Rene Magritte. Perspective II: Manet’s Balcony. 1950
Especially often the idea of expanding the living space by means of an extension visits the residents of the first floors. And if under the window of the apartment there is a front garden overgrown with weeds with a lopsided or even completely destroyed fence, then the temptation to build a rather large additional room on this unclaimed and neglected territory increases many times.
Of course, in the central districts of Kiev, and even more so in Moscow and St. Petersburg, such extensions that seriously change the appearance of residential apartment buildings are almost impossible to meet – permits are issued extremely rarely, since almost all houses are architectural monuments and cannot be redeveloped. But in small cities, in residential areas with arrays of typical residential buildings built in the middle of the last century, such attached balconies, loggias, or even whole rooms, are quite common..
Most often, such structures are erected from silicate brick or cinder block, which is then covered with plaster and painted. The average price of such an extension with an area of up to 6 square meters, taking into account the cost of all building materials, the work of a team of builders and interior decoration, is about 3-4 thousand dollars. However, do not forget about the most troublesome part of the process of building an extension – obtaining official permission..
To obtain such a permit for construction in Ukraine, the following documents are required:
- a document confirming the ownership of the apartment – this can be a privatization certificate, a purchase and sale or donation agreement, a certificate of inheritance;
- technical passport for an apartment, the compilation period of which does not exceed 1 year;
- the consent of all tenants of the apartment, who have reached the age of majority, to carry out such redevelopment, certified by a notary or in the housing office;
- the consent of the owners of apartments located in the immediate vicinity of the proposed construction site, that is, apartments on the top, right, left and bottom, also certified by a notary or by representatives of the housing office;
- sketch of the future extension;
- a certificate from the housing office on the composition of family members registered in the apartment;
- homeowner’s identification code and passport.
As you can see, in principle, the list of documents that should then be submitted to the city or regional administration is not so long. Often the stumbling block is getting the consent of neighbors, who may be against such a construction in their yard. However, this is where the ordeal of the owner of the future extension only begins..
After obtaining consent from the administration (which may not give such permission), you should obtain an official sketch from the city department of architecture and construction, which will cost at least $ 100, then obtain consent for the implementation of the project in organizations such as:
- Ministry of Emergency Situations;
- city service gas;
- water utility;
- local power grid.
Only after agreement with all these structures (in each for obtaining a permit, you will also have to officially pay an amount of about $ 100 – the final price of the issue depends on the footage of the apartment and the future extension), you can conclude a contract with a construction organization and proceed directly to the construction of the desired balcony or loggia … After the completion of construction, the object must be accepted by a special commission, the owner is obliged to obtain a new technical passport for the apartment and only after that the extension is considered to be put into operation.
In the Russian Federation, the list of documents required to obtain an official permit for the construction of an extension looks the same, however, it is supplemented by the Conclusion of the authority for the protection of architectural monuments, stating that this residential building is not a monument of history and architecture and redevelopment can be carried out.
It is clear that the approval of construction in all of the above instances can take more than just a long time – it often takes years to obtain an official permission for an extension. The total amount that will have to be paid in all instances reaches 1-2 thousand dollars, which already significantly increases the cost of building additional space.
Sazhaev Mikhail. Bureaucrat. 1990
And, of course, do not forget – the process of obtaining permission in our country is complicated by the fact that almost every official whose job it is to consider such cases wants to “earn some money.” Often, in order to speed up the process of obtaining an official permit for an extension, one has to “bring gratitude” to each authority, so that the final price of the obtained permit may be 2 times higher than the cost of the construction itself.
At first glance, it seems that only residents of the first floors have the opportunity to expand the area of the apartment by adding a balcony. This is far from the case – modern building technologies allow you to push out and expand the balcony located on the second, third floor by several meters.
For residents of small towns or residential areas living in houses built in the 50-60s of the last century, such an expansion of the balcony often becomes not even a whim, but a necessity. Ordinary balconies of such houses often look so dilapidated that apartment owners have to take emergency measures to bring their balconies back to normal. In such cases, housing offices are often in no hurry to offer their help in the overhaul of a crumbling balcony, which is no longer just scary to go out, but it is dangerous to stand nearby. Therefore, keeping in mind the principle “Rescuing drowning is the work of the drowning themselves”, the apartment owners hire a team of workers, demolish the old balcony and start building a new one..
Stepanyan Levan. Balconies. 2008
The cost of such a major overhaul, taking into account the work, the purchase of building materials, in particular the suspended metal frame, glazing, insulation and interior decoration, reaches 2-3 thousand dollars. At the same time, the price in the case of a small expansion of the balcony area does not change so much, so many owners decide to push the balcony a few tens of centimeters forward and to the sides. Most often, apartment owners believe that there is no need to obtain official permission for such an extension, but this is not true.
The principle of obtaining permission to expand the area of the balcony located on the upper floors is the same as in the construction of an extension on the first floor – the same documents, the consent of neighbors, approval in many instances, an appeal to the BTI. The process is too long and costly, so 90% of such extended balconies and annexes were built without any approval from the authorities. What can such self-righteousness threaten the owner?
Firstly,neighbors, whom no one asked for permission, can simply write a statement to the housing office or to the administration and representatives of the authorities will knock on the surprised home owners demanding to demolish the illegal extension.
Secondly,problems can arise when selling an apartment, when transferring living space as an inheritance, as well as in case of obtaining a loan from a bank secured by this real estate, since the real layout does not coincide with that indicated in the technical passport of the BTI.
Thirdly,the owner of an extension or an extended balcony faces penalties.
However, not everything is so bad. If the owner does not have the time and desire to obtain permits for an extension or expansion of the balcony in all instances, you can contact intermediary companies that will help resolve this issue in just a couple of months, and you can start construction without waiting for an official consent. However, the services of such intermediaries will cost at least 4-5 thousand dollars, most of which will be spent on “gratitude” to officials and only 20% will go to the intermediary.
As practice shows, cases when the owner was really forced to demolish an illegal extension are rare in Ukraine. Most often, the owner simply pays a minor fine of about $ 10 and begins the long process of legalizing an already erected balcony.