What requires planning permission? Renovation work

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Hello all,

 

I have searched here and google but I can't find anything specific. Any help would be gratefully received.

 

I would ask the local planning office for advice, but I've been in the building trade (I'm a plumber by trade, site supervisor now) since I've left school and found out very quickly it's better to learn what can and can't be done legally and only involve them when they have to be. In Germany I can imagine that to be the case even more.

 

I've mentioned on here before that I've bought a little bungalow and land in Sachsen-Anhalt for a holiday home. My buying concerns have been addressed and happily I can move onto the house itself now.

 

It needs partial renovating/updating but is structurally sound. I bought it as such.

 

It was built in 1966 so is dated and the exterior is constructed from wood but aesthetically it needs updating.

 

I don't want to change it too much, but I would like to do the following:

 

1) Renew the felt to the roof (Not leaking just seen better days).

2) Renew the facias (Might as well as I need to do step 3).

3) Renew the guttering (Shallow flow grey plastic currently, want to change to black plastic shallow flow, basically same guttering, different colour).

4) Old exterior was definitely built from wood "procured" at different times, so whilst it does the job it would look much better with some new, matching timber, all the same size and shape put on covering the patchwork effect current exterior. No need to remove the old timber, just cover it.

5) Refurbish the original wooden window frames. Single glazing but don't mind that, I won't be there in the winter!

6) Repaint the exterior. It is currently yellow. No other houses around it are yellow!

 

In the U.K, none of those would be classed as alterations, and wouldn't need planning permission or permits. Anybody "competent" could do the jobs.

 

This leads me to a few other questions (Sorry!!!).

 

1) Can I do the work, and with the help of English tradesmen friends. Would I need any form of building permit, for some or all of the work?

 

It is a summer house on recreational land, and courts have ruled this type of place can't be a permanent place of residence. So leads me onto my final lines of questioning (I promise).

 

1) Are rules on things like a certain standard of insulation, heating and windows applicable to "part time" recreational houses or can they carry on being used as they are. Something's like windows I'd just like to refurb and leave at that. I would put insulation between the 2 layers of wood just out of personal preference but would I have to use a certain type etc?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

Joe

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The laws about energy efficiency and their improvement during renovations do not apply on a "Wochenendhaus", such as yours.

 

And as long as your house doesn't "grow"(what these houses sometimes tend to do during a renovation :P ) you don't need any permission, plus you can do this all with the help of friends.

Friends shouldn't come with a van with " Miller Carpenters Lts " written on. There is a fine line between friends and "Schwarzarbeit".

 

And as long as you make no major changes in the size and placement of windows and front doors all should be fine.

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The laws about energy efficiency and their improvement during renovations do not apply on a "Wochenendhaus", such as yours.

 

And as long as your house doesn't "grow"(what these houses sometimes tend to do during a renovation ) you don't need any permission, plus you can do this all with the help of friends.

Friends shouldn't come with a van with " Miller Carpenters Lts " written on. There is a fine line between friends and "Schwarzarbeit".

 

And as long as you make no major changes in the size and placement of windows and front doors all should be fine.

 

Excellent news, thank you! I'm glad about that as I would genuinely only be improving it cosmetically. I will not be changing the size, shape or layout at all as it's more than sufficient for out needs and intended use.

 

Is there anywhere in German legislation where it specifically exempts Wochenendhausen to be brought up to current energy requirements? That would be a very useful thing for me to have access to.

 

Very good point regarding the van, I agree and will be trying to keep this a low key restoration.

 

I'd be driving over (In a car full of tools) with 2 mates. We will then buy all the bits we need over there (supporting the local economy) and get everything done in one week.

 

I'm hoping to have this done in one week, before April so it's still cold enough that most people won't be using their bungalows so we can disturb as few people as possible.

 

The house is a bit of a eyesore at the moment and I hope the neighbours are receptive to the idea of me updating it, and bringing it inline with the looks of the surrounding property's, rather than being awkward and trying to slow or stop the work.

 

Thanks again,

 

Joe

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1) Can I do the work, and with the help of English tradesmen friends. Would I need any form of building permit, for some or all of the work?

I am not 100% sure on the details, but I had a mate who wanted to build a garage next to his house, and another mutual mate was giving him a hand to do the foundations and first few courses.

 

According to the first lad, some building control/H&S/Ordnungsamt type pleb came to look at it while it was underway.

He asked to see insurance documents for the second lad. I don't know the outcome.

 

May have been bullshit, may have been a misunderstanding, but I am sure someone else will be along to clarify.

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I am not 100% sure on the details, but I had a mate who wanted to build a garage next to his house, and another mutual mate was giving him a hand to do the foundations and first few courses.

 

According to the first lad, some building control/H&S/Ordnungsamt type pleb came to look at it while it was underway.

He asked to see insurance documents for the second lad. I don't know the outcome.

 

May have been bullshit, may have been a misunderstanding, but I am sure someone else will be along to clarify.

 

I'm sure that the garage would need planning permission, so he probably made the planning department know what he was doing.

 

That's why I only get them involved when absolutely required to do so as it can often end up in misunderstandings. A pain in my native language, a major headache in German (I only know basics).

 

Many thanks for the input,

 

Joe

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I can confirm what Sosarx said - as long as the work only involves what you listed, there will be no need to get any permissions. However, it is true that many places suddenly end up "expanding" during such work, so it's best to be prepared that someone may stop by and check what's going on.

 

In terms of your neighbours, I would think they'll be pleased at the change for the positive, and the work you're planning should help you have a good introduction in the neighbourhood.

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http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/enev_2007/__1.html

 

Look under #8#

 

As long as you don't use the place for more than 4 months per years it's exempt from the rules. And if you use it a little longer, just as most of your neighbours do, nobody cares.

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I can confirm what Sosarx said - as long as the work only involves what you listed, there will be no need to get any permissions. However, it is true that many places suddenly end up "expanding" during such work, so it's best to be prepared that someone may stop by and check what's going on.

 

In terms of your neighbours, I would think they'll be pleased at the change for the positive, and should help you have a good introduction in the neighbourhood.

 

I can certainly see people taking the opportunity to expand whilst renovating, but for us it wouldn't be worth the additional hassle and additional cost, for our intended uses.

 

I really hope that it would help with the neighbours as making a good impression is a priority to me.

 

That's one of the reasons I will be getting the exterior sorted before I even touch the interior.

 

Thanks for the comments,

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http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/enev_2007/__1.html

 

Look under #8#

 

As long as you don't use the place for more than 4 months per years it's exempt from the rules. And if you use it a little longer, just as most of your neighbours do, nobody cares.

 

Absolutely spot on, exactly what I've been looking for!

 

Thanks very much for that, appreciated.

 

Hopefully this thread will help other people too who may be in a similar position in the future.

 

Joe

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TrabiDriver

 

My advice to you at this stage is to take a seat, get comfortable and read on, it might be a bit long.

 

I'll try and answer your questions and give you some tips but bear in mind, as mentioned in your other thread, rules vary from state to state etc so you may need to check your contract. Alternatively, google search kleinegartenverband for your area and contact them for further advice if you don't know where they are already.

 

In the last couple of years I have completely renovated our schrebergarten, bungalow as you call it or posh shed as my friends call it. Like yours ours was built we think in the 60's but its hard to tell as I discovered the house was actually built in 3 stages whilst renovating.

 

Fortunately for us we are good friends with the Vorsitzender of our Kolonie so we were able to get pretty much hands on advice.

 

One thing that might come as a shock, regardless of how much money you put into your property, unlike the UK, it will not increase in value and will remain the same price as you purchased it which I believe should be zero.

 

1) Renew the felt to the roof (Not leaking just seen better days).

I would strongly advise against doing that, renewing the felt is not so much a costly job but try and get rid of the old, it will cost you a lot of money for the waist disposal of it. Something we have not done yet but most people I know if they have roof felt have just had a company cover it with an Aluminium roof straight over the old. Costs vary depending on firm but there really is no alternative in my opinion.

 

2) Renew the facias (Might as well as I need to do step 3).

Not a problem, go ahead but as the wood is treat or painted for external use you will have to pay to get rid of it.

 

3) Renew the guttering (Shallow flow grey plastic currently, want to change to black plastic shallow flow, basically same guttering, different colour).

No problem. But if you go the route of an aluminium roof they will do that for you as well.

 

4) Old exterior was definitely built from wood "procured" at different times, so whilst it does the job it would look much better with some new, matching timber, all the same size and shape put on covering the patchwork effect current exterior. No need to remove the old timber, just cover it.

No problem. Depending on the profile of the wood you may need to find a specialist who actually stocks that type.

 

5) Refurbish the original wooden window frames. Single glazing but don't mind that, I won't be there in the winter!

You might want to check with the Kleingartenverband, we replaced all our windows with uPVC Double glazing as the time and cost to renovate the old and the ongoing maintenance just was not worth the effort.

 

6) Repaint the exterior. It is currently yellow. No other houses around it are yellow!

No problem. We all have to do this every so many years anyway and should not be a problem with colours either.

 

In the U.K, none of those would be classed as alterations, and wouldn't need planning permission or permits. Anybody "competent" could do the jobs.

The same pretty much applies here with the exception of gas and electric which I will explain further on.

 

This leads me to a few other questions (Sorry!!!).

 

1) Can I do the work, and with the help of English tradesmen friends. Would I need any form of building permit, for some or all of the work?

Do what you like, bring your mates over it's your property and no you will not need any kind of permit. There is only one problem, you will be bound by the rules of Ruhezeit and cannot use electrical tools, hammer included between 13.00-15.00 and from 19.00-07.00 and Sundays are forbidden. If however you had employed a company to do the work then this would not apply.

 

It is a summer house on recreational land, and courts have ruled this type of place can't be a permanent place of residence. So leads me onto my final lines of questioning (I promise).

Your right it can't but people still do live all year round.

 

1) Are rules on things like a certain standard of insulation, heating and windows applicable to "part time" recreational houses or can they carry on being used as they are. Something's like windows I'd just like to refurb and leave at that. I would put insulation between the 2 layers of wood just out of personal preference but would I have to use a certain type etc? I think this has already been answered but just to confirm the answer is no.

 

The major rule on this type of property is you cannot extend it in any direction and you are only allowed 24m² under the roof and the roof must not be higher than 3.5 metres. A roof window is allowed also without any permission.

 

Reading between the lines if I understand this right, you have 2 walls, interior and naturally the exterior, do you know what is between the 2? My reason for asking is that it was quite popular to use styropor back in the 60's for this type of build which I personally think is a no no for this type of house. We had styropor and it acted as a great nesting ground for ants and mice. I replaced mine with Knauf insulation for the roof and rockwool for the walls all of which I think are relatively cheap.

 

Electric and gas, gas won't apply here but electric, check what supply you have, it's not uncommon to have Drehstrom or 3 phase as you might know it. This can be really useful. Unlike the UK which you would normally find in commercial buildings, drehstrom allows you to install an Instant water heater or known here as a Durchlauferhitzer, you can pick them up at any good DIY shop (Baumarkt) from about €200 upwards.

 

What have you got for a fuse box?

 

This was the biggest single expense we had after the waist disposal but well worth it, after I drew up all the plans we had an electrician rewire the whole house, for a 24m² he used over 200 metres of cable as he advised on all major appliances having their own circuit. If you need to do anything similar you will not be able to use a UK sparky.

 

One thing that we must have is fire cover in our insurance, I don't know if this is mandatory across all of Germany but I see no reason why it should not be.

 

Entsorgung/Waist disposal

Here in Berlin we have the BSR which is great for general household rubbish but for building waist and materiels they will not take some if not most.

 

For example, the styropor used for insulation looks exactly like the type used for packaging but they will not take it. Tar papier or roofing felt they will not take.

They will take on a daily basis wood that has been treated or painted for external use but only 20 kilos per day, anything over and above they charge per kilo which was roughly about 80 cents. Toilets, sinks, ceramic tiles also have to be paid for.

 

The small amount of roofing felt we took cost us approx €200 so for a complete roof of felt you could be looking at 3 figures.

 

All this can add up very quickly so you would need to check what you have and where locally, search for Entsorgung or Abfallbeseitigung. We used a company that charged by the cubic not the kilo price which apart from the roofing felt was okay but the shear amount meant it did add up. With the roofing felf we spent just over a €1,000 on rubbish alone.

 

I'll add this here and not in the other thread about your cesspit, subject to your contract which you will need to check it may be a requirement of you to have this completed in the next year as you are a new tennant so to speak. If not then you have until 31 Decmeber 2015.

 

The procedure as I understand if you think your cesspit is okay is to have it first pressure tested, any leakage will mean it has to be lined. As far as I know there are 2 methods, the one we had was plastic sheeting that lined the whole of the cesspit, the other option which is slightly cheaper is to have the walls sprayed with a special compound. In some cases you may have to employ the services of a Gutachter which is basically a surveyor in this field. I'd recommend you make some enquiries as some companies will do the complete job. Alternatively you can fit a type of water tank for your waist but you would need to check the rules on this, especially size and I am sure you would still need to use a Gutachter to certify the work.

 

Welcome to Germany and good luck, any thing else I can think of I will add but if you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask.

 

If you would like to see some pictures of the work in progress and how it looks now then send me a pm with your email, I am not comfortable posting it on an open forum.

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Hello Sir Percy B,

 

Sorry for the delay in replying, it's my birthday so I've had to do the obligatory visits to friends and family.

 

Thanks for the very comprehensive reply, very helpful indeed.

 

I will contact the local kleinegartenverband this week and seek advice on a few bits. Would these clarify if certain materials are required to be used during renovation? I'd clad in UPVC tongue and grove panels, but I have a feeling it may have to be timber to be in keeping with the surrounding area.

 

Reviewing my contract after it was translated, there was no mention of anything specific that could or could not be done, just the renovation is my responsibility once it is my property. There was also no mention on the cesspit, so that's great news that I have until the end of 2015, gives me a chance to prioritise other things.

 

I'd love to see pics of your progress, and it would be good to see the typical construction of one of these properties. I'll P.M my email address, I'm more than happy to show you the pictures I have of my place via Email too.

 

I'm not concerned if I get the money back put into it, this isn't my intention. I just want a nice little base, plus I visit Germany so much it would probably save me money in the long run. But better than all that I get chance to experience the country as a local would and it's already improving my German language too.

 

I paid a few 1000 €'s for the building and the land, however for me it's worth every penny just for the view from the property.

 

I also like the way the site is set out like a traditional street with parking directly outside and segregated gardens etc.

 

On the pictures I send I'll send a google maps satellite view of the layout. What is interesting is it is probably the only structure on the whole site that would be within the 24 m2 floor space!

 

What I do notice, and now it concerns me slightly is most of the surrounding buildings have flat roofs, whilst my one has a pitched roof. I think the height could be over 3.5 Metres heigh, would I be required to drop the height if it is above now?

 

Very interesting regarding the waste disposal, that really is an eye opener as I didn't put much thought into that. I wonder if I could bring any of the expensive to dispose of items back to the U.K for disposal/recycling? That could be a big advantage of being U.K based an making regular trips.

 

Regarding the ruhrzeit, I'm conscious of upsetting the neighbours so I would respect this totally. I would have other jobs that could be done in this time, like painting.

 

I'm not sure in the fuse box, that is something I really need to ask. Could I ask roughly what it costs to have this work carried out?

 

I'm really happy these do not have to be brought up to energy standards, although I will improve the insulation, including possibly installing PVC windows during the renovation.

 

Many thanks again for your help and comments, it has been very informative and a great help.

 

I've possibly missed some of you points, if I have I'll edit this.

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Hi TrabiDriver

 

Happy birthday and hope you had a good one and never worry about a late reply, enjoying yourself is more important.

 

Before I go any further let me just mention something about the contract. I'm not sure how this works in Sachsen Anhalt because of the difference in types of houses and land be it rented or outright bought.

 

When we took our place over, (our's is part of a kolonie and we don't own the land we pay rent/pacht) separate from the contract on receiving the property and making the initial changeover we had 3 people from the kleingartenverband make an inspection of the land, one was a Gutachter, this included the amount of stone, types of plants,trees,bushes and their value, the house and layout, the cesspit etc etc. As part of us taking over the land there were conditions set which we were given a year to complete. One of those conditions was the cesspit which you are already aware of.

 

Whether or not you are going to be bound by any of these rules I have no idea, I no I've said it before, but you really need to understand your contract/lease and then follow up with any questions with the KGV who may or may no be able to answer. If not they should be able to guide you in the right direction which will be a start.

 

My reason for mentioning this is from what you have posted, it's not part of an e.V, the other houses with flat roofs etc and makes me wonder if the previous owners of your land bought that land and built that house because that was all they could afford or it was just what they wanted. The answer has to be in the contract/lease.

 

I'll shall take a pause for thought.

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Thanks Sir Percy B,

 

It's not part of an e.V which is great for me.

 

I'm going to analyse my contract at the weekend, and may even have a German friend who lives in the U.K to review it for me, just incase anything has been missed out or mis-translated during the translation.

 

I can the direct some specific and coherent questions to the Kleingartenverband.

 

Thanks again for all your help,

 

All the best,

 

Joe

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Here's the bit about the cess pit, translated in English doesn't make much sense. I've typed it out on a keyboard without Umlauts.

 

As I read it it basically says that the seller hasn't been requested to do anything or pay for anything, but I may be.

 

As it's out of context I hope it's not breaking any privacy rules!

 

Der Verkaufer hat bezuglich des Kaufobjektes samliche Erschliessungsbeitrage, Anliegerbeitrage und Kostenerstattungsanspruche aufgrund des bauGB und anderer Rechtsvorschriften fur strassenbaukosten und Wasser- sowie Abwasserleitungen zu tragen, fur die ihm oder seinen Rechtsvorgangern bis zum heutigen Tage ein Beitragsbescheid zugegangen ist, und zwar unabhangig vom kunftigen Bestand der Leistungsbescheide. Er versichert, dass bisher Beitrage im obrigen Sinne noch nicht angefordert worden sind.

Forderungen aus kunftig zugestellten Bescheiden hat der Kaufer zu tragen, auch wenn sie Massnahmen aus fruheren Zeiten betreffen. Etwaige Erstattungsanspruche werden mit Wirkung vom Eigentumswechsel an den Kaufer abgetreten.

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