Building Regulations for a covered way!

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Wez4, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Wez4

    Wez4 New Member

    Hi All, I’m just after a bit of advice and if possible the legal definition of a ‘covered way’ with regards to building regulations.

    Essentially I think I have been reported to building control by my neighbour for building something that doesn’t need to built to any specific building regs. I’ve now received a letter from building control demanding I submit an application within 14 days or face legal action. My view is that I’m building a covered way down the side of my home. The overall size is 2x7.5m. The back will remain open so I won’t be enclosing the structure.

    I intend to put clay rosemary tiles on the roof to tie in with the house as well as 3 skylights.

    Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.


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  2. xednim

    xednim Active Member

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  3. stevie22

    stevie22 Active Member

    I'm not so sure about BR approval: porch, conservatory (except glass) detached garage (<30 sqm) all exempt. Your's is attached so I think that you probably do need it

    Planning is another issue: do you fall within PD limits?
  4. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Would say you do require BR approval as it requires an opening on at least 2 sides.
  5. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    "Covered Way"(not exceeding 30m2), as you a door at each end,but if there is a doorway into the house as well,then it becomes a porch,& it might need planning permission,to late for that now.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  6. Jitender

    Jitender Well-Known Member

    May need to get a gas safe engineer to see if the flue for boiler needs re-positioning.

    Saw a family have a side building addition, and the flue was still there :eek: A gas safe friend went around and had to decommission the boiler and inform National Grid. Family then had a go at the engineer.
    Wez4, KIAB and Astramax like this.
  7. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Well spotted Jit.
  8. Wez4

    Wez4 New Member

    Thanks for your replies.

    BC are coming to take a look this week so hopefully I get the result I want ( though it sounds as though I’m going to have issues).

    There’s no access into the house so it’s certainly not classed as a porch. If buildings regs do apply will this construction be subject to all the same guidelines as a ‘proper’ extension? If so I have real issues! The footings for the facade are 600mm deep rather than the 1000 required for hard clay. Also there’s a manhole located under the covered area which is the whole reason I built it on posts. I didn’t want to impose load on the soil pipes underground. IMO, for what’s its worth to BC, the only real concern could be that the fence is combustible.

    The frustrating thing is that I assume that if I remove the door nothing matters as it’s then classed as a car port? Though too small to fit even a micro car under! Then BC have no involvement but I have an insecure property!

    Ah well, Cheers guys
  9. xednim

    xednim Active Member

    if the manhole is communal (joins at least two properties) than you have to contact local authority/water provided if building works/foundation will be carried out 2m (if I do remember) from the manhole location, and they might request transferring the manhole
    Wez4 likes this.
  10. ajohn

    ajohn Well-Known Member

    There is an excellent official pdf around on what can and can't be done. Should have kept a link. The is may have become a was. This is the nearest I can find


    Going on where it's kept though it may not be official. If I search my browser history one page comes up archived and when I looked at this area previously I don't recollect seeing interactive guides.

    I spent a lot of time in this area on the web. The pdf cleared most things up and a couple of others certain areas such as insulation but certain aspects meant that I have no choice other than to phone building control and ask some questions.

    ;) The Welsh version is better but somehow I still think it's best to ask before starting or just risk it especially as local councils might have their own ideas.

    KIAB and Wez4 like this.
  11. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Don't start poking them,my neighbour did & ended up several thound pounds poorer,ended up having to relocate two manholes.

    One manhole could have been solved with a double seal recessed cover,other one was being pickey with regards to pipe run close to a concrete foundation for a shed.
  12. ajohn

    ajohn Well-Known Member

  13. ajohn

    ajohn Well-Known Member

    Be interesting to hear what they say. I would have thought that providing it's not sealed off to form a "room" you wont have any problems. In real terms it's a veranda and you happen to need to put a door on the end for obvious reasons.

    ;) Some of my parents neighbours rather a long time ago put them up as later they made it easier to convert to an extension. That's why they did it. Don't know if it really helped depends on planning permission in the 50's.

  14. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    Depending on your area and the attitude of the inspectors there is quite a few they could pull you up on.

    - If your current driveway doesn't have a soak away
    - the interior height of your paviours is a little high in relation to the DPC
    - the structure of the roof and the wall plate,is not really suitable to put rosemary tiles on
    - as mentioned the gas boiler flue needs to be reloated
    - proximity to your neighbours boundary in terms of fire risks
    - handling of rain water run off from the roof.

    The problem you have is that many people have tried this route before and then several years down the line, closed the ends up and then include a door way from the house into it.

    One thing you haven't mentioned is what is the purpose of the "covered way" ?
    KIAB likes this.
  15. Wez4

    Wez4 New Member

    Cheers chaps, plenty for me to think about!

    I had considered the Flue and have a gas engineer relative who should be able to sort that if it’s an issue, plume kit maybe.

    Sospan- could you please expand on why the roof structure/wall plate wouldn’t be sufficient for rosemary tiles? I calculated dead load @1400kg Across the whole roof including the weight of the timber. The timber used is c24 and dimensionally almost certainly strong enough so I can only assume it’s the construction method that’s insufficient? Not being awkward, just asking advice

    The intended use of the covered way is fairly undetermined tbh. Mainly just for a secure access to the back of the property and occasional dry(ish) storage for kids toys. Maybe put a racking unit to the side for storage of non valuable bits ‘n’ bobs. I have a garage at the bottom of my garden so need good access for bikes etc.

    Thank you John for the documents, I’ll have a good read through them.

  16. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    One of the key questions BC will ask you is why have you built it especially since you have a garage for storing all the bits you mentioned above. Building control are normally the "good guys" when it comes to getting official paper work but if they smell something fishing or have an element of distrust they can be the most picky, pedantic people around.

    In terms of the structure the "wall plate" underlined looks undersized but it could be the angle. They may also raise a concern that without horizontal timbers back to the house there is nothing to stop the downward and outward force, spreading the structure. Again difficult to tell without being there

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  17. Wez4

    Wez4 New Member

    Thanks for the explanation. The wall plate is 45x195 and the largest span between posts is 1600. Appreciate what you say about the possible need for horizontals to help stop any potential spread issues. Something I’d be happy to add assuming they don’t just ask me to knock it down or put so many conditions on it that it becomes an unviable project. The truth is I don’t need to create this area, it’s just useful to have and once completed would look more appealing than just a side gate.
    KIAB likes this.
  18. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    The other problem you now have is; living near an upset neighbour whom if it stays will be more irate and if it goes be gloating .....
  19. Wez4

    Wez4 New Member

    Yeah I know, absolute nightmare tbh. I did actually talk to them before starting work and they didn’t raise any objections to my face and still haven’t now. They are very socially awkward though and they’ve been even worse over the last few weeks. Actively looking away when passing now. I hate it and it genuinely bothers me so much that if it continues I’d look into moving house anyway! The truth is I’ll never be 100% sure it’s them that’s complained and I’m not going to confront them because it’s a pointless exercise where I can only see it making things worse.
    Anyway, sorry for the none building related rant and I’ll post again on Thursday after BC have paid a visit.

    Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to post.
  20. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    I consider it a covered walkway,somewhere to keep the bikes rather than walking to garage at bottom of garden for them, even your wheelie bin,store your boots,etc.
    It looks smart & give your property security, & it's definitely not a habitable room.

    Just be honest with BC, never BS them, they will make your life hell,they might pick you up on the things Sospan mentioned, with the dpc & paving height,but as it's under cover & no water splashing up onto wall, you might be ok.
    Handling of rain water run off from the roof,you got a downpipe on rear of house corner by walkway you could use.
    Intrested in what BC will say on his/her visit.
    ramseyman likes this.

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