Considering a basement extension to your property?
May 3, 2017
Improve, don’t move. It’s become something of a mantra for modern living.
And one of the options for people who need more space or a better configuration is to dig down. Basement extensions can be a great way of creating new rooms and adding value to properties. But they are substantial projects and, as with all developments, they come with strict rules.
This is partly about ensuring that the work is authorised and is carried out safely and properly. It’s also about respecting neighbouring properties, and making sure that you’re not impinging on the rights of others.
Some of the major things to consider at the outset of a basement extension are around regulatory controls and legal compliance.
Firstly, are you going to need planning permission for the work? This comes down to the nature of your property and the type and extent of the changes you’re looking to make. Get professional advice on this, and hold off from carrying out any work until you have the approval in place, or written confirmation that it is not needed.
Secondly, will you need a Party Wall Act agreement? If your extension will involve (a) building on the boundary between your property and a neighbour’s property; or (b) work to an existing party wall or party structure; or (c) excavation near to and below a neighbour’s foundation, then the Party Wall Act will apply. You will need to give your neighbour notice of your plan and it’s for them to decide whether to agree or disagree your proposed development.
Thirdly, building regulations approval. This is about the way in which a property has been constructed and altered. It’s to make sure that everything has been done to the necessary standards. Evidence of approval will be vital when it comes to selling up; a purchaser will want to know that the work has been checked and its compliance with building regulations requirements met and verified.
Choosing the right team of people to work with is key to getting these things right, and to making the process of extending a basement a far better experience than it might otherwise be. Work with a lawyer, architect, designer, builder, electrician, plumber that you trust to do a good job for you. These projects take time and expertise. And mistakes in the process can cost, in more ways than one.
To find out more about the legal aspects of basement extensions, contact our experienced conveyancing team on 01264 353411, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our no obligation enquiry form, which you can find on our website.
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