Category Archives for "Lofts"

Apr 20

Understanding Building Regulations For Loft Ladders, Loft Stairs And Loft Conversions

By Chris Walker | Home Improvement , Lofts

There are a lot of authority rules out there that at times come out as confusing to people who want to construct loft stairs, loft ladders or just simply carrying out a loft conversion. However, there are requirements for example in constructing loft stairs, the authority sees to it as an opening to using the loft as some sort of living space. As required by law, the authorities regulate the construction of premises including the living space. When you are planning to use the loft as a storage space, then it is not going to be frequently accessed. This is taken to be different from a loft that has been converted to a living area. The law is there to ensure that every conversion is done by the required standards and relevant rules. This is because, when a loft is converted into a living area, it means that it will be accessed frequently so if the staircase has not been put up well, it could lead to an accident or such so the law is here to prevent any injuries that can result from any accident that could occur.

Details that are Applicable for Building Regulations

The major concern of local authorities, when it comes to loft ladders is the ability to escape in case a fire breaks out. If the loft has been converted to become a bedroom for instance, and a fire breaks out, it is extremely easy for one to escape by use of a staircase in comparison with a simple loft ladder. It is for the same reason that when it comes to loft stairs, whatever you put should be reviewed by the local government to prevent any injuries that might occur from a fall in case any emergency was to come up.

Undertaking the Conversion Project

It is advised to at least go through a copy of regulations under which your project is covered to be familiar with what is required of you.  It is wise to do so but it helps so that you are aware on whether you have attained the minimum standards that have been set for design and construction, by the law. There are 5 major categories in loft conversions. These include an access method, ventilation, fire safety, insulation and its structural stability.

Structural Stability

This is usually put into consideration if you want to use the loft as a storage unit for extremely heavy equipment. This would mean that the joists holding the ceiling would need to be reinforced or strengthened so that they are able to hold the weight.

Fire Safety

Conforming to fire and the safety regulations is imperative. The floors and the walls should be able to resist fire for at least 30 minutes. There should be escape windows and fire alarm systems.

Ventilation

Be familiar with both background ventilation and rapid ventilation.  Your roof should also be ventilated so that it prevents the condensation of moisture.

Apr 12

What to Consider When Planning a Loft Conversion

By Chris Walker | Home Improvement , Lofts

If you want to add space and also value to the house, you can do this by opening your loft. However, it is not easy to plan this conversion. Not everyone is aware that there are certain regulations and also steps which should be thought through before embarking into the conversion.  Below are some of the low-downs which need to be considered before starting the conversion.

loft conversions

Conduct an Investigation on Whether You Will Need To Have a Planning Permission

We should be aware that planning permission is not required on all properties. All of these depend on the house type. Some houses may be allowed to conduct a conversion without necessarily having a planning permission. However, if your house or flat is in a conservation area, then you are specifically required to have planning permission. The main rule is that, if you are altering your roof for instance, either by raising it up or lowering it, you should get a planning permission from the authorities.

Find Out If You Are Located In a Conservation Area

The easiest way to know is by visiting the website of your local area and see if you are located in the given areas set as conservation areas. It is simple since you only key in your postal code and you will know if you are located in the given location. If you do, then you are required to go to the authorities and seek a planning permission before you do the conversion.

Get an Approval for Building Regulations

It is standard practice to get building regulations when it comes to building industry. Make sure you will have the correct materials and the right structure required for the conversion and also get in touch with professionals who are competent enough to carry out the conversion. However planning permission is not the same as building regulations. Building regulations mean that the government, the local one has inspected and verified the construction as having fulfilled all the required standards. This includes assessment of the work quality, accessibility, insulation, ventilation, safety, structure and much more.

Consider a Specialist

There are specialists available who deal with loft fixtures such as timescale, the fittings and also the payments. However, it is also possible to partially use the services of the specialists and then outsource other services on your own such as plumbers and others that might be necessary. However, it is highly discouraged to manage your project on your own if you have no experience in the same field. It is recommended to acquire professional services that have experience in loft conversions for a long time.

Seek For Advice If You Want To Create Storage Space

If you are intending to add more space by adding floorboards, for instance, you should consider the amount of weight that the joists can handle. You should, however, enlist guidance from an engineer who deals with structural work on how to go about it.