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Loft Conversions

 

Loft conversions yield numerous benefits for homeowners, which may be the reason for their increasing popularity. Often, up to 30% of a property’s potential space is located within the loft area.

Converting the attic will therefore provide a significant amount of room that may be used for a wide variety of accommodation; often a bedroom, bathroom, office, or entertainment room.

It is widely perceived that a loft conversion will add a significant amount of money to the value of a property. Whilst the exact figure varies, many credible sources have determined that a professional loft conversion can increase a house’s value by approximately 20%.

Many families also choose to convert their loft area as a means of obtaining more space without having to endure the costly and stressful process of moving property

Sructural Stability 

 

Because ceiling joists are likely to be inadequate , most of the lofts need new floor joists , the floor joists normally are supported on steel beams.

Beams to support floor joists can be steel or a combination of timber and steel (a flitch beam). The exact size will depend on the loading and the span. 

 

Fire Safety 

 

The addition of a third story to a dwelling house introduces a greater risk to the occupants of that storey in the event of a fire occurring on either of the lower floors. Accordingly the Building Regulations require additional measures to ensure a safe means of escape and early warning is provided within the building.

to provide safe means of escape for the occupants. This achieved by constructing/ upgrading the stair enclosure to a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance and fitting fire doors with suitable frames to all rooms. In some cases existing doors can remain as they are and mains smoke alarms are added to each bedroom, living room and kitchen. 

If the ground floor or first floor are open plan, new walls will be required to form a separate hallway or a mist system. 

 

Loft Doors

 

Loft doors are designed and constructed for fire resistance and

smoke prevention. 

Loft height 

 

If there is not enough height to build the loft conversion, then the first floor ceilings within the loft perimeter need to be lowered. 

Loft stairs 

 

Most of the time there is enough space on the first floor landing for the loft stairs, but in some cases alterations have to be made on the first floor 

Party Wall Agreement

 

The Party Wall act does not give your neighbours the right to halt your loft conversion, but it will affect how you carry out the work. A party wall notice must be served to the neighbours at least 2 months in advance. If the neighbours sign the party wall notice, then nothing further will be required, if they don't then party wall surveyors needs to be appointed. The building works can not start until a party wall award has been issues and signed 

Plans and planning 

 

Architects plans are required for a loft conversion. In most cases a loft conversion can be done under permitted developments if it does not exceed 40m3. However, planning permission is required in conservation areas or for flats

Structural plans and building regulations  

 

Structural plans and calculations from a qualified structural engineer are required. 

Building regulations are also required, a council inspector or approved private inspector needs to inspect the loft conversion at different stages and sign it off. 

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