Preparing to relocate bathroom, things I should know?

12 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

I've been browsing through the forum as I need to make some fairly big changes to my house, some of the posts have made me more aware than ever that I need to ask questions before doing anything!

The house I live in is a very small 200yr old stone semi-detached cottage. It has all sorts of problems with holes in the walls and no heating. Thankfully I managed to sort out a very bad case of damp quite easily. To anyone else it's uninhabitable, but I lost my career a couple of years ago due to illness and I consider myself lucky that I managed to find somewhere I could buy with cash! :D (Okay, I admit it, it's a living nightmare for the moment!) The house is semi-detached and 5m by 5.5m. To make matters worse, the house backs onto another's garden, so windows (and light) are at a minimum. There are two windows to the front of the house, and one small (and inset) window to the back.

I felt I should explain all the above so you can get an idea of how much work is required and that I'd need to do some major damage to make more of a mess! :)

To make the most of the space, I intend to move all the internal walls (none of which are load-bearing, easy to tell when there's more hole than wall) and essentially reverse the house. This way the lounge will use one of the large front windows, the bedroom the other, and the bathroom the small window to the back. The rooms will be flipped only front-to-back, not diagonally.

I think the easiest way, considering the amount of space I have to work/live in, would be to move the bathroom first. Unfortunately I'm expecting this to be the most difficult job. It's a new suite I want to fit.

The part I'm most nervous of is the toilet. Having looked at the floorboards though, the pipes will all run with the joists (important because the waster pipes will all need to run underneath the house). I'm aware I need a minimum diameter for each of the pipes, with minimum and maximum drops. That's all easy to search for in the forum so don't worry, I'm not going to ask! :) And I hope to extend the current pipes, so no need to ask about connecting to the stack etc. I am concerned though that there will be something not so obvious that I need to be aware of, something to turn a happy this-job-isn't-so-bad face to an oh-my-god face. What about regulations, I've been told that I don't need planning permission if there are no structural or external changes. I admit it wasn't from a qualified source though. One thing that occurred to me is the (future) bathroom window looking over a garden belonging to another house, perhaps there would be a problem with that? Would the local council need to approve work before the job starts and after completion? Any previous installation faults I need to look for before starting work? Is 5metres too far for a waste pipe to run, in which case I shall place the suite against an internal wall to reduce the run length.

Sorry for the long and generalised post. If it's asking too much I'll have to get the council round, I'm sure that would be the most suitable route to go down for the moment. It's only because I get panic attacks around others, and am ashamed of the kind of conditions I have to live in for the moment. I can't think of any more information that would be important. Oh, I live in Scotland if that makes any difference to the regulations. I don't mind being directed to a book I should buy or something if that's the easiest way this can all be answered.

I suppose this is a how to prepare and things to look out for post. I appreciate many of you are paid to do just the type of work I'm intending to do, so I'll be very thankful even for "read this and that" type answers.

Many thanks.

(Just noticed the unfortunate initials of my login name. Oh well, lol)
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