General Information on loft conversions
The Party Wall Act 1996 may also apply if you intend to carry out work which involves:
- Work on an existing wall shared with another property
- Building on the boundary with another property
- Excavating near a neighbouring building
You must determine whether the works fall within the scope of the Act, and if so, you must serve statutory notice on all those defined by the Act as 'adjoining owners'. You may wish to seek professional advice on this.
- Make a plan of what you want done. Don't be pressured into unnecessary work or work you can't afford. For large or complex jobs, professional advice may well be needed.
- Get the necessary consents or agreements from the council and insurance company. Discuss your plans with neighbours, particularly if there are party structures.
- Draw up a short list of firms that appear reliable, checking references from previous clients, and perhaps references from banks as appropriate.
- Find out whether a worthwhile guarantee is available giving cover against a contractor ceasing to trade. Insurance-backed schemes may be particularly appropriate.
- Warranties are available in partnership with the council's Building Control section.
- Be as clear as possible about the way you will deal with any disputes.
The Building Employees Confederation (BEC) also offers advice to help you in 'Get the best from your builder'. Also see Choosing your builder.