third part wall

by Mr. Osgood
(Twickenham)

Can you convert space in the loft right up to and including the third party wall / chimney i.e. can it be plastered and used as part of the loft room?

Or should there be a partition wall providing a gap between the two?

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Party Wall

There is no party walling in loft only chimney breast. What building regs does this come under. Can I build on top of existing wall to close off my attic?

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Bungalow Loft Conversion

by Keith
(Kent)

I bought a bungalow about 4 years ago with a loft conversion which had I belive had no planning permission.

The previous owner signed a declaration that there had been no construction work on the bungalow in the previous 5 years.

It has a small dormer window at the front and a dormer at the back, none extend beyond the guttering or the top of the existing roof.

As far as the borough council is concerned it is a 2 bed bungalow when in fact it is now a four bed two bathroom bungalow.

In view of the relaxed planning permission will I be Ok when I attempt to sell it in the future,and what is the liabilty for any council tax and the property banding now or in previous years.

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Building Regulations

by Mark
(Colliers Wood, London, UK)

Dear Jeremy

Two years ago I bought a property which had a 'loft room'. I believe it was sold as a 'loft room' because there was no application submitted for building regulation approval.

Howver, I believe much of the construction would meet building regulation approval. The construction of the room is as follows:

Floor: Flitch beams circa 250/300mm deep installed in gable walls with new joists installed in between.

Roof construction: Vaulted roof construction (No Mansard) with 4 no. vulex windows. All wall and ceiling coverings are plasterboard, however, I do not know if they are firerated platerboard or normal plasterboard, although I expect they are the latter.

I believe much of the structure would achieve building regulisation approval However, I am unsure about the staircase and access arrangements as The staircase is reasonably steep and is surrounded at the opening into the loft room by a ballustrade (i.e. no wals or doors around the staircase).

Furthermore, none of the doors throughout the house are fire rated either.

Could you please provide some inital advice on whether or not if I apply for building regulisation approval, if I will be required to undertake extensive works to obtain building regulation approval?

I would very grateful for any advise or assistance you could provide.

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Building Regulations Completion Certificate

I have my home up for sale and have been asked for the completion certificate for the loft conversion that was completed in 1996 which i do not have.

I contacted the local council and was told that building regulation was granted, I have got plans with 1 stamp from the inspector but no final stamp of approval hence no completion certificate.

The contracted builders walked off the job before hand due to a disagreement about fitting an electric pump for the hot water, the local building regulations office have said there is nothing they can do to assist us.

Does this now mean I can not sell my property without the certificate?

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Conversion

Hi

I live in Dudley and I'm unsure of any regs, what I would like to do is add another floor to my house.

My loft is not big enough to stnd up in by a few inches.

Can I build another floor then put back the existing roof or build up another 5 course and adjust the roof to suit with some dormer windows?

What is the recomended footing depth in good ground and how good are raft foundations as I may have them

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Party Wall Agreement

by Angela
(London)

Hello, my neighbour has served a PWA to me with no supporting documentation.

He states that the survey has not yet been conducted therefore I cannot view the plans.

I am trying to ascertain what liability he/his builders will take is damage is caused to the party wall.

He seems very vague about this but is pressuring me to sign (which I wont!)

If I do not agree to sign will he have to appoint a surveryor and pay for the costs incurred.

Would be very grateful for your advise.

Angela

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Buying a house with a loft conversion but without building regulations. Help!

Hi,

The house we are about to buy has a loft conversion but it doesn't meet building regs on the basis of there being insufficient insulation and lack of fire doors. The loft is fully boarded and decorated as a bedroom with velux windows, lighting and separate boarded out paddle staircase. Our intention would be to use the loft as an occasional playroom.

Can you please give some guidance to the following questions?

1. Even if the loft room is not being marketed as an extra bedroom does this still require building regs?

2.Am I correct in thinking that as the loft has been converted into useable /habitable space regardless of the specific intentions of its use; storage or bedroom this will need building regs approval?

3. Would all 6 doors leading from the main upstairs landing need to be fire doors or solely the door giving direct access to the loft (the staircase to the loft is fully boarded)?

Many thanks in advance.



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Loft conversion no building regulations approval

Hi

We are trying to buy a house that is being sold as a 3 bedroom property but the loft room (3rd bedroom) has no building regulations in place.

The estate agent insists that as there is indemnity insurance it is fine, but we are being advised that it is legally a two bed and are worried about the extent of the work needed to rectify any structural shortcomings etc as we would like to extend elsewhere in the property and also have a legal 3 bed property!

Are they right that it is fine as is with indemnity insurance and is therefore a 'bedroom'?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

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Returning a loft conversion without building regs approval to a loft

by David
(Eastbourne)

We have made an offer on a large edwardian house which has had the roof converted into a loft room around 10 years ago and we have now found there was no building regulation approval.

The house is plenty large enough for us without this room and we were going to remove the stairs which come up from the main bedroom and plasterboard the celing and reinstate the loft hatch. This would leave a boarded floor and ceiling and a small velux.

We are having a full survey done but Im concerned about three things. Firstly the structural integrity of the house. The elderly owner simply cannot understand my concerns and is talking about bringing in a carpenter to do any further strengthening works.

However if the survey throws up any issues would a structural engineer be the best person to tell me what remidial works are required?

We have yet to have a mortgage valuation but would the loft conversion without permission make the property unmortgagable.

thirdly if at a later date we decide to convert the loft properly would this original conversation cause issues or would a loft conversion firm simply view it as a boarded loft and make the necessary calculations to ensure things can be done properly.

I dont want to be landed with something that can never be put right and in a ligitimate condition.

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Loft conversion building regulations

Dear Martin,

We have had an offer accepted on a house. It was advertised as a 2 bedroom property but our building survey highlighted that the 2nd bedroom (the loft room) was unlikely to have had building regulations approval as it did not comply in a number of areas.

Our solicitor did the search and found out that approval WAS granted but that there was no completion certificate for the work.

The extension was built in April 1994 (before the current owners moved in). It looks like the extension would not be compliant and so would require works to get a completion certificate.

For example, it has a normal window (as opposed to a Velux) and has no bedroom door (just a doorway to a staircase). However, we're finding it very difficult to find out what it would need to pass 1991/94 regulations.

We also understand that if the seller has someone from the council attend the property to see what needs to be done, this would void any possible indemnity policy. We don't particularly want to go down the indemnity route but don't want to close off any options.

We're also not quite clear why we would need an indemnity policy anyway as the council say they cannot enforce any work done more than 2 years ago (we didn't give them the property address).

Our priorities are that we get our mortgage, can insure properly, the place is safe, and that we don't have the same problems selling the property on.

The sellers are reluctant to have someone from the Council attend the property and seem to be getting cold feet about the whole thing (even though these issues would come up whoever they were selling to).

We understand that, without the completion certificate, we would in fact be buying a 1 bedroom house with storage. We want to know what work needs to be done and come to an arrangement with the seller to knock the price of the property down so we can get the work done to get the certificate (if our bank would accept this).

Our questions: would you happen to have a summary of what is needed for an extension to comply with 1994 building regs?
Is there a way to find out what needs to be done to make the property compliant before calling the council in? What's the point of an indemnity policy if the council aren't going to enforce anyway?

Is there anything from your experience that you feel we could do to stop the sale falling through but not have to deal with these problems ourselves when we come to sell?

Thanks so much, Ally

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Loft Conversion No Building Regs

by James

Hi

We are currently selling a property which has a loft conversion which was built in 1978 & has no building regs.

Does the conversion need building/fire regs if it is being used for light storage only.

And would this invalidate any insurance if the conversion doesnt conform.


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Completion certificate

by Corrine
(Middlesex)

I have a loft conversion in my bungalow completed in May 2006, I attained building regulations and every step of the conversion was monitored by the local athority.

I am now in the process of selling my property, but the local authority will not issue the completion certificate, because the smoke alarms need to be wired in to the electrics, safety catch on the excape window to be fitted, balstrade spindles do not meet with regulations,and they are now questioning the drawings and design which was sent to them at the beginning so I could obtain building regulations, personally I think they have lost my file as this was four years ago!!!

If I do not comply and sell to my cash buyer, is there a time span for completion certicates, say she wanted to sell the property on in years to come would it be a problem?

Thank you Corrine

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Existing low loft height and building regulations

by Ian

Hi,

We live in an old farmhouse that has a staircase up to a loft. The maximum headroom is about 1.7m and is comfortable enough to move around in.

Our plan is to convert this existing space into a playroom for the children. We are aiming to add a power supply, lighting and two or three velux windows.

My chief concern is that because the maximum height at the top of the staircase is below 1.8m we won't get building regs approval - even though this has been there for many, many years.

Is this likely to be a problem?

Many thanks

Ian

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Existing Loft Conversion No Certificate

Hi,

I have been living in a house for 4 years and at some point believed to be more than 13+ years ago the owners converted the loft.

It has an enclosed staircase - although it is vey steep and the treads arent very big.

It has two velux windows which are flush with the roof. It is fully boarded out on the floors ceiling and walls.

We would like to look into seeing if we can reglarise it so that it can be used as a bedroom.

How do we find this out?

Is there someone that we can call upon to advise what we would need to do to regularise it and so determine if it is cost effective etc

Many thanks.

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Building Regulations Question

by Clayton
(United Kingdom)

Jeremy,

A question about means of escape for a small one room loft conversion in a two storey house effectively making it a three storey's house.

Would I be correct in understanding that the location of the bottom of a rooflight of 1700mm up from the eaves measured along the roof pitch is no longer a requirement in the new 2006 edition of the Building reg's???

Also, is the escape window still required, & location to be no higher above finished floor level of 1100mm.

Regards,

Clayton

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Doors And Building Regs

by Steve
(Hornchurch,Essex)

Hello, having a loft converted very soon, the local authority has requested ALL doors to be changed to 30 min fire check type, is this correct or should it be only the doors in the loft?

Regards

Steve Green

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Loft Conversion Height Question

by boni
(London)

Hi,

My loft is just 1.8 metres height, can I still convert it?

I have read that you need at least 2.4 metres, is this correct?

I wouldn´t mind to have an extra room even if I could fully stand in it.

Thanks in advance for your help

Boni

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Existing Loft Room (Pre 2007) and Fire Doors

by James
(UK)

Hello

We purcahsed our property in 2006. It is a 3 storey house with the loft already converted to be the third bedroom.

We are now contemplating some additional work including the addition of an en suite on the loft, however having done some research into building regulations I now have additional concerns. None of the doors in the house are fire doors.

I know that the regulations changed in 2007, does this mean that doors in 3 storey houses from pre 2007 need to have fire doors fitted to conform to the regulations?

Regards
James

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Planning & building regs requirements to use existing attic room

by Dave
(Somerset)

I live in an old farmhouse, circa 1750 which has 2 attic rooms which were used many years ago for domestic staff (I understand from the previous owner this was in the 19th / early 20th century), and are currently used for storage.

There is a plain wooden access door from the 1st floor and a single staircase, off which there is a door into each room, with an opening window (approx 600x600)in each gable end.

Structurally the rooms are sound with floorboards over good sized joists, and with timber / lath & plaster partition walls. The rooms are open to the underside of the roof and slates, and there is plenty of headroom in the centre section.

I would like to upgrade one of these rooms to use it as a bedroom, insulating and plasterboarding the underside of the roof timbers, heating, electrics and general tidying up.

I would use one of the gable end windows as an emergency exit, which opens onto a shallow sloping roof, and install additional smoke detectors.

My question is, do I need to apply for planning permission, and how much of the building regs requirements would be applicable in this situation ?

Many thanks, Dave

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Loft Conversion 10+ years ago

by Charlie
(London)

We have bought a house with a loft conversion, performed circa 1999, that does not have a completion certifcate.

The previous owners have supplied paperwork that they were engaged with the building control but that the final certificate was not issued. We suspect this is because there was some issue they did not want to address, in addition a final fee is payable.

The council have said that to apply for the completion certifcate we need a final visit and to pay the fee.

Will the final visit be assessing against building regs as they stood at 1999 when the original application was made or as they are now (including 2007 fire regs)? Thanks

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Loft Conversion Building Regulations Questions

I understand that the regulations regarding loft conversions having to have an extra roof light in the front of the property to enable the Fire Brigade to gain access was changed in 2008 and that this is now is no longer a requirement.

However the new regulations state that all the doors have to be changed to fire resistent doors and that each floor requires a smoke alarm installed.

Is this correct.

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Loft conversion with Balcony - Refused Planning

by Nick
(Warwickshire)

We recently had planning permission refused for our loft conversion.

The problem was a balcony we were keen on to make use of space on an existing flat 1st floor roof which otherwise would not be used.

we are already well overlooked by 80's built retirement flats next door and planners report commented that we would be able to see into their 'utility areas' seems daft when you consider views they already have of our garden and that you would see exactly the same from our loft conversion window if no balcony was there!

Apparently our planners are not keen on balconies anyway which perhaps should have been picked up by us or our architect. I am now unsure whether to bother with an appeal (have been told by architect that this can be fast tracked with a decision in only 5 days??) or forget the whole balcony idea altogether.

If we did appeal but lost, I take it that means we are back to square 1 and would have to submit a new application?

If we dont appeal at all, do we still have to submit a new application with balcony removed or can we change our existing applcation without waiting another 8 weeks for a decision?

Many thanks for your help.

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Loft Conversion - Building Regs Approval

by Richie
(St. Andrews)

I am going to convert my loft into 2 bedrooms on my semi detached bungalow.

I understand that I do not need planning permission as long as I keep within the guidelines, but how do I go about getting Building regulations approval, how much will it cost to get approval and who can go through the process for me?

I intend to convert the loft myself, apart from sourcing an electrician.

Your help will be appreciated.

Kindest regards
Richie

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retrospective building regulations from work carried out 14 years ago

by Martin
(Lancashire)

Hello,

We moved into our current house 4 years ago. we bought it as a 3 bed terrace with a loft conversion. can i apply for retrospective building regulations to class this house as a 4 bedroom house? 14 years ago the house was totally gutted and refurbished and at that point they built the loft conversion.

The work clearly isn't up to the current regulations but the work is structurally sound. the main issues are that the permanent stair cases from both the ground floor up and first floor up are not enclosed and there are no fire doors. the window in the loft conversion would be too high for the regulations on fire escape.

Is there anyway i can apply of would i have to bring it up to current standards?

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New building regulation approval for stairs

by Martin
(St Albans)

Hi

We have been told that our plans for a loft conversion won't get building regulation approval because our stairs to the first floor don't lead directly to an external door.

Even though our planned stairs to the loft would start on the landing, we were told that it would not pass building regulations because if you add another level to your house, the stairs now have to have a clear fire escape route which leads directly from the third floor to the front or back of the house.

Is there any ways around this aside from moving our original staircase closer to an exit door(not practical)?

Thanks

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Loft conversion consent to use as a bedroom

by Adam
(Tunbridge Wells)

Good afternoon,

I am considering selling my victorian semi detached house.

The attic was apparently converted and has been used as a bedroom since before 1946.

It does not have planning consent or building regs as I understand.

Will they need either for it to be sold as a 3 bedroom house?

It does have its own door on the first floor with stairs to the attic room/bedroom (2nd floor).

Many thanks

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Loft Conversion - Building regs & Structural Engineer

by Sharon
(London N14)

Hi, my plans for a loft converion have been approved by the Local Council.

My architect is submitting building regs - which I paid the fee for, but was told I didn't need to see.

The architect then gave me a quote for a structural engineer - who called me the same day, sent an email, wants a signed agreement, and booked a site visit next week.....I am feeling a little rushed and unsure of proceedings.

Should I shop around for a structural engineer? Does it depend on my builder? When do I get quotes?

I am feeling quite vulnerable as there is no man here to advise or stand up for me!

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Building regs when additional bedroom and bathroom added to existing loft conversion

Hi
When we moved into our chalet style bungalow, the upstairs consisted of two bedrooms with en suites and all building regs and planning were in place.

About two years ago, we had the remainder of the loft converted, by adding another bedroom and a bathroom.

The work also involved moving the stairs from the lounge into the hall, although they still enter the loft in the same place, but from a different direction.

Our builders assured us that no planning or building regs were needed, but I am worried that this was not correct and that we will have problems if we want to sell.

Can you advise please?

Thanks Ali

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What door do I need on stairs from a loft conversion

by Paula
(Lancashire)

Hi
I have stairs from my landing leading to my loft that has never had a door fitted, would I need to put a fire door at the bottom or would a normal door be ok? There is full planning permission for the conversion that was completed long before I bought the house.
Thanks

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