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  • FIRST POST
    • BartyBoy
    • By BartyBoy 31st May 15, 11:43 PM
    • 405Posts
    • 40Thanks
    BartyBoy
    Building Regulations for a downstairs WC
    • #1
    • 31st May 15, 11:43 PM
    Building Regulations for a downstairs WC 31st May 15 at 11:43 PM
    Hello all!

    I am in a process of purchasing a new build property. As the builders have only started to lay the foundation of my property, I asked them if I could make some slight changes to the layout so it works better for me.

    On the builders' drawing plan, there is a downstairs WC next to the kitchen. The WC is approx. 1.93m x 1.01m. Currently, on the drawing plan it shows the door is outward opening but I want to change it so the door is inward opening instead.

    I sent this request to the sales guy last week and he got back to me today saying, 'the downstairs WC door has to open out as the Building Regulations state that we must allow unobstructed manoeuvring space within the room sufficient to turn a wheelchair.'

    It made me laugh when I read that statement. The people who are going to live in this property don't use wheelchairs, and furthermore, if the regulations were the case, should I need to add a disabled ramp at the front and back doors to make my property more wheelchair friendly?

    Anyway, my question is, is it true about the Building Regulations that a WC in a domestic property must have enough room for the wheelchair access?

    The sales guy even brought up the NHBC who may not allow this change...

    Any suggestions and advice are very much appreciated as always!

    Many thanks
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 1st Jun 15, 5:22 AM
    • 27,349 Posts
    • 97,734 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 15, 5:22 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 15, 5:22 AM
    You probably need to look at P72 of this Building Regs Document:

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADM_2004.pdf
    'There are places to go beyond belief'

    Neil Armstrong, apparently referring to worlds beyond the solar system.
    • BlueIsTheColour
    • By BlueIsTheColour 1st Jun 15, 6:31 AM
    • 643 Posts
    • 402 Thanks
    BlueIsTheColour
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:31 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:31 AM
    I've not long bought a new build house, my downstairs WC has an outward opening door & there's a ramp to the front door allowing level access so sounds like they're telling the truth...

    All the houses on this estate are the same in terms of downstairs WC & level front access.
  • archived user
    • #4
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:35 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:35 AM
    It is a legal requirement now that new builds are disabled friendly E.G. all sockets at about waist height, not just above skirting boards, doors to small rooms etc.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 1st Jun 15, 6:39 AM
    • 6,120 Posts
    • 5,884 Thanks
    anselld
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:39 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 15, 6:39 AM
    It is true that new build must comply with various disabled access requirements in the Building Regs regardless of the intended occupants.

    NHBC are involved because they inspect the build vs the regulations and issue the guarantee.

    You can always get a carpenter to change the door opening after you move in.
    • Freecall
    • By Freecall 1st Jun 15, 9:22 AM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 992 Thanks
    Freecall
    • #6
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:22 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:22 AM
    Your builder is correct, Part M of the Building Regulations refer.

    And yes, your builder will fit a 'ramp' which is actually called a level threshold at your primary entrance.

    Your comment 'The people who are going to live in this property don't use wheelchairs' completely fails to appreciate the purpose of the legislation. The whole point is that all people including those with mobility problems should be able to visit houses without fear of being unable to use the lavatory.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 1st Jun 15, 9:24 AM
    • 65,778 Posts
    • 386,217 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #7
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:24 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:24 AM
    Mine's like that, outward. I'm sure a sliding/pocket door would have made more sense, but more cost.

    It's also annoying as these new disabled friendly loos are plonked on the ground floor - and when your home is small it takes up a disproportionate amount of space. I think 1/3rd of my house is the loo/hall/stairs.
    • Jhoney
    • By Jhoney 1st Jun 15, 9:42 AM
    • 1,190 Posts
    • 793 Thanks
    Jhoney
    • #8
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:42 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Jun 15, 9:42 AM
    It is true that new build must comply with various disabled access requirements in the Building Regs regardless of the intended occupants.

    NHBC are involved because they inspect the build vs the regulations and issue the guarantee.

    You can always get a carpenter to change the door opening after you move in.
    Originally posted by anselld
    ^^
    ...And revert it if/when you move out, so that the concept of fair access to all is not lost to future occupiers that may not have the mobility that we do.
    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 1st Jun 15, 10:44 AM
    • 1,778 Posts
    • 4,527 Thanks
    oystercatcher
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 15, 10:44 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 15, 10:44 AM
    It made me laugh when I read that statement. The people who are going to live in this property don't use wheelchairs, and furthermore, if the regulations were the case, should I need to add a disabled ramp at the front and back doors to make my property more wheelchair friendly?


    Originally posted by BartyBoy
    I'm sure you won't be laughing if you suddenly become disabled.
    Will you never have disabled friends or family who might want to visit ? We all become older.

    I have a friend who can't visit either of her children because all toilet facilities are upstairs.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 1st Jun 15, 10:47 AM
    • 16,254 Posts
    • 30,257 Thanks
    missbiggles1
    Mine's like that, outward. I'm sure a sliding/pocket door would have made more sense, but more cost.

    It's also annoying as these new disabled friendly loos are plonked on the ground floor - and when your home is small it takes up a disproportionate amount of space. I think 1/3rd of my house is the loo/hall/stairs.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    It would hardly make sense to put them upstairs, would it?
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 1st Jun 15, 10:50 AM
    • 65,778 Posts
    • 386,217 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    It would hardly make sense to put them upstairs, would it?
    Originally posted by missbiggles1
    You say that, but I watched one HutH episode where a shop building was converted by the buyer to be a shop on the ground floor - and a flat on the first floor, accessed from the rear.

    Rear access was along a dark/unlit lane and in through the rear gate. There was then a large, metal, fire escape style set of stairs to the exterior to give access to the first floor ....and he'd had to put in the disabled loo as it was a "new build" due to converting it to residential.

    It was mad.
    • Waterlily24
    • By Waterlily24 1st Jun 15, 12:19 PM
    • 1,100 Posts
    • 619 Thanks
    Waterlily24
    When we had our extension done we had to have the bathroom door opening outwards but we also had to have ramps and a wider door to one of the entrance doors.
    • DepositSaver
    • By DepositSaver 1st Jun 15, 12:27 PM
    • 157 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    DepositSaver
    My 10 year old flat has an outward opening bathroom door, lower than usual light switches and thermostat, higher than normal electrical sockets and is thus completely wheelchair friendly. Except that it's a second floor flat in a building with no lift.

    The design does make the ground floor flats accessible and I guess there's no point building the upper floors differently if the design works fine for non-disabled people.
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