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Building Reqs - Conservatory Extension

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by RachScooby, 29 May 2014.

  1. RachScooby

    RachScooby

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    I would like to put my house up for sale soon. However, I had a conservatory built in 2006 which, while planning permission is in place, building regs was never applied for. This is because we decided to knock through into the main house, extending into our dining room and removing the thermal barrier. I knew building regs would not allow for this, so never applied for certification. The supporting walls were fitted with regulation spec RSJ's and I have photos of the work that was carried out.

    However, this now presents a problem. To sell, I will either have to supply for retrospective Building Regs - which I won't get because of the loss of thermal barrier. Or, I chance that a surveyor will conduct a full structural survey to confirm the works were done correctly. Has anyone come across similar situations before and offer any thoughts?

    I really don't want to have to put the wall back, or fit thermal spec doors as it will ruin the room - which is our biggest USP!

    I looked into the Indemnity Insurance route - that is useless because it only covers for enforcements of planning and building regs - unlikely due to the age of the works completed.


    Thanks
     
  2. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Which surely should not have come as a surprise?

    You've had 8 years to come up with a plan to mitigate the effect on the sale of non-compliant work.


    It's caveat emptor. You have photos, and as you say "the supporting walls were fitted with regulation spec RSJ's" you must have calculations from a SE which came up with the spec for the steels.

    It will be up to your buyers to decide if they want to buy the house as it is, and with the documentation it has, or not.
     
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  3. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    You can take out an indemnity policy against future action taken by Building Control, which might satisfy a buyer's solicitor.

    Although Building Control can't take readily action against it now anyway, as it's too long ago.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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  4. RachScooby

    RachScooby

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    Thanks, I knew a risk would be taken in not applying for regs in the first place, so it isn't a surprise at all. It's a case now of thinking of the best resolution to this prior to putting the house up for sale. I have approx 8-12 months to consider my options.
     
  5. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Don't let some dozy solicitor bounce you into buying a useless indemnity policy.

    Do what you can to show the structural integrity of the work.

    Await buyers with common sense.
     
  6. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    Agreed that they're not worth a fat lot, but they can pacify a buyer's solicitor (or more likely, "legal executive") a lot more cheaply than rebuilding your house to satisfy Building Control

    You're not going to get either Building Control or a SE to say very much about it without ripping it apart to expose the structure.

    A lot of buyers know nothing about buildings, and go by the advice given by their legal bods.

    Personally I'd leave things as they are, but be prepared to take out an indemnity policy if a buyer kicks up a stink. Hopefully you'll find a clued-up one, and they won't.

    I don't know if this helps, but when we sold a house in 2007, the buyer's solicitor wanted to know if we had PP or BR for a tiny shower room extension that dated from the 1980s... I already knew the local BCO from a recent loft conversion, and he was helpful enough to send an email pointing out that the period for enforcement had expired. The other side then also dropped the question about PP. We sold the house.

    Cheers
    Richard

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  7. richardrich79

    richardrich79

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    If I were you I would just wait and see what questions any potential buyers ask, then take it from there.
    We sold our 16th century cottage last year and were asked no end of totally irrelevant questions. Building regs change all the time and common sense needs to be applied. If there's an issue the buyer can cover themselves with rip-off insurance.
     
  8. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    They only cover the costs of dealing with enforcement action, and in this case there cannot be any. They do not provide any cover for costs of rebuilding/repairing flaky work.

    Any solicitor who tells his client that all he needs with respect to unauthorised building work done 8 years ago is being derelict in his duty.


    I was thinking more about evidence of what was done at the time to design the structure properly. (SE calcs from then, for example), and photos to show that it was actually done that way.


    Indeed, but the fact that it has stood for 8 years, with (presumably?) no evidence of anything failing, must register with most people's common sense.

    It is, however, a nice stick for a buyer to use to beat the price down.
     
  9. RachScooby

    RachScooby

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    I agree that the indemnity insurance isn't worth anything - only way we'd agree to that is if that was the only thing stopping the sale - such as the mortgage provider refusing to supply mortgage to the seller without one.

    We have photos to show all the work was completed, shows all the acroprops used while the joints went in, etc. Although I suspect an SE will still want us to rip the wall off for a look, just because they can (and a 'serve you right' attitude I expect).
     
  10. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    How wide is the opening and is it obvious that a RSJ has been put in there?

    I wouldn't have thought your average home surveyor would even notice it and would just pick up that there is no door between the house and conservatory.

    You could get a few quotes to instal some doors and offer to put some in if a buyer requests it.

    Or do you have to declare that an RSJ has been fitted?
     
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