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The answsers to the most common queries we get on building plans, architects, building regulations and design and build services.

What are building regulations?

All roof / loft conversion conversions must comply with the statutory Building Regulations and therefore will require Building Regulation approval. If structural works such as flooring or other alterations are intended, Building Regulation Consent will be required whether or not the room is for habitable purposes. The main parts of the Regulations which you need to comply with are listed below.

Part A – Structure
Part B – Fire safety
Part E – Sound insulation
Part F – Ventilation
Part K – Protection from falling, collision & impact
Part L1B – Thermal insulation

There is additional information on building regulations on the planning portal website

What are the benefits of sustainable building?

Energy efficient tools installed in the home can result in financial savings for the home owner, for example installing high levels of insulation and energy efficient lighting can reduce energy costs as well as the use of solar panels which is not only cheaper but a renewable energy source.

ABM have experience of sustainable building projects and would be more than happy to provide this service.

What is sustainable building?

Our homes and their impact on the environment are an increasing concern for the government and the residents of the UK. Sustainable building or ‘green building’ has been introduced due to lessen the negative impact our buildings can have on the environment.

This is combated by sourcing materials from renewable, natural sources that have been harvested in a sustainable way. Inside the home, energy efficient appliances can be installed, thus saving on energy, helping you and the environment.

What happens after the first visit?

You will be provided with a feasibility study and an estimate for the works. If you decide you wish to proceed with ABM, we will then organise planning and building approval for your project , together with a start date to suit you.

What are the benefits of choosing ABM?

ABM offer all services under one roof. Plan and design, design and build or build to your plans. Your choice. This means you don’t have to independently source architects, designers or project manager if you don’t want to, this can be stressful and time consuming.

ABM can do this all for you. With over 25 years of experience and industry knowledge you can be confident that whatever your vision or plans, they will be realised with ABM.

What is permitted development?

You can carry out renovations to your home without having to apply for planning. This is called permitted development. Subject to the type of the extension you can extend a dwelling by up to 4m. A loft conversion is included under permitted development, provided certain conditions are met.

For more information, visit the government Planning Portal

How do I apply for planning permission?

ABM prepares the drawings and paperwork on your behalf for the local council’s consideration. ABM keeps in touch with the council throughout the process. Local authorities will either approve the application or approve subject to conditions or decline the application in its entirety.

Whatever the decision they will always state the reasons. Once Planning permission is granted and building regulations approval has been sought, works can then commence.

What is planning permission?

Planning laws exist to ensure that any building works are positive for the local area, both environmentally and socially, considering the positives as well as the negatives. Planning permission is granted by the local council and once granted, allows the home owner to carry out renovations to their property lawfully.

Their objective is to ensure all factors are considered, therefore making an informed and balanced decision.

How do I apply for Building regulations approval?

ABM prepares plans and submits them to the appropriate authority, along with the required fee. The plans are then examined to make sure they comply with the regulations. This process usually takes 6 – 8 weeks. We will then carry out any amendments if requested.

Once you have building regulations approval, works can then commence.

Upon starting works we will notify the building inspector and he will attend site at various stages to inspect the work being carried out.

How does the build work? What are the phases?

The building works happen in phases, loft conversions differ slightly from extensions. For an extension the phase of work is the following:

Substructure – Foundations

Superstructure – brickwork
1st fix plumbing and electrics
2nd fix pluming and electrics
For a loft conversion the process is as follows

Erect scaffolding
Installation of steels
Installation of windows/Dormer windows
1st fix plumbing and electrics
Installation of stairs
2nd fix plumbing and electrics