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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:43 pm 
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hi i live in n. ireland (uk).

i'm looking to buy a bungalow that has a 2 bedroom loft conversion.

the conversion was nearly completed about 12 years ago but was not issued with a building certificate due to the builder not fitting the correct fire window with regards to size & height above the floor in one of the rooms - he did fit another window but messed it up again but would not rectify his mistake - i've been shown the letters from building control regarding the issue.

unfortunately the owner had domestic problems etc that have only now been resolved.

the owner is afraid to approach building control in case they force him to build to new regs - he has no money.

i'm sure the building regs have changed but can anyone please advise as to whether or not fire proof flooring and/or doors would now be required with regards to a bungalow loft conversion or supply any further advice.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:31 am 
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If you buy you inherit the defects and you will have to rectify them without recourse to the previous owner. This is not just a case of trying to get a Certificate of Lawfulness, it is a matter of record that cannot be ignored in my opinion. If you want to continue then I would suggest that you get a good builder to quote for the work needed to bring it to an acceptable standard to meet regulations. This will all trip up the conveyance as the owner has to show that all alterations meet planning and building regs with documentary proof. Any mortgagee will expect it all to be correct.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:17 am 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
If you buy you inherit the defects and you will have to rectify them without recourse to the previous owner. This is not just a case of trying to get a Certificate of Lawfulness, it is a matter of record that cannot be ignored in my opinion. If you want to continue then I would suggest that you get a good builder to quote for the work needed to bring it to an acceptable standard to meet regulations. This will all trip up the conveyance as the owner has to show that all alterations meet planning and building regs with documentary proof. Any mortgagee will expect it all to be correct.

DWD


hi - thanks for your reply & i appreciate what you're saying but are you saying that new plans would be required?

basically i need to know how the conversion stands at the minute regarding fire regs - i've been told "unofficially" that a single story bungalow does not require a fire proof floor but might require doors - if either the owner or myself approach building control then they would probably ask about specific details regarding the property.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:36 am 
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My understanding is that a two story building does not need fire doors it is when it goes up to three floors that this added fire protection is needed. However, all two story houses have to have a window that provides the opportunity to get out in case of fire. I do not think this is a planning matter, it is simply conforming to building regulations to get a completion certificate. As I said, a legal conveyance to you will require the seller to provide this paper trail and without it, it is doubtful that a mortgage can be secured (if needed). I can see the concern you have with building control getting involved but it really is not your problem, it is the current owner, and you can modify your offer in view of the remedial work that might be necessary to get a completion notice.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:28 pm 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
My understanding is that a two story building does not need fire doors it is when it goes up to three floors that this added fire protection is needed. However, all two story houses have to have a window that provides the opportunity to get out in case of fire. I do not think this is a planning matter, it is simply conforming to building regulations to get a completion certificate. As I said, a legal conveyance to you will require the seller to provide this paper trail and without it, it is doubtful that a mortgage can be secured (if needed). I can see the concern you have with building control getting involved but it really is not your problem, it is the current owner, and you can modify your offer in view of the remedial work that might be necessary to get a completion notice.

DWD


thanks again.

i found the following from my local building control office regarding loft/attic conversions & would it appear from my interpretation that fire proof flooring would be required?

i would be very grateful if you could have a quick look at it & see what you think - it's only a few pages.

http://www.buildingcontrol-ni.com/assets/pdf/converting-your-attic.pdf

cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:34 pm 
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I'd ring Building Control.

In MY experience, they are not demons out to penalise you or make your life hell. I've had cause to work with three so far and I've got to say, I can't say anything but positive things about them.

I'd give them a ring, explain what the issue is and ask for their advice. Despite what you find on the internet or who says what, they will have the final say regardless, so why not just ask them from the outset?

If you end up getting the place, it's not like you'll be able to say "well, I'm not doing that....someone on the Internet said it'll be OK".

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:46 pm 
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Well my understanding, and as Billy says above, it is only an opinion most of the requirements are common sense construction methods you would want for your own safety. The floor must cover all the area to prevent fire creeping by the edges or uncovered areas from below. I agree that I would have a chat with Building Control, you do not have to give the address, you could just ask their opinion on the situation and detect which way the wind is blowing from the conversation. To be fair there are loads of houses sold where there is a non compliant loft conversions but these are generally sold as ' a boarded loft for storage' it only becomes an issue when it is sold as having two extra bedrooms and it does not have the proper paperwork in place.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:58 am 
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thanks for your replies.

i'm very interested in the property but as the owner is still afraid to contact BC regarding the conversion i guess i'll either have to do it or just forget about it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:51 am 
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Good luck with it all do let us know. It worries me a bit they are worried about asking - you'll be the one who inherits the problem though. For me, it rings alarm bells.......

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