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Building Regs- Do I need to call Building Control?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by MegKez, 30 Jul 2015.

  1. MegKez

    MegKez

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    Hi all,

    I am going round in circles at the moment. The council wont tell me anything without charging me for it! We live in a Victorian terrace and have spend the last (almost) 2 years slowly uncovering disaster building work as we go about fully renovating the house.

    We have a standard width UPVC back door with no glass in it which was clearly put in by someone who hasn't got a clue what they are doing. It is an external (obviously) load bearing wall with the bathroom above. There is a settlement crack leading from the top of the door right the way up to the sill of the window above (concrete, also cracked!). What we want to do is widen the doorway to install a set of patio doors (184cm wide). It's a huge room but it's really dark so we want to let in as much natural light as possible. The brick pier next to the current door has been hacked at far too much and isn't substantial enough to support a steel lintel. We want to put in steel uprights either side of the door to support the RSJ as there just isn't enough solid brickwork to do it.

    My question is, do we need planning for this? and do we need to call BC?
     
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    You won't need planning for this unless the house is listed.

    You will need Building Control approval as it is a structural change.
     
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  4. MegKez

    MegKez

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    Thanks for the tip. Do I apply for this pre or post work?
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Why don't you just engage a professional to advise you on all the issues there, not just if you need permission to form a doorway?
     
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  6. MegKez

    MegKez

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    Hi Woody,


    Thanks for the response

    It's a widening of an existing doorway, not the formation of a new doorway. I've had several bad experiences with engaging professionals and got absolutely sc****d by surveyors when we purchased the property. They missed numerous issues which we would have caused us to pull out of the purchase had they actually detected them. We unfortunately only uncovered them after completion and have learned a lot from the terrible experience. The worst example being forking out for a timber and damp survey, being told the floor joists in the kitchen were fine (they lifted the floor!) but we would need to replace some of the boards or alternatively fill the whole thing with concrete, which they were very happy to quote for. We went on to discover dry rot in every single joist. I have since been very reluctant to engage any professionals at a cost. It's a big project which we are struggling to fund because of the unforeseen issues we uncovered. The last thing I want to do is engage a professional, spend money on it, and then have it all go pear shaped. I know this kitchen like the back of my hand now. It's been completely stripped back to the shell so I know what all the issues are and what needs to be done to rectify them. I just needed to know who I need to ask permission from to do it so that I can be confident I'm not breaking any rules.
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    If you want to do anything other than insert a conventional lintel then Building Control will likely expect some calcs to back up your proposals and to say you'll never employ another professional just because you had a crap survey is plain daft. if only you'd stumbled across this forum before you bought your house.

    You apply before you've done the work, or are about to.

    Whenever you're renovating a property, unless you're really on the ball, you can probably add 50% or more to your original budget.
     
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  8. MegKez

    MegKez

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    I never said never, just that I have my reservations. As a first time buyer with very little surplus cash, It's still raw! I can't tell you how helpful the internet has been! My father is a retired builder and things have changed a lot since he was working and began to lose his marbles a bit. He said the same as you re: Building Control but told me it's best to check with someone who is more aware of current legislation. Really appreciate all the advice, and quite! maybe I would have saved myself a lot of stress if I'd found this sooner. It's a labour of love though. I will look into the calcs, I'm guessing that's the job of a structural engineer?...

    It's all a bit complicated if you ask me! Especially as I know what an improvement it is going to make to the current structure. The law's the law though I guess.

    Re: budget. We noticed! I have done some great plastering and re-pointing over the last few months! I think I'm in the wrong job. I'm not scared of giving some things a go myself which has saved us considerable amounts of money.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jul 2015
  9. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    It’s not that complicated.
    1. You speak to some SE’s (choose a one man) if you can get him adequate information size of existing opening, materials etc and what you want to do, maybe a fairly accurate sketch and some photos, then chances are he won’t need to visit which will reduce costs significantly. Be clear about what you want to achieve and that you’re DIYing so his design needs to be practical for DIYing. Make it clear you want all structural aspects of the new works you are proposing and his calcs etc to comply with the building regs.
    2. He gives you some calcs/a sketch.
    3. You order the steel, lintel etc.
    4. You appoint Building Control, you have to pay them now, ask for a certificate at the end, send them your SE’s calcs/sketch to check.
    5. They inspect when everything structural is in place but is all still visible.
    6. Assuming he’s satisfied with your work and your SE’s calcs are OK he signs it off and issues certificate.
     
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  11. MegKez

    MegKez

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    That's great,

    Thanks for your help
     
  12. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    I'm still trying to think of 7-letter rude words that start with 'sc' and end with 'd'
     
  13. noseall

    noseall

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    s.c.e.n.t.e.d....?
     
  14. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Ah yes, the rudest of them all
     
  15. MegKez

    MegKez

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    Screw..I wasn't sure what the rules are. Didn't want to get reported on my first post!
     
  16. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    I think you can use 'screw' on a DIY forum without fear of causing offence. After all DIYers do a lot of screwing.
     
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  17. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Ahh yes, DIYnot.com the home where a nambipamby softly softly approach is taken by our poor little mods and the best language in the world is slowly being destroyed. You appear to be able to say screwed though so not sure what the OP said.

    Though denying the holocaust is ok remember.
     
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