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Is October 2012 the right time to introduce new building regulations?

Though there is little written on the subject it seems that by October of this year we will all be paying more for home extensions and improvements.   

It is expected that those undertaking home extensions, loft conversions or integral garage conversions will be required, and not given any choice, to undertake ‘consequential’ energy efficiency improvements in other parts of their property.

Upon implementation this may mean having to find the money to implement measures such as fitting a new boiler or solid wall insulation, up to a limit of, or even beyond, a value of 10% of the cost of the extension or conversion works.

If you are thinking of only replacing a boiler or (some or all) windows this likely to trigger  a mandatory  requirement to install one, some or all of loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, hot water cylinder insulation and draught proofing.

The impact of these requirements could be significant when you consider with information supplied by the DCGL that every year there are around 200,000 domestic extensions, loft conversions and integral garage conversions, one million homes have windows replaced and 1.4 million boilers are replaced.

If you are thinking of making changes now is to the time or you could find making and paying for changes beyond the scope of their planned building works.

The aim is admirable - implementing cost effective changes will help reduce carbon emissions and save on energy bills.  However at a time when the economy is running on empty is the timing of this right?   Are we ready for more red tape, extra costs and will not in fact put off people from carrying out home extensions and how will this impact on the building and other related industries.  Time will only tell.

Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at davidpett@m-j-p.co.uk

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