On this site there is advice and info on all aspects of building a loft conversion but there is also another resource that the homeowner should make full use of. Their local council.
Fighting through the red-tape of the council’s building regulations is something that many are weary of.
Yet it is essential not only to comply with the law but also as a great source of information.
Making a building regulations application not only keeps the householder on the right side of the law it brings him into contact with the council’s building control officers.
The council’s officers have to approve your plans before any work is done on your loft.
Don’t look at this as interference – they do this to ensure that your plans comply with the law and are safe.
If they make any recommendations for change you can be assured they will benefit your project.
A fee is payable when an application is made but that fee is returned many times with the loft conversion information and help you receive from the council and their building control department.
Once your plans are approved and work begins the council’s building officers will make regular site inspections to ensure the work being carried out by your builders is of a high standard and according to your submitted plans.
Again, don’t see this as interference but a valuable source of loft conversion information.
Visits by your council’s building inspector is a tremendous safeguard and an added insurance for the homeowner that their builder is doing a good job. The value of this is immeasurable and will bring the homeowner great peace of mind.
Every now and again a horror story appears in the media or on TV about a loft conversion which has gone horribly wrong and cost the householder thousands of pounds.
Any sympathy for the householders in these situations should be tempered because, almost every time, they did not get the correct, or indeed any, building regulations approval.
If they had – their building inspector would have ensured the work was completed properly.
Trying to short-cut the system by using a builder who is not bothered about getting approval from the council’s BCS is a massive risk. Don’t be tempted.
Use your council. Ring them and make use of them. They are a great and usually untapped source of advice.
And, if you really don’t want to work with the council then you can appoint an independent inspector who will fulfill the same functions as the building inspector from the local authority.
For more info see the related pages below