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It is possible to do the work to your loft conversion without drawings but you would still need to supply structural calculations in most circumstances for the council to be sure it was going to be structurally sound. E.g. the new joist in the loft must be capable of supporting the roof, the new floor and any additional weight this may incur.
This is the most widely known and used option, where scaled plans clearly indicating the proposed constructional details and where necessary supporting structural calculations, have to be submitted.
A Building Control Surveyor will check the plans for compliance with the Building Regulations. Any queries or problems will be conveyed to you or your agent (if applicable) at a time when they can easily be corrected and when these are resolved an approval notice is issued.
full plans option
Advantages of this system are that you receive a formal approval notice, which can be presented to financial institutions, solicitors, surveyors, etc when seeking loans or moving house. Also you have the assurance that provided the work is carried out in accordance with the approved plans the Building Regulations will be satisfied and this can save expensive mistakes.
After plan approval when the works start, Building Control Surveyors will carryout various Site Inspections to determine that the building works being undertaken complies with the Building Regulations.
Under this option no detailed plans are required and once the notice has been submitted you have to wait only 48 hours before starting the work. The total fee for the work has to be paid when the Building Notice is submitted.
This procedure is useful for carrying out smaller projects, such as bathroom installations, minor structural alterations and small domestic extensions. It does rely on the person undertaking the work having some familiarity with Building Regulation requirements or you risk having to correct works after inspection. Close co-operation is required with yourself and/or your builder and the Building Control Surveyor who will visit to inspect the works at various stages, appropriate to the works being undertaken.
No formal approval is given on a Building Notice procedure, nor do you receive the same protection afforded by the Full plans procedure. The whole process of making sure your work complies with the Building Regulations is carried out at the site inspection stage and falls on you or your builder's shoulders. This has one major disadvantage, if a problem is found by your Building Control Surveyor on his/her inspections, it will usually be after you have carried out a significant amount of work, which you may then have to take down and do again.
Please note that even if you choose to submit a plan with a Building Notice Application it will not be checked, the only way to get an approved plan on which you can rely is to make a full plans application.
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