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  • FIRST POST
    • Tryingtocleardebt
    • By Tryingtocleardebt 10th Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    • 8Posts
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    Tryingtocleardebt
    Building regs on loft conversion
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:08 AM
    Building regs on loft conversion 10th Oct 17 at 11:08 AM
    We're in the process of having a loft conversion, and have been told that we have to have a fire wall downstairs for building regs (which we were told prior but will take this down once signed off).

    My issue now is that they're saying we have to have smoke detectors in every room and on every landing (which we weren't told), so 8 in total, plus a heat sensor in the kitchen! They all have to be put in via the electrician too, which means carpets have to come up to get to floor boards, and ceiling will have to be broken through to put them in.

    Does this sound a little excessive? I'm sure new builds don't have to have this many?!

    I am pretty stressed at the moment with the noise, mess and damage the builders seem to be doing (no, I've never done this before, and no, this wasn't explained before they started), and although most of the 'damage' is paintwork etc, I'm sure some new cracks have appeared in some walls and ceilings......
Page 1
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 1,590 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    If those are the regulations, that's what you're going to need to do. It's very important to have a building regulations completion certificate for the loft conversion when you come to sell the property.

    I've not read the latest version of the regulations recently, so am no expert, but I seem to recall that mains wired smoke detectors in each room are not required if every door in the house is a fire door.

    Surely a little extra disruption, and having some of the carpets lifted is acceptable, given this is a safety measure?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Oct 17, 11:14 AM
    • 24,085 Posts
    • 66,698 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:14 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:14 AM
    It's a good job that they've demanded smokes in every room if you're taking down the fire break that protects your escape route in the case of a fire.

    Presumably you aren't changing all your doors to fire doors?

    You are carrying out a major change to your property and building regs are there to protect you. Your own safety is a priority, more even than the lifestyle benefits you feel you will get from your loft conversion.

    You won't be enjoying that lifestyle when fire engulfs your stairwell and you argued with the Building Inspector over the presence of smoke alarms.

    What the building inspector wants, the building inspector gets. It's for you, not him.

    Building work is stressful. You are carrying out major structural changes to your home. It is dirty, it is invasive and there is no getting away from it. You just have to try and relax. It will all go back together.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Oct 17, 11:16 AM
    • 24,085 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:16 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:16 AM
    This is on the wrong board. I wonder if it gets moved...
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
    • 10,053 Posts
    • 8,126 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
    We're in the process of having a loft conversion, and have been told that we have to have a fire wall downstairs for building regs (which we were told prior but will take this down once signed off).
    Originally posted by Tryingtocleardebt
    Words fail me!!!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • 24,085 Posts
    • 66,698 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    Words fail me!!!
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Indeed. Who needs to survive a fire when you can show off your open plan lounge to your friends and the radiators on the ground floor heat the loft.

    There are ways and means to actually get what they want and stay as safe as possible, in the form of a fire engineer's report and a mist suppression system. But it costs money and the OP seems to value other things more highly.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • JESSICA KARINA
    • By JESSICA KARINA 10th Oct 17, 4:55 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    JESSICA KARINA
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 4:55 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 4:55 PM
    Wow, this must be very expensive!!!!
    We are in the process to buy a house (1950's), the loft is half converted and it doesn't have regulation(not stairs). Now it is use as a storage. I wonder if we can have problem in the future to sell the house.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 10th Oct 17, 5:31 PM
    • 4,895 Posts
    • 5,348 Thanks
    societys child
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:31 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 5:31 PM
    Wow, this must be very expensive!!!!
    We are in the process to buy a house (1950's), the loft is half converted and it doesn't have regulation(not stairs). Now it is use as a storage. I wonder if we can have problem in the future to sell the house.
    Originally posted by JESSICA KARINA
    If no stairs and only used for storage, it doesn't sound like a loft conversion. It's just a loft . . (even if it's been boarded)

    • webcrest043
    • By webcrest043 12th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    webcrest043
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    Wow, this must be very expensive!!!!
    We are in the process to buy a house (1950's), the loft is half converted and it doesn't have regulation(not stairs). Now it is use as a storage. I wonder if we can have problem in the future to sell the house.
    Originally posted by JESSICA KARINA
    If there is no stairs and is only used for storage, it does not sound like loft conversion.I agree with societys child.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • 7,604 Posts
    • 8,146 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    As a rough guide, if it's got any two of:
    - boarded and walled
    - has a fixed stair or ladder (not a pull-down loft ladder)
    - has windows
    then it's treated as habitable accommodation and must comply to all Building Regs at the time of conversion.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Uxb
    • By Uxb 12th Oct 17, 8:19 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    Uxb
    You are carrying out a major change to your property and building regs are there to protect you. Your own safety is a priority, more even than the lifestyle benefits you feel you will get from your loft conversion.

    You won't be enjoying that lifestyle when fire engulfs your stairwell and you argued with the Building Inspector over the presence of smoke alarms.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    While those houses like mine which had loft conversions done umpteen years - (decades actually) ago have none of these things and seem to get on and continue to exist day in day out without exploding.
    Actually I know of conversions done without a fixed stairway just to avoid having to comply with whatever was the latest incarnation of the regulations at the time - as I know of other projects totally abandoned precisely because of the regs and their requirements, and others where something installed solely to comply with the regs was promptly removed by the new owners.
    I have a couple of doorways which have step downs immediately beyond them - apparently now not allowed by the regs - oh well only been there a 100 years or so.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 12th Oct 17, 8:51 PM
    • 2,956 Posts
    • 1,704 Thanks
    chappers
    While those houses like mine which had loft conversions done umpteen years - (decades actually) ago have none of these things and seem to get on and continue to exist day in day out without exploding.
    Actually I know of conversions done without a fixed stairway just to avoid having to comply with whatever was the latest incarnation of the regulations at the time - as I know of other projects totally abandoned precisely because of the regs and their requirements, and others where something installed solely to comply with the regs was promptly removed by the new owners.
    I have a couple of doorways which have step downs immediately beyond them - apparently now not allowed by the regs - oh well only been there a 100 years or so.
    Originally posted by Uxb
    and because those things are deemed a risk the regs have been changed
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Oct 17, 9:38 PM
    • 24,085 Posts
    • 66,698 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    While those houses like mine which had loft conversions done umpteen years - (decades actually) ago have none of these things and seem to get on and continue to exist day in day out without exploding.
    Actually I know of conversions done without a fixed stairway just to avoid having to comply with whatever was the latest incarnation of the regulations at the time - as I know of other projects totally abandoned precisely because of the regs and their requirements, and others where something installed solely to comply with the regs was promptly removed by the new owners.
    I have a couple of doorways which have step downs immediately beyond them - apparently now not allowed by the regs - oh well only been there a 100 years or so.
    Originally posted by Uxb
    Nothing's a problem until it's a problem.

    People die in house fires pretty much every day. If houses met all regulations and smoke alarms worked, it wouldn't happen nearly as much.

    If you are carrying out work on your house then you should be working to regulations to keep yourself safe.

    And you can have doorways with steps down immediately beyond. We're carrying out a loft conversion to creat four storeys right now and the top floor has a full flight of stairs down from the door. Regs require a landing area at the bottom. Regardless, it's not entirely the same as what is effectively creating an open chimney from the kitchen to the loft with insufficient mitigators.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 12th Oct 17, 9:51 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    ComicGeek
    I have a couple of doorways which have step downs immediately beyond them - apparently now not allowed by the regs - oh well only been there a 100 years or so.
    Originally posted by Uxb
    You can't compare level access with fire safety. Anyone who knowingly removes fire safety devices is a complete idiot.

    An older fire consultant that I used to work with called historic buildings 'just buildings that hadn't burnt down yet'....
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