When planning a DIY house project either because you want to increase the value of your home or because there is something that needs to be done urgently is a daunting task, especially when you haven’t done it before; however, this is even more complicated when planning permission is needed to carry out the home alteration of your DIY project; this is not a simple step and in many situations puts many people off due to the complexity and lack of understanding of what it really involves.
Even when many people believe that planning permission is just one more bureaucracy process; the idea is to create a hazard free environment in your home and in many cases, to avoid affecting in a negative way the surrounding environment.
Structural Changes to your House
1. The concept is simple: if you are making structural alterations to your home; such as adding an extra load, creating extra floor space, knocking down a load-bearing wall or any other kind of supporting work then you might need planning permission approval.
2. In many cases, when you knock down an internal door; the chances are that they are not load-bearing; however, this is something you need to confirm and the best way to do it is by calling an structural engineer who will be able to confirm the wall structure; the structural report is also an important record to keep with you once you decide to move houses, as any alteration needs to be documented, especially if it is a leasehold home; in this case, approval from the leaseholder is definitely needed.
3. Creating an extra window or door is subject to approval as this is definitely a structural change to your home.
4. Any significant changes made to the exterior of your home will definitely need planning permission approval as the authorities are trying to determine if the change will affect in a negative way the view of the street and community; also, they want to make sure that the neighbours are happy with the changes; for example, the extension you are planning to do might block direct sunshine to your neighbours’ garden.
5. Any alteration to a grade listed building might be extremely difficult to be approved; also, you might want to check the deeds to your house, as there might be restrictions in what you can or cannot alter.
6. Any major changes must be approved by the leaseholders if your property is not freehold.
7. Internal changes such as staircases, windows, size of rooms and others might involve some degree of approval in terms of a hazard free environment: fire regulations and safety in the way the staircases were modified.
8. Building regulations need to be considered when installing or changing plumbing and heating systems in your house.