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    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 80Posts
    • 62Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    Buying a house with 30 year side extension, no planning/building regs
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    Buying a house with 30 year side extension, no planning/building regs 2nd Dec 17 at 5:03 PM
    Hi

    I have had an offer accepted on a house that has an existing single story side extension running from front to back of the house. The extension is over 30 years old and was there when the current vendor bought it.

    The problem is there is no paper work or record of planning permission. I am worried be that the foundations may not meet current building standards.

    In addition to this, my plan is to build another storey on top of the existing extension and I’m worried that:
    a) the foundations may not be strong enough
    b) the council may refuse due because the ordination extension has no paper work.

    Does anyone have any experience in this area or advise?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 2nd Dec 17, 5:10 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 1,254 Thanks
    Grenage
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:10 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:10 PM
    The foundations won't meet current standards, but might meet the standards of 30 years ago. It's unlikely it was built with a double storey in mind.

    You'd need an investigation to know what is there; unfortunately nobody here knows how it's constructed. I would assume that it would need to be removed and replaced.
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    I was thinking the same.... more £££’s
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 2nd Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    JoJo1978
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    Re: planning, have you asked the vendor what issues were raised by their solicitor when they purchased the property?

    Planning permission may not have been required depending on the size and use. If it was needed it's also possible to get building control sign off but unlikely it will meet current regs.

    Is there any local precedent for two storey extensions? If not it may be harder to gain permission, regardless of whether you can build on top of existing or need to start again.
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
    Mortgage free since 2015; Pension pot sorted 2017
    Second career (what TBD!) 2018
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 2nd Dec 17, 5:30 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 4,572 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:30 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:30 PM
    If you have to demolish what is there because the walls aren't strong enough to hold up a second storey and the foundations are not deep enough either then it is going to cost you more to build an extension onto the house than it will to just buy a bigger house to start with.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 2nd Dec 17, 5:39 PM
    • 24,085 Posts
    • 66,697 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:39 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 17, 5:39 PM
    To answer your questions, I’ll go with (b) first. They won’t mind or care. They won’t refuse anything on that basis. It’s neither here nor there, but you are improving what is there so it makes little sense to refuse anything anyway.

    The extension could fall under Permitted Development anyway and current Building Regulations were only introduced a little over 30 years ago so it may pre-date them. Even if it had sign off, regs in the 80s fell far short of the present ones.

    (a). Even with relevant permissions in place, the foundations may not be sufficient for two storeys. You would need to dig trial holes to establish the present depth.

    One wouldn’t necessarily demolish the existing extension if foundations weren’t sufficient. Underpinning is a distinct possibility, depending on how good the present extension is.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 6:10 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:10 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:10 PM
    Re: planning, have you asked the vendor what issues were raised by their solicitor when they purchased the property?
    Originally posted by JoJo1978
    Have done - awaiting a response..
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 6:13 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:13 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:13 PM
    Is there any local precedent for two storey extensions? If not it may be harder to gain permission, regardless of whether you can build on top of existing or need to start again.
    Originally posted by JoJo1978
    Yes there is. A little further down on the same road there are a few that have done exactly that with planning permission .
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 6:17 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:17 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:17 PM
    If you have to demolish what is there because the walls aren't strong enough to hold up a second storey and the foundations are not deep enough either then it is going to cost you more to build an extension onto the house than it will to just buy a bigger house to start with.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    But it wont have the double drive and sizeable garden - I have factored the cost of this into the price offered
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 6:20 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    Even with relevant permissions in place, the foundations may not be sufficient for two storeys. You would need to dig trial holes to establish the present depth.

    One wouldn’t necessarily demolish the existing extension if foundations weren’t sufficient. Underpinning is a distinct possibility, depending on how good the present extension is.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Thanks - I hope so. Well it is still standing after 30+ years...
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Dec 17, 8:05 PM
    • 42,309 Posts
    • 49,156 Thanks
    G_M
    Neither the Planning issue, nor the Building Regs issue, are relevant to the seller or the value of the property.

    They are entirely personal matters related to your own future plans for the property, so are entirely at your risk. Nothing to do with the seller.

    Will you get/need Planning consent for a 2nd storey?
    * Read up on 'Permitted developement'.
    * if it falls outside PD, then investigate local Planning. Is it a Conservation Area? What other factor affect the 2nd storey (eg how near the boundary is it?)? Have other properties done similar? Make an appointment with a Planner for a pre-planning enquiry

    Will the footings support a 2nd storey?
    Can only be determined by a structural engineer and investigation of the existing foundations. Whether the current owners will permit such an excavation is up to them, but unlikely. Ask?
    • FTBuyerGlasgow
    • By FTBuyerGlasgow 2nd Dec 17, 9:21 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    FTBuyerGlasgow
    If you did a trial dig it would help establish if the foundations are suitable.

    In certain ground conditions a reinforced 200 thick strip foundation will hold up a two storey house.

    I'd be amazed if anyone did an extension with less than 200 thick foundations, even 30 odd years ago.

    I'm a Quantity Surveyor of 12 years, so I know what I'm talking about.

    Hope this helps, feel free to DM me.
    Started out with nothing, still got most of it left.
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 9:58 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    Will you get/need Planning consent for a 2nd storey?
    * Read up on 'Permitted developement'.
    * if it falls outside PD, then investigate local Planning. Is it a Conservation Area? What other factor affect the 2nd storey (eg how near the boundary is it?)? Have other properties done similar? Make an appointment with a Planner for a pre-planning enquiry

    Will the footings support a 2nd storey?
    Can only be determined by a structural engineer and investigation of the existing foundations. Whether the current owners will permit such an excavation is up to them, but unlikely. Ask?
    Originally posted by G_M
    I know that a two storey extension falls outside of PD and as a result I will need planning permission.
    Yes there is presidence set by similar houses in the road with two storey extensions.

    In relation to meeting with a planner for a pre-planning enquiry - Can this be done before the house is bought? I assume I would have to own it??
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 10:03 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    If you did a trial dig it would help establish if the foundations are suitable.

    In certain ground conditions a reinforced 200 thick strip foundation will hold up a two storey house.

    I'd be amazed if anyone did an extension with less than 200 thick foundations, even 30 odd years ago.

    I'm a Quantity Surveyor of 12 years, so I know what I'm talking about.

    Hope this helps, feel free to DM me.
    Originally posted by FTBuyerGlasgow
    That’s promising.. I will, Thanks very much
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 2nd Dec 17, 10:12 PM
    • 365 Posts
    • 530 Thanks
    Slithery
    In relation to meeting with a planner for a pre-planning enquiry - Can this be done before the house is bought? I assume I would have to own it??
    Originally posted by Bobby2k2
    Ownership has no relevance at all to planning permission.

    I could apply for planning permission on your house now if I wanted to.
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 2nd Dec 17, 10:27 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    Oh really?? Didn’t know that.. that’s useful!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 2nd Dec 17, 10:44 PM
    • 24,085 Posts
    • 66,697 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    If you did a trial dig it would help establish if the foundations are suitable.

    In certain ground conditions a reinforced 200 thick strip foundation will hold up a two storey house.

    I'd be amazed if anyone did an extension with less than 200 thick foundations, even 30 odd years ago.

    I'm a Quantity Surveyor of 12 years, so I know what I'm talking about.

    Hope this helps, feel free to DM me.
    Originally posted by FTBuyerGlasgow

    But it won’t meet regulations for a new extension.

    The purpose of strip footings being in excess of 1 metre is the quest for solid ground. Ground moves; some more more than others. We’ve worked on plenty of houses with virtually no footings to speak of. Houses do stand, but they’re at the mercy of the ground they’re sat on, not the depth of concrete.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 02-12-2017 at 10:48 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 3rd Dec 17, 7:17 AM
    • 30,819 Posts
    • 18,425 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Hi

    I have had an offer accepted on a house that has an existing single story side extension running from front to back of the house. The extension is over 30 years old and was there when the current vendor bought it.

    The problem is there is no paper work or record of planning permission. I am worried be that the foundations may not meet current building standards.

    In addition to this, my plan is to build another storey on top of the existing extension and I’m worried that:
    a) the foundations may not be strong enough
    b) the council may refuse due because the ordination extension has no paper work.

    Does anyone have any experience in this area or advise?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Bobby2k2
    The whole house(older than the extension by ?) is probably on foundations not up to current building standards.

    The extension could be on better foundations than the rest of the house(might still not be suitable for a second story).
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 3rd Dec 17, 12:34 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 4,572 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    To answer your questions, I’ll go with (b) first. They won’t mind or care. They won’t refuse anything on that basis. It’s neither here nor there, but you are improving what is there so it makes little sense to refuse anything anyway.

    The extension could fall under Permitted Development anyway and current Building Regulations were only introduced a little over 30 years ago so it may pre-date them. Even if it had sign off, regs in the 80s fell far short of the present ones.

    (a). Even with relevant permissions in place, the foundations may not be sufficient for two storeys. You would need to dig trial holes to establish the present depth.

    One wouldn’t necessarily demolish the existing extension if foundations weren’t sufficient. Underpinning is a distinct possibility, depending on how good the present extension is.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Underpinning will show up on any future surveys for sale and may reduce the value of the property.

    I still can't see how this can be cheaper than buying purpose built house at the size you want. People extend because it is cheaper than moving if they have owned the house for several years. Your idea fails on the extending because it is cheaper than moving because you are wanting to move to this house to extend it. If this stacked up financially no one would buy an extended house they would all buy one that hadn't already been extended and do their own extensions.
    • Bobby2k2
    • By Bobby2k2 3rd Dec 17, 6:29 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bobby2k2
    Underpinning will show up on any future surveys for sale and may reduce the value of the property.

    I still can't see how this can be cheaper than buying purpose built house at the size you want. People extend because it is cheaper than moving if they have owned the house for several years. Your idea fails on the extending because it is cheaper than moving because you are wanting to move to this house to extend it. If this stacked up financially no one would buy an extended house they would all buy one that hadn't already been extended and do their own extensions.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    It's because the house is not being for bought for the full market value in the first place so this is where the saving will be made. I would not be considering it if it didn't stack up financially.

    Construction for the extension will not commence until after the next two years or so subject to planning and when we can take out some equity to help fund it. In addition to this, the house is in London where prices are already exceptionally high, buying an extended house in our case would be far more expensive due to the location and stamp duty (as this would be an additional property).
    Last edited by Bobby2k2; 03-12-2017 at 7:05 PM.
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