Published on 3 April 2012 - Consequential Improvements
Proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations.
A key proposal is to force through significant energy performance improvements or so called "consequential improvements" to the rest of the home when a new extension is to be built. Homeowners would have to pay an extra 10% of the extension cost to upgrade thermal elements of their homes.
We believe that this Building Regulation change would stop many Homeowners from extending and improving their properties and harm the construction industry, at a time when the construction industry needs all the help it can get.
Can you imagine the hassle of trying to convince a Homeowner to replace an 8 year old working boiler, with a brand new boiler or to have extra thermal insulation placed on the inside wall of a recently decorated room, thus making an already small room even smaller, and the fact that this small room has nothing to do with the new extension, will take some explaining and understanding by a Homeowner.
We believe that if the Government wants to bring this legislation in, they should now wait until we are not in a recession and the impact of these changes would not be so severe.
It is already a very complicated business to deal with the layers upon layers of complex Planning Permission and Building Regulations issues, when planning a simple home extension. The extra complexity that this would surely create for all parties from the Homeowner to the Builder, to the Architect and the Building Control Surveyor would create a nightmare, a nightmare many Homeowners would not entertain nor take on board.
As it stands a Homeowner or builder can fairly accurately assess the impact of a new extension on the property and understand the implications of the extension works on the rest of the property in terms of building works and renovation cost.
These new rules will completely cloud the waters in regards to anybody knowing the extent or expense of building a new home extension. It’s O.K. for the Government to say; "spend an extra 10% improving your house" but the realities of this are far from clear, as anybody knows when working on a home renovation project, that problems arise and expenses occur, that simply can’t be seen before the building work starts and the extra 10% cost, can quickly turn into 20% plus.
Update - 18th April 2012
The Government have climbed down on the supposed "Conservatory tax" as it has been labeled over the last few days, "It was bonkers, insists Cameron" in the Daily Mail.
We completely agree.
The Government should never penalize people for wanting to improve their lot and make it hard or unreasonable for people to improve their homes.
Until the next time...