Thursday, December 15, 2005

Does Part M apply to new extensions?

Tracey asks:

Do the Part M access requirements apply to extensions to properties?

Mark reckons:

Guidance on this issue is in the latest 2004 edition of Part M. Broadly speaking, the answer is NO.

This is unusual for building regs: normally they apply to material alterations, just as much as to new builds. However, Part M is attempting to make homes easier for disabled people to visit and it therefore doesn't make any sense to apply these regs to just one part of the house.

There are a couple of exceptions.

• If the existing house is already Part M compliant (and it will be if it's been constructed in the past five years), then of course the new extension must meet the same standards.

• You can't make the house worse, from an access point of view. By way of example, you can't take out the only downstairs toilet.