Building Regulations For A Loft Conversion

All About Building Regulations For a Loft Conversion…

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What about Building Regulations?

These exist to ensure that new building work is safe when completed and the environment created is a healthy one and I’m very pleased to say that you would be very foolish indeed (especially with loft conversions) to try and avoid compliance. Without the “regs”, builders
could (and in some cases would), chuck up any old rubbish, collect your wonga and run away as fast as their little legs would carry them!

As stated in the “
intro article”, there are a plethora of regs. regarding lofts but compliance is down to your architect and builder. You may see a chap (sorry….person), in a white helmet turn up now and again and he, she…… is on your side. Give them a cheery wave, it will counter what the builder is thinking, as they gingerly ascend his ladder!

Everything from the size and position of steel girders to the type of lights you can fit in the bathroom is covered by building regulations.

There’s no way we are going to even attempt to list them BUT if you are interested you could visit your local council website - it’s a good starting point.

Fire regulations, relevant to Loft Conversions

These were created because other than in bungalows, you are creating a third floor. This make both getting out of the house and jumping from a window just that wee bit harder!

All Change!

However, the regs. have undergone a bit of a transformation in the last few years. Once, you had to have a recognised escape window fitted in the new conversion and every door leading off your landing and hallway upgraded to a “fire door”. This included intumescent strips, (don’t ask), annoying self closers, built up surrounds and either completely new doors or have the existing ones covered in hardboard.

The process was disruptive and costly, the doors ended up looking nothing like the originals and the cat kept being shut in a bedroom.

Run For Your Wife

in most authorities, you can forget all this if you fit a wired in, linked smoke alarm in each habitable room and a heat alarm in the kitchen. This is because alarms are immediate. As soon as a fire starts, it screams at you. You will have enough time to save the telly and beat a hasty retreat.

You do still need a fire door and a dividing wall with 30 minute fire protection at either the top or bottom of the new access stair though. Most people opt for the door at the top, where a small landing is created.

Bungalow Bill

If you live in a bungalow, you only need to fit a single wired in smoke alarm, you don’t even need a fire door for the new stair. This is because people who live in bungalows are young and sprightly and can easily outrun a fire, or merely launch themselves out of one of their new loft windows.

Cheap as chips!

A Guide To The Process of Converting a Loft