Earlier this year we looked at moving but we wouldn't be able to get anything better than we already have within our budget. Add on conveyancing costs, solicitors and estate agent fees and it's a small fortune. So we thought we'd look at having a loft conversion.
We had a couple of builders round to quote. We were recommended another builder who came to see us. I'll call him G. We both immediately got a "good feeling" from him. He was pleasant, sociable and professional. He chatted with us for a long time about what we actually wanted; ie more space. After a while it was decided that rather than losing our loft, we could possibly extend both downstairs and upstairs leaving us with our loft and the ability to store amazing amounts of stuff I swear I will "car boot" one day. Surprisingly there wasn't much difference in the cost of a loft extension and a two storey extension and both were cheaper options than moving.
So we had plans drawn up and have to apply for planning permission. G recommended we speak with our neighbours as a courtesy to let them know what we are planning. We are on nodding terms with one side, the other; not so much. I'll have a chat in the front garden but she doesn't get on with Mr.M. He's not as happy as I am to "keep the peace" and not moan about things. They have clashed over the past ten years we've been there.
Our conversation went like this:
"Oh I'm glad I caught you. I just wanted to let you know we are planning on having an extension at the back of the house"
"It's a two storey extension"
"There wont be any side windows so we wont be overlooking you or anything. I thought I'd let you know as you'll be getting a letter from the council"
"Well, obviously I'll object. I'll lose light"
"Ah, OK. Well you'll be able to see the plans"
"I'll get my son in law to look at them, he's a surveyor"
"Well I just wanted to let you know"
And I shuffle off with the kids into the house.
Last week the local council sent out the letters to the neighbours. They received them on Saturday and by Sunday she'd filed her objection on line. It's obvious her surveyor son in law has written the letter, it's far too professional. However they are objecting on 9 points!
The council has until 26th August to decided yes or no. I'm on tenterhooks already and will probably keep checking the planning portal at least 100 times a day.