First things first, what is a mezzanine?
The easiest way of thinking about a mezzanine is to see them as a floating extra floor. Not big enough to create a whole new storey, but enough space for a new room, such as a bedroom or study.
Mezzanines are perfect for households that have plenty of head height and want to maximise on space without fully cutting their home in half. They’re particularly effective in converted homes, either old barns, churches, or warehouses.
If you’re considering your own mezzanine project, here’s five things you need to know beforehand…
Planning permission isn’t required
Because the work you’ll be undertaking sits within the interior of your home, planning permission won’t be needed in most cases. However, if you live in a listed property, then you will need to get approval from your local authority.
If you’re unsure about planning, you can always consult your council or ask a helpful architect (more on this later).
You’ll need a structural engineer
One professional you’ll be unable to go without is a structural engineer. Just as the name suggests, these professionals handle everything you’ll need to keep your mezzanine standing tall.
Working with any proposed designs you might have, a structural engineer will put together the technical drawings your home will need to withstand the stresses of everyday use. These calculations can cover foundations, beams, rafters, lintel, concrete slabs, etc.
A structural engineer typically costs £950-2500.
It’s worthwhile getting a structural engineer in early so they can assess whether the supporting walls of your house will need extra support to carry the extra weight of the mezzanine. This will be vital information when it comes to building regulations.
While you might not necessarily require planning permission, obtaining building control approval will be a must.
In order to get the green light for construction, you’ll need to prove your mezzanine will be in compliance with UK building regulations. These regulations have been put in place by the government to ensure you create a safe and healthy environment for both your family and any affected neighbours.
For these types of projects, your main considerations will be…
- Fire safety
- Structural calculations
- Stairwell safety
- Plus showing proper guarding is in place to stop people (especially children) from falling.
You’ll also need to demonstrate party wall laws have been adhered to.
You may need a party wall agreement
If you live in a semi-detached or terraced house, you’ll need to see if your mezzanine will be attached to a shared wall. If so, then you’ll need to get a party wall surveyor on board.
This professional will first help put together a party wall notice. Once served, your neighbour will have 14 days to give written consent to the proposed works, otherwise, a long legal process will be triggered and you’ll need to get a party wall agreement in place. This can take up to two months to arrange.
Learn more about party wall agreements.
Never underestimate the value of an architect
Lastly, it’s worthwhile considering an architect to help put your designs together.
We don’t just say this as an architecture practice, but because there’s a lot of fine details to consider that architects are experts in. Namely, they’ll be able to advise on whether or not you have sufficient head height, and how best to lay your mezzanine out to get the most space and to cause no damaging effects to floor below - such as obscuring any valuable light sources.
Don’t forget, any work you undertake with your home is an investment, one you want paying off when it comes to selling. An architect will make sure you get both the most space and style for your budget, making sure your money is tied to a project that will really pay off in the long run.
To learn more about mezzanines, and how an architect can help make one possible, book a call in with our experts. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, provide inspiration, and it’s all 100% free of charge!