

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