Home Conversions

Converting and Improving a house

Q - I am in the process of dividing a two-bedroom split-level maisonette into two one-bedroom flats. I know that I need planning and building
regulations but am uncertain whether my mortgage lender needs to know (we will not immediately be changing the land registry side of the property. I will also be looking for a structural surveyor - what is their governing body?

A - Your mortgage lender would be extremely interested to know that you intended to create two properties from one and you should advise them before you start any work. Also talk to the planners before you spend any money on the project. Contact the Institution of Structural Engineers on 0207 235 6161 and ask for a list of their members in your area.

Garage Conversions

Q - I am thinking of converting our internal garage into a granny flat (small bedroom/dining room with en suite bathroom ). What steps do I have to take to get this project off the ground? My main concerns are over the planning requirements, building regulations, and costs. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

A - Look in your local paper for the heading ‘Plans Drawn' and you will probably find an architectural technician who will prepare the drawings for you and obtain the necessary permissions and approvals. He will charge about £18 to £20 per hour or may quote you a lump sum. Alternatively, look in Yellow Pages under Architectural Services and you will find someone there. You don't really need a firm of architects for a small job like this. The technician would also have a good idea of the likely costs involved.

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