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Loft Convertion - Joists

Discussion in 'Building' started by SALL2009, 23 Jul 2009.

  1. SALL2009

    SALL2009

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    I am considering getting my loft converted and use it as a bedroom. I want to know if I will need to install new floor joists to support the load of the new room.

    The size of current ceiling joists are - 147mm x 63 mm - The gap between the joists is 450mm. There is a load bearing wall in the middle of the property. The joists span across this wall for 13 1/2 feet on both sides.

    Another thing is that this will not be a new conversion from scratch. The loft has already been converted and used as a bed room (I’m assuming) at some stage in the past. Floor boards are already laid on most of the usable loft area. The area where the floor boards are missing, it is quite obvious that they were there a one point (nail marks on the joists etc). Also the usable area already has the stud wall work done.
    The plaster boards have been taken off. There are also signs of torn wall paper on one wall. This work is at least 10 year old, that’s before we have been living here.
    I have only noticed this a few months ago, as I wanted to explore the possibility of a conversion.

    There is also a window frame (there isn't an opening on the roof) and a door frame in the stud work. Can someone look at the attached pictures and maybe date the materials used on the window and door frame.
    The window in the loft looks same as the bedroom windows of the first floor bedrooms (now changed to PVC double glazed). The house is a 1950ies mid-terrace.

    My main questions are that, will I need to get new joists installed? If so, what size? And would I need steel beams? Could I just use the same size joists to run along the ones already in place.
    The fact that the loft has already been used as a living space at some point, make any difference in regards to building regulation? Would a loft conversion have been approved 10 or so years back with joists I have described above? (As long as they are safe).

    Any help and comments will be appreciated.

     
  2. stephenf8542

    stephenf8542

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    Could be it was used as a bedroom before but with no planning permission and was taken down before it was sold.
    How large is the floor area going to be?
     
  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    In summary, you need a new b/regs application and they will determine if the joists and beams (and anything else) are suitable
     
  4. SALL2009

    SALL2009

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    The useable floor area will be 15 1/2 foot x 11 foot. All of this area has clear head room (with the current joists)
     
  5. crossercuss

    crossercuss

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    ive just finished a loft conversion and my inspector insisted on 7x2 joists .... was my first time at anything like that before but was quite easy really... helped that i had a good inspector aswell...
     
  6. SALL2009

    SALL2009

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    Thanks for all your replies. So how do I get the process going? Do I need to start a building regulations application first? And they will tell what is required or do I need to hire a structural engineer?
     
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  8. crossercuss

    crossercuss

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    i first made a building reg application and then you pay your fee and i got given a booklet explaining what size timbers,insulation etc etc... then the inspector came out and had a look and i just asked him to explain things i wasnt to sure about.... it is pretty straight forward really but if your not sure about something during the conversion then just ask ,,,, there usually pretty friendly lot...
     
  9. SALL2009

    SALL2009

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    Was this a BUILDING NOTICE APPLICATION?
     
  10. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Don't rely on a BCO telling you how to build.

    You tell him how you want to build, and then he tells you if he agrees with it.

    And if he don't agree, just hope you have not already built it.

    Use a full plan app, get the plans approved and build to them. If you use a building notice, make sure you know how to build .... so it seems a full plan application is required in this case
     
  11. IJWS15

    IJWS15

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    Looks odd to me.

    The marks on the timber indicate lath and plaster - very old.

    The window looks to be in the wrong place to have ever been used.

    The door frame could have been access into the old roof space.

    Apart from the window very like the last house my parents had, it had been built with rooms in the loft (for the servants). Was built around 1880.

    It is possible that this house was built like that - how old is it?
     
  12. SALL2009

    SALL2009

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    Yeah it does look quite odd. The colour (determination) of rafters and stud works looks exactly the same.

    Well the window does look odd, but other side of the windows is enclosed with timber on sides and top, so it could have been used (only need to remove the roof slates).

    The door frame is in perfect place for entry and that's where I would install the staircase. The beams are already cut where the staircase would have been and new much thinner timber is placed and plaster boarded from underneath. On second floor this area is now an ok size cupboard. So I get the feeling a staircase or some means of entry must have been there at some point.

    The house is not that old, it was built in 1952. Anyway to find out if the loft space (room) was part of the original house design.
     
  13. DIYnot Local

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