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05-03-2010, 10:01   #1
SteveHallett
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Hi Guys,

Just buying a house, anyone know what the regulations are for building bedrooms in the loft? Does it need a permanent staircase? If I were to go for it, then i'd lose one bedroom but gain a bigger one in the loft...Trying to work out my options!

Cheers for any help

Steve
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05-03-2010, 10:24   #2
Provesta
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If it is a habitable room such as a bedroom it will require a proper stair and building regulations approval.

Have a chat with the town hall.
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05-03-2010, 10:53   #3
DK Electrical
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hi try this.

sheffield@townhall.co.uk
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05-03-2010, 12:17   #4
cosywolf
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I'm not sure if this helps, but I've come across the loft issue twice in the last six months while buying. The following is my understanding after one near-miss and a sale.

The first house advertised the loft as an 'occassional room'. It did not have strengthened floors or a regulation size staircase, but it was being used and had been, as an office cum playroom. That's not illegal. But of course it did not have building regs, and it would have been very much our problem if something had gone wrong after we bought it. We would have been happy to go with that, but our surveyor noticed some things that caused him concern, and we decided then that in fact that could turn into a very big problem.

The second house (the one we bought) had a strengthened floor, etc, and the papers to prove that, but again lacked a regulation sized staircase. This time, however, the surveyor was happy that the structure was sound.

From what I could understand, there were no legal issues with either loft being used however you wanted, but in the way they were advertised/you could advertise them if you sold them later.

If they didn't get building regs, it could cause a resale headache later for you. You can apply for building regs in retrospect (they come out and inspect) or if you're not fussed about resale for whatever reason, you can go for an indemnity policy, but make absolutely sure you get a top range survey to ensure the work is sound.

Don't forget some Victorian terraces (like the one I'm about to sell) had loft rooms as part of the build, so don't need regs. I might be a bit dim, but that caused me some confusion when I turned it from a store room into a bedroom. They tend to have proper staircases, though (if a bit steep)
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05-03-2010, 19:54   #5
Tony
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Just remember that every building regulation is somebody's epitaph - they are there for your safety not to aggravate you as you try to avoid complying.

Do it right. Stay safe.
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06-03-2010, 00:07   #6
handypandy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony View Post
Just remember that every building regulation is somebody's epitaph - they are there for your safety not to aggravate you as you try to avoid complying.

Do it right. Stay safe.
Quoted for the truth !

Also, as cosywolf states, a lot of Victorian houses have attics that were meant for light storage back in the day and are now used by many as bedrooms. Many of these have only 3" X 2" or 3" x 3" joists, so you wouldn't want to be dancin up there
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06-03-2010, 12:47   #7
carl skelton
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you will also have to up size joist benson building and joinery 07936487156
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08-03-2010, 08:40   #8
thomas helm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHallett View Post
Hi Guys,

Just buying a house, anyone know what the regulations are for building bedrooms in the loft? Does it need a permanent staircase? If I were to go for it, then i'd lose one bedroom but gain a bigger one in the loft...Trying to work out my options!

Cheers for any help

Steve
hi you can work around this / i`ve done loft rooms for people befor .... stair case moveable. but it all depends on things if you now what i mean give me a ring t helm property 07941678987
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08-03-2010, 09:25   #9
Tony
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You cannot install a moveable stair to a bedroom for very good safety reasons. Your kids will only burn to death in a fire once.
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08-03-2010, 13:31   #10
wibbles
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Originally Posted by thomas helm View Post
hi you can work around this / i`ve done loft rooms for people befor .... stair case moveable. but it all depends on things if you now what i mean give me a ring t helm property 07941678987
Duly noted...T Helm Property...can 'work around' Building Regs.
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08-03-2010, 13:35   #11
rubydazzler
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Duly noted...T Helm Property...can 'work around' Building Regs.
I read it as you may not have to lose a bedroom to develop the loft. You can work round it, by moving the existing staircase.

I know this because I've seen it done and it doesn't add that much to the cost. I may be wrong in this case, but why do people on here always seem to plump for the worst interpretation of any comment?
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08-03-2010, 17:05   #12
wibbles
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Originally Posted by rubydazzler View Post
I read it as you may not have to lose a bedroom to develop the loft. You can work round it, by moving the existing staircase.

I know this because I've seen it done and it doesn't add that much to the cost. I may be wrong in this case, but why do people on here always seem to plump for the worst interpretation of any comment?
Probably the 'but it all depends on things if you know what I mean' nudge nudge wink wink comment.
But I suppose you're right. If I have mis-interpreted the comments then I apologise and will correct my post.
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08-03-2010, 18:11   #13
ricgem2002
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we did a loft conversion a few years ago strenghting the joists,insulation plasterboarding etc to building regs . the only probllem was we couldnt get the head height so this couldnt be passed off . the houseowner bought a spiral staircase and just removed it when he came to sell the house and guess what the new owner bought the staircase back off him and just refitted it . so yes there is ways round it
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08-03-2010, 19:00   #14
handypandy
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Just to get a few things straight here, the OP is asking if anyone knows what the regulations are. The regulations are fairly strict and rightly so. The first step is to use a structural engineer/ architect who will put the plans together for the project. They are generally up to speed on the latest regs, and even then sometimes the builiding inspector will tweak the plan. There may be some parts of the plan that he may even tell you aren't as necessary, but ultimately its HIS decision. Its the law and as Tony states is there for good reason.

There is no cheap way to convert a loft to habitable space. The floor joists have to be the correct dimensions for the area they span, The insulation has to comply, a third floor room also has to comply with fire regulations so will most likely need a fire door entrance, fire resistant plaster boards. It must have a permanent staircase. It must have a window that is at least equal to 10% of the floorspace and it must be a means of escape in the event of fire. It must have adequate ventilation, mechanical if necessary......and so on.

If it is done properly, it may add some value to the property, but you would be unlikely to recoup the overall building cost. If it isn't.....its worthless and....well... anything could happen.

You will also require planning permission if you live in a conservation area and/or if you intend building a dormer on the front. In any event, its always worth asking first.
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08-03-2010, 19:30   #15
numero uno
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[QUOTE

If they didn't get building regs, it could cause a resale headache later for you. You can apply for building regs in retrospect (they come out and inspect) or if you're not fussed about resale for whatever reason, you can go for an indemnity policy, but make absolutely sure you get a top range survey to ensure the work is sound.

Applying for retrospective building regs can be quite tricky as they will want to see steel work insulation etc all the things that are covered by plasterboard so you can end up with a fewbis to patch up afterwards.
We did a terraced house and to get the head height we had to drop all the first floor celings by two course of bricks. Also would highly recommend a dormer as the space gained is much better see photos.
http://rb-building.com/index.php?mac...nid=52&page=52
My advice is if you can't be bothered or can't afford to do it properly wait till you can.
As previously said building regs arent there to cause hassle they are for your safety and to say the work is done to a satisfactory standard.
You may need a seperate ring from the fuse board, fire doors and casings through the house, mains smoke alarms the list goes on.
Get a good architect and you cant go wrong he will advise on everything some will even submit all the relevant paperwork for you to the council.
hope this helps
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