Converting a house into flats- what things to consider?

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  • Converting a house into flats- what things to consider?

    I have been speaking with my builder about the above and he suggests (and is probably right!) that there are loads and loads of regs involved i.e. sound proofing, fire doors etc when converting.

    Can you please let me know all the things to consider when converting i.e. new gas meters (*2), electricity meters (*2), sound proofing, fire doors, etc in order to pass building regs. If they vary amongst councils, I am in the Bristol area...

    Also, would I be granted planning? A couple of other houses in the area appear to be doing this..

    Also, if you could give me any indication of cost, that would also be really helpful.

    I appreciate your help. Thank you kindly,

  • #2
    Originally posted by gunther1 View Post
    I have been speaking with my builder about the above and he suggests (and is probably right!) that there are loads and loads of regs involved i.e. sound proofing, fire doors etc when converting.

    Can you please let me know all the things to consider when converting i.e. new gas meters (*2), electricity meters (*2), sound proofing, fire doors, etc in order to pass building regs. If they vary amongst councils, I am in the Bristol area...

    Also, would I be granted planning? A couple of other houses in the area appear to be doing this..

    Also, if you could give me any indication of cost, that would also be really helpful.

    I appreciate your help. Thank you kindly,
    we have just done it! Well actually we're still doing it 10 months down the line. It has cost us around £120,000.00 so far and we have a builder who cut his costs to the bone because he is a friend. The other thing which may affect whether planning permission is granted is a/ whether you council have a limit on the number of conversions in each road and b/ whether you can provide off street parking of at least one space per flat as many councils won't grant permission unless you can.

    Other than that you will find it is a much bigger job then you expect because as you say the building regs are very complex and require you to do much more than splitting a house into 2 or 3 flats. You also have to get the flats tested for the passage of sound, this is done by acoustic engineeres to assess how sound tavels, not only between your flats but neigbouring properties. We have been quoted all sorts of prices up to £1500.00 for these tests but thy have to be done as the council will require certificates and if they fail you may have to take remedial wction which could be very costly. We have a Victorian house and none of the original windows met the currrent regs so that has cost us a fortune. Just getting the utilities split was astronomical. It cost more than £3000.00 just to get the new metres and stuff done. You need to look very carefully at everything. our builder originally estimated around £65,000 before it was actually costed out in detail and eventually quoted 85,000.00 but with everything it is already £120,000.00.

    good luck whatever you decide

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    • #3
      Hi

      Has anyone worked the opposite way, where you convert two flats within a victiran house into one house?

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        You need to speak with a Professional for advice not a Tradesman.

        Planning Consent, Building Regulations, Party Wall Awards, additionaly utility provisions, drafting of leases, establishing Freehold ownership.

        Planning is most likely to be simple.
        Compliance with the Building Regs will be a ball ache. Use the Full Plans Submission route not the Notice route as this will look better in the conveyencing.
        Party Wall matters should be easy because they are.
        The leases and freeholder ownership arrangements you'll need to speak to a lawer about.
        Dealing with the utility suppliers is a huge ball ache. EDF, for example, don't seem to believe that new connections to the grid are ever made - well that's what the 'New Connections' department told me. Then there's water and gas to fumble through as well.

        A competant Professional - Architect, Architectural Technician, Chartered Building Surveyor, Draughtsman - will be able to tlak through with you everything that is relevant to your project.

        As this is your first project I'd recomend you get all the design information together, get Planning Consent, Apply to Building Control and start any Party Wall stuff before speaking to a builder for quotes.
        There is always scope for misinterpretation.

        If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

        Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

        Comment


        • #5
          converting a house into flats

          I would like to know what the rules are regarding converting a house into two seperate dwellings without trying to get seperate leases or freeholds, but to just convert and rent out as two dwellings, eventualy, if needs be, convert back to a single dwelling. I would like to invest some money in a terrace house without a mortgage and just alter it to two seperate self contained flats .

          Does anyone know if the rules are the same regarding sound proofing and the like when there is no intention of trying to sell as individual flats.

          Comment


          • #6
            You'll need Planning Consent, Building Control Approval, possibly Party Wall Awards for starters.
            There is always scope for misinterpretation.

            If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

            Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sq1 View Post
              Hi

              Has anyone worked the opposite way, where you convert two flats within a victiran house into one house?

              Thanks
              A victiran house???
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              • #8
                A good pointer is 'has anyone else done this in the street' and therefore set a precedent? Go to the planning office and look at the file for that conversion. You can get loads of free ideas that way and also learn of objections and what the planners are looking for. You can even get photocopies of plans etc. sometimes for free.



                Freedom at the point of zero............

                Comment


                • #9
                  Building regulations are difficult,passage of sound is a difficult area that leads to a complex ceiling/floor above construction. That you only really know is successful after you have paid out £1500 or so per pair of flats for the test ,as every conversion is slightly different. Fire regs are easier but still costly. And as previously advised utilities are costly too,but you don't contact your electricity provider, you contact the distribution company.Party wall is easy.
                  For fire regulations ideas just visualise the bottom flat well ablaze and think how the people above will safely leave the building without outside assistance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    house into flats

                    Originally posted by mk1fan View Post
                    You'll need Planning Consent, Building Control Approval, possibly Party Wall Awards for starters.
                    What is the party wall awards all about. Where are fire doors needed. If it was possible to just block off part of the downstairs and fit two front doors, one before the stairs for upstairs and one into the room from a comunal hall, fit kitchens and bathrooms to both floors, Gas to one flat and split the electric via card meters or something then just rent out as two dwellings, is there a problem. I have been told by Lincoln Council that once this has been done more than a year without permission, there is little they can do about it and as long as you are not trying to sell on then thats that. Your comments greatly received. In my area there has been many houses converted into flats this way and have been flats for many years without problem. Your comments greatly received

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Without knowing the property you want to convert, what works are needed and what other works you want to do then Party Wall matters may or may not arise.

                      Fire Safety is not just a matter of fitting fire doors. Proper compartmentation between the flats and the communal areas is very simple but does need to be well considered.

                      The conversions sound horrific. If you wish to ignore Planning and Building Control then that's your choice. It's not a risk I'd take.

                      I don't know the requirements fully but it sounds like you may be creating an HMO requiring a license (as opposes to a non-licensed HMO) which has a whole miriad of requirements and criminal consequences for not meeting them.
                      There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                      If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                      Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        house into flats

                        Why would it be HMO as the flats would be self contained one bedroomed. Surely party wall is all about your neighbours. Converting a house into two flats just to rent out does not envolve works to the neighbour! The house i have my eye on is a three bed terrace. The Hall or passege as it would be is the only part that would be communal. If two external doors were fitted or fire doors to the front room and before the stairs i would have thought that there was nothing else you could do or need to do. The lower flat would have the rear door and a front door for exits and the upper flat would have a front door only. They would be completely seperate without having to alter anything. I hear lots of talk about sound and fire materials but if the only access to the downstairs is through the door that goes to the front room surley there is no need to do anything. Regarding planning or building regs: When the house would be rewired to separate the flats, it would be done to modern building regs and card meters installed so that there is no need to have the expense of having another electric metre fitted by the electric board. I presume there is no way of splitting the gas supply in a similar way to the electric and if thats the case would just have gas to the bottom flat and storage heaters and emersion heater to the upper flat. The idea is not to try to sell them as individual flats but to just rent out as two seperate self contained flats,as the conversion would seem very straight forward to me. I do own a house that was converted about 20 years ago without planning or building regs and it has been rented out ever since without a problem as two self contained flats. I have owned this particular house for about a year but my parents have a similar set up where they have owned their flats about 40 years. Again no planning or building regs. Any job that is done is always done to a proper upto date standard. To me it is common sense but my question realy is that are the rules the same if you are not planning on actualy splitting the property to sell on. For instance regarding sound proofing between floors. Is it necessery if i am not selling on.
                        Again all comments are well received.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ugh. Please try to use paragraphing; 20 unbroken lines is not conducive to anyone replying usefully!
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                          • #14
                            Your right. Point taken.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by amazondean View Post
                              Any job that is done is always done to a proper upto date standard.
                              No, they are not because you're ignoring the Planning and Building Control procedures.

                              I only mentioned Party Wall Awards because you asked what items you may need to consider. If you are doing no works that require Notice under the Party Wall Act then you don't need to give any notices. In the same way if the works don't require Building Control approval you don't need to seek it.

                              Again, I only mention HMO's because from the (very limited) information you have provided I had envisaged a three bed house being converted. This 'could' provide one two and one three bed flat - for example a Tyneside Flat. As you are still claiming to the Council that this is a single dwelling then you could easily get over 5 unrelated person living in it. If the property is only going to provide two 1-bed flats then, again, it's not relevant.

                              It makes no difference if you are selling the properties or not. You will require Planning and Building Control approvals and it will need to meet current standards.

                              Very simply put, Fire Compartmentation primarily depends on how the property is built, out of what materials and where services are run. The actual layout of rooms is secondary.
                              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                              Comment

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