Jump to content

Building a loft
Qs re: regulations and DIY


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Academic

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

Our second bedroom has an extremely high ceiling - it basically extends up the two stories of our apartment. We've always wanted to build a loft/mezzanine in there so that the room can do double duty as a music studio and guest room (desk with all DH's music equipment on the loft, bed on the ground underneath). Our plan is to build the loft over the whole width of the room, and about a third of the depth (if that makes any sense!) so that we don't completely lose the lovely light or the expanse of the high ceiling.

Anyways - DH wants to DIY it, which makes me a little nervous. He is an electrician and very handy, has a good understanding of construction generally and has built things before - but not something structural like this (though he did assist his builder friend when they built a music studio in the garage of our last apartment). When I suggested we ask the same builder friend or someone else to help, or at least to look at what we plan to do, he got really offended. He insists that it's easy, he knows exactly how to go about it and it will be as solid as a rock. He's explained the plan to me and it does seem like a logical, solid design (from my layman's understanding of construction, that is) but I'm still worried it won't work or, much worse, be dangerous.

Which brings me to my main question - are there council regulations around doing work like this in your own home, and is it illegal to DIY something like this without a licensed builder at least approving it? Even if it's perfect and completely structurally sound, I don't want to run into problems further down the track when we go to sell the apartment.

Edited by Academic, 28 November 2012 - 02:26 PM.


#2 MrsLexiK

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

Your not just  sticking up a wall, I would be getting a builder at the very least to sign off on it.  You will have to make sure the floor can actually support the weight you are wanting it to hold, plus the bearing walls that you would no doubt be building onto/against need to be able to support the extra materials.

#3 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

Talk to the council, they will be able to tell you what he can and cannot do legally.

#4 ~Nic~

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:20 PM

It probably varies from council to council, but we looked into it when we did some reno's at our old house and we were told that as a general rule, as long as it didn't alter the outside appearance of the house (ie, moving windows around, adding external walls for extensions etc) we could pretty much do whatever we want to the inside.

In your case, I would definitley get a builder, at least to do the structural stuff... let your DH do things like gyprocking and laying the floor, but get a professional in to make sure it can hold the weight and that stairs are safe.

#5 Bluenomi

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:47 PM

You can do whatever you want but when you come to sell the place it will be an issue if there isn't any paperwork to show it has been checked and signed off by someone qualified. We looked at a house with an unapproved basement and the bank wouldn't give us a loan because of lack of approvals.

#6 josh2003

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

I was going to say a similar thing to Bluenomi.

Aside from the fact that you'd want to get an engineer to make sure what you're building is going to be strong enough to bear the load without compromising the existing structure, you should also check whether you will need a permit. Just because it's inside and it can't be seen, it still may require a permit, just as converting your attic space into useable space does.

Otherwise, when you sell the house, you will either have to remove the structure, or have it retrospectively approved, which can be difficult to do.

My SIL tried to purchase a house a few months ago, and once they got the papers to the solicitors, they found out that the pergola had been added as a DIY, and didn't have council approval, so the vendors had to take the property off the market until it was re-built to standard and approved.

It just seems silly to go to all that effort not to do it properly.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How an inquest into one stillbirth is saving lives

A ground-breaking court case that has focused solely on one stillborn baby has already helped to save the lives of other babies.

Get them into reading early with a Nouk book subscription

There's no bonding activity quite like reading to your baby or toddler, and all the signs point to it being important for social and literacy development as well.

I don't want my husband to go on a buck's trip

My husband's best friend is getting married and has planned a men's bachelor party.

The celeb parents who needed a mediator to stop fighting over baby names

Deciding on a baby name can be a fraught experience for many parents.

May Gibbs' 'Gumnut Babies' turns 100 with a special edition, coins, stamps and more

It's time to celebrate the centenary of May Gibbs' very first book release, Gumnut Babies.

African baby names

We have some absolutely gorgeous selections of African baby names for you to consider for your baby.

The mum who retrained to became a plumber

One company refused to give her an apprenticeship because they believed she would be too much of a distraction to the males. 

Meningococcal meningitis: signs, treatment and prevention

What is meningococcal meningitis, why does it occur in seasons, and why does it strike fear into the hearts of so many?

I was scared of the dentist ... and my son paid the price

It was a moment where I could certainly learn from his behaviour, and not him from mine.

Family of toddler killed by alligator at Disney honours his third birthday

The family told supporters that they wanted to celebrate the boy's "first birthday in heaven".

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

7 tips to help you prepare your home for parenthood

Prep your home to make becoming a new parent as stress-free as possible.

Fatherhood to the beat of Daniel's drum

Daniel Gibney knew fatherhood would change him, but he didn't realise it would lead to a global business venture for his family.

A case of gastro and the mummy mean girls

I don't blame any first-time mother who is terrified of her or her baby catching gastro, but it will find you eventually.

Zooey Deschanel's cake smash fail for daughter Elsie

"I kept seeing on the Internet, 'You gotta make a smash cake for your one-year-old,' so I'm like, 'I'm making this cake just so she can smash it.'"

Five things mums should never do

Although I preach the "each to their own" method of parenting, it's unavoidable to have those moments of panic.

Mum allegedly 'groped' while holding toddler in Sydney pool

A mum has told of her horror after she was allegedly sexually assaulted while at a swimming centre with her two young children.

'It whacked me': Michelle Bridges on sleep deprivation and returning to exercise

Michelle Bridges knows a lot about health and fitness, but when she became a mum she had to learn a few lessons the hard way.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Hawaii beachfront resort holiday for two!

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 4 trips for two to Hawaii, staying at Outrigger resorts in Waikiki.

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.