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Advice needed on loft conversion

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by jimco, 5 Apr 2011.

  1. jimco

    jimco

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    Hello,

    I have a query about the way forward with my loft. The house is an 1920's Edwardian semi. When I bought the property the previous owner had started but not finished converting the loft. He had installed new suspended" joists, purlins, 4 velux windows and a window on the gable end (fire exit i presume).

    I have a copy of the architects drawings and building regulation notes from 2002. They have been stamped by the local MBC planning department as passed. I have checked the work done and it conforms to the drawings.

    Since I have been in the house all I have done is put some T&G chipboard over the new joists to use the loft space as storage. There is no staircase access yet. Only ladder via loft hatch.

    My query is that if I wanted to convert the loft into living space (the drawings are for a new bedroom with en suite bathroom) could I just proceed with the drawings I have or would I need to go back to the planning department and seek further approval ? i.e. for the staircase and fire door ?

    I know the building regs have changed since this work was done. Would this restrict any conversion as the work that has been done did pass building regs at the time. I don't really want to have to rip everything out and start again.
    Cheers.
     
  2. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    You can use the approved draings from 2002 as they have been approved. You will need to get Building Control to come out and do some inspections which unless the previous owner paid for you will have to pay for. However just because you don't need to there is nothing to stop you doing to doing it to the current regs and it needn't cost much more. Actually with regards to the fire regs they are actually slightly less onerous nowadays.
     
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  3. tkmax

    tkmax

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    Eh!? :LOL:
     
  4. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Err yea, you don't need door closers on every door that accesses the stairwell anymore, I'd say that was less onerous. If you'd ever lived in a house with a door closer on every door you'd realise what a pain in the backside it can be. Thanks for your useful contribution though.
     
  5. big-all

    big-all

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    may be misunderstanding this as i am a humble chippie lol
    work must start before 5 years are up and finished within 10 years to the regs applicable at the time
    but subsequent building regs will be applied if not completed in time
     
  6. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    You must commence within 3 years of approval but you have an unlimited time with which to complete the works.
     
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  7. tkmax

    tkmax

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    Assuming the loft conversion is creating one floor over 4.5m above ground level then I understand the current requirement is to provide a full 30min fire resistance to the new floor, rather than a modified 30mins, together with a 30min fire resistant stair enclosure and fire doors. I'd say thats much more onerous/disruptive than a few self closers and a fire escape window. Thanks for your useful sarcasm though :cool:
     
  8. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Sticking a bit of plywood down instead of chipbaord is not really that onerous is it? Small price to pay for a less creaky floor, much better moisture resistance and avoiding door closers.
     
  9. tkmax

    tkmax

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    How does that upgrade the fire resistance of the new floor and the stair enclosure to 30mins standard!?
     
  10. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Provided 22mm T&G ply is used that normally gets through the regs OK.

    What next?
     
  11. tkmax

    tkmax

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    How tedious. The floor covering has little or no contribution to the fire resistance, and the floor has nothing to do with protecting the escape stair.
     
  12. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    You asked how the floor can be upgraded, I have told you. Which bit don't you understand, I'll try and guide you through it.
     
  13. tkmax

    tkmax

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    Nope I asked you how the floor AND stair enclosure can be upgraded, check my previous posts in this thread. The floor covering isn't good enough to protect the floor from fire attacking from the underside - the ceiling needs to be checked and upgraded as necessary, or a between-joist solution needs to be adopted. Partitions separating habitable rooms from the stair also need to be checked and upgraded as necessary, with fire doors fitted. And that's without going into open plan ground floor arrangements. Bit more onerous than fitting a handful of perkos.
     
  14. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    When did I say fire doors were not required? I said closers were not required. Unless the ceiling is lathe and plaster it is unlikely that Building Control will require anything more than 22mm T&G plywood as an upgrade. It is also very unlikely that existing partitions will need any upgrading.
     
  15. tkmax

    tkmax

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    You said that the current regs were less onerous than in 2002 and I disagreed with you, citing the need for fire doors as part of what I consider to be more onerous legislation. Unless the ceilings have been refurbished or overboarded its a fairly safe bet they'll be lath and plaster in a 1920's house, as will most timber partitions.
     
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