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Unconventional Loft Extension

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Mr_Ribble, 20 Sep 2021.

  1. Mr_Ribble

    Mr_Ribble

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    Hi everyone.

    I live in SW London. We did a loft extension a few years ago, standard L shaped dormer on a Victorian terrace with rear outrigger. There must be 20 already on the road and like ours - all built from wood frames with hung tiles that match the roof before.

    Ok so my neighbour bought the property and is doing it up. They are not ones for sticking to the rules. Even though we said we needed a party wall agreement and they agreed, they just inserted all the steels before the survey was even done.

    Anyway, they are making the loft extension out of brick. When I spoke to the planning team they said they had never heard of this, but that's not to say its not legal.

    They know the rules though. The party wall award didnt allow them to build on the party wall, so they've laid a steel parallel and flush with the party wall and just built a single skin brick wall up. On the gable end of the outrigger they have built brickwork up on the existing wall. And then on the side return flank, in order to meet the 20cm back from the eaves rule they have again insterted a steel just inside the existing wall (anchored in one end on the gable end and then attached to the main central steel at the other).

    All the walls are single skin. I find this ludicrous. On the side return wall, they must have built up a good 20 feet in single skin brick work. I would never dream of building a self supported garden wall that high single skin, but will it pass regs because the roof joists will tie it in and so its not going to fall over.

    Planning didnt seem to give me much hope - they said its probably not in the best interest to get them to change. And Building Regs when I spoke to them weren't that interested either.

    Any thoughts..!!
     
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  3. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    If building control approved the plans, there's nothing you can do.
    With regards to the party wall, you can appoint your own surveyor or structural engineer to check for damages and future repercussions on your property.
    They have to pay for the surveyor or SE and make good anything gone wrong.
     
  4. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    Not unusual down my way to build dormers in bricks.
    Nowadays they're allowing properties to be developed by 2 storeys, lots of them around me.
    All in bricks by continuing the original walls up.
     
  5. Mr_Ribble

    Mr_Ribble

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    It just looks really ugly... everyone else has used tiles so it matches the existing slate roofs and now this one house has what you can only describe as being an "elevated council toilet block"

    Thanks - what about the fact its single skinned. Cant understand why they would do it. If they think they are saving space, Im gusessing they will build a stud frame on the inside and insulate.

    I've calculated their volumetric increase and its 42 cubic metres. Doubt the council would tell them to rip it down over 2 cubic metres though
     
  6. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    Exactly.
    They'll probably insulate the inside and board it.
    Unfortunately ugly doesn't mean not compliant.
    Then, unless things have changed, the permitted development volume up to a few years ago was 50m3.
    Don't know if they changed the rules, I'm retired.
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    I'll bet the OP's dormer is hardly a looker ......
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2021
  8. Mr_Ribble

    Mr_Ribble

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    @freddiemercurystwin I never claimed mine was a looker. Dormer's can be particularly ugly yes. But at least we applied for lawfullness of PD, and went through all the right processes.

    Our neighbours dont care about the law and just seem to build at will. When they started we told them to stop till a party wall notice was put in place. When they just carried on they said it was because "the contractors dont speak English or know the rules" ... and we cant stop them. They were working till 6pm on Saturday even though they've already been told by the council they can only work till 1pm. The neighbours said we were delaying their project...

    P.s its 40m3 for terraced houses, and 50m3 for all other,
     
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