Got a query?
QI live in an unprotected period house in Dublin city centre and wish to put a Velux window on the rear-facing aspect of the roof. It won’t overlook the neighbours as there is a flat roof beyond it – will the planning authority mind? There are conflicting internet reports of some councils requiring planning and others not.
AI agree that there is some conflicting direction from different local authorities on this matter. Exemptions from planning permission are outlined in Schedule 2 of SI No 600/2001 – Planning and Development Regulations 2001. This divides the exemptions into various classes. There is a total of 57 classes of exemption, some examples are: Class 1: Extension of a house Class 2: Provision of a heating system or renewable energy systems,
Class 3: Provision of a tent, shed, glasshouse
The legislation gives very specific guidance on the requirement of any extension so that it can be defined as exempt development, such as not to exceed 40sq m. None of these classes of exemptions mention a specific exemption for a Velux window or roof light.
However, some local authorities’ websites confirm Velux windows are exempt to various elevations and other do not. The reason for this is that a specific local authority, through their development plan has decided to provide an exemption for a Velux window to a specific elevation.
In relation to your specific example, under Dublin City Council’s frequently asked questions, it states:
If I build an attic conversion do I need permission?
Normally no. However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is needed. If Velux windows proposed to the rear, it is exempt. If Velux windows proposed to the side/front elevation it is not exempt.
This should be enough comfort to confirm that you can proceed with your proposal without planning permission in your locality.
However, if, for example, you were in another local authority where such definitive direction was not available, the only option would be to check their specific development plan for any guidance or submit a Section 5 Declaration.
This is a request for the local authority to confirm if works are exempt from planning or not. This would cost ¤80 and take four weeks to process. Kevin Hollingsworth is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie
QI have an old house with bay windows and single glass panes and have a problem with dampness. It is really confined to the area under and above the bay windows. I have considered dry-lining, but feel I would lose some of the characteristics of the rooms such as skirting boards, covering etc.
My query is: if, instead of insulation, I changed the windows to double or triple glazing, would this solve the problem? I want to make the decision before another damp winter comes.
Water penetration could be due to poor seals at the window frame/wall junctions. PHOTOGRAPH:
AThe first question to consider is whether the problem is related to dampness, ie water penetration, or due to condensation. By dampness, this normally means either water penetration from the exterior through the bay structure or from within due to, say, a plumbing leak. As regards the exterior, water could be coming in through the roof to the bay window, or through the walls either due to defective external finishes or by rising dampness. Alternatively, water penetration could be due to poor seals at the window frame/wall junctions.
While replacing a window would most likely involve an improved seal at a window frame/wall junction, it would not actually have any material effect on other causes of water penetration and you will need to ensure that there are no active sources either from the exterior or from within.
Condensation, on the other hand, is caused by the “environmental conditions” created within the property and, while there are a number of contributory factors, poor insulation standards such as that provided by single-glazed windows would clearly give rise to high levels of condensation, which could well be contributing significantly to the dampness here.
In such cases, replacing the windows with double or triple glaze would clearly alleviate the problem. The only caveat is that with older properties, there is very unlikely to be any insulation within the wall and thus there will be a risk of some cold bridging in the walls which can give rise to some condensation/mould growth.
It is, however, our considered view that when refurbishing properties, this is not an exact science, and a holistic view should
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or to Property Clinic, The Irish Times, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2. This column is a readers’ service. The content of the Property Clinic is provided for general information only. It is not intended as advice on which readers should rely. Professional or specialist advice should be obtained before persons take or refrain from any action on the basis of the content. The Irish Times and its contributors will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from reliance on any content. be taken in order to get the best compromise solution. It is necessary to weigh up the pros and cons of completely eliminating a potential cold bridge, and the aesthetics/characteristics of the room.
In this respect, if you were to dry-line or insulate the bay window then you will lose the original timber panelling/moulding. At this stage, we do believe that replacing the windows in isolation will significantly reduce the problem to the point where an acceptable solution can be reached without having to lose the original ornate feature/characteristics of the room.
If, in the unlikely event that you still experience some dampness or mould growth, a later decision can always be taken regarding the need for incorporating any dry-lining systems within the bay window area. Val O’Brien is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.