ALERT | Owners may need Certifiers on porch extensions?
by Bregs Blog admin team
The following post was written by the Breg Blog team on 8th September. Following recent correspondence received from readers on the issue of S.I.9 exemptions for minor works and invalidated short form commencement notices, we urgently call on our readers in the professional bodies and Local Authorities for clarification.
More than 6 months after the implementation of S.I9, it would appear that there has been confusion over the interpretation of the requirements for domestic extensions. There are now serious concerns that the generally accepted application of the new regulations may be wrong. Perhaps it is a drafting error or perhaps the guidance did not spell it out, either way it looks as if it does not matter if you build under 40 m2 because every previous addition of floor area to the house may be cumulative!
If this is the case, there are a number of very serious consequences.
- Many domestic projects may have gone on site (post March 2014) illegally without any appointment of Certifiers and there are no legal remedies.
- Works about to go on site may have to be held back to regularise their situations.
- Tiny projects (like a domestic porch) may need full appointments, inspection plans, multiple certificates and even- the family having to use the back door waiting for the completion certificate to be validated! Terraced home owners pay special heed to this one.
Here are a few examples: :
- A homeowner intends to construct a 39m2 kitchen/ dining/ living room which is exempt. Later they add a 2m2 porch. Do they need to appoint a Design and Assigned Certifier for this porch? What added cost will this be? A multiple of the cost of the porch?
- An owner converts a 30m2 attic (exempt), then wants to convert a 15m2 garage. Does the owner need to appoint a Design and Assigned Certifier for a garage conversion?
- A new family buys a house with a 25m2 conservatory (exempt). They want to convert the 17m2 attic. Does the owner need to appoint a Design and Assigned Certifier for an attic conversion?
- Another scenario: an owner has a protected structure, built in 1860 with a scullery added in 1910 and a garage attached to the side in 1942- both have a combined area of 42m2. Does the owner need a Design and Assigned Certifier to build a new small WC extension?
If any readers in the representative bodies for registered professionals (ACEI, SCSI, RIAI) have any information, or anyone in the local authorities has been given direction by the Department on this, we would appreciate clarification. We still await a finalised Framework Code of Practice for Building Control at time of writing.
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