Some of the most frequent questions we receive at this site include queries about doors and available headroom.
Many people seem to be caught out by the fact that when they convert the loft the doors on the first and second floors have to be upgraded to meet the building regulations (part B).
This is illustrated by the following question we received from a reader:
Question About Doors
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?
Answer From Our Expert
Under Part B of the building regulations you have to comply with a number of criteria, these include protected routes and up grading doors to rooms below the loft.
If you are two storeys and add a third in the form of a loft extension you need as a minimum to change all doors that lead onto the escape route to 30min self closing Fire rated doors.
Another popular topic amongst our readers is the question of headroom. On this point there are only guidelines rather than hard and fast laws. The question below is an example of this:
Question About Head Room
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 couldn;t fully stand in it.
Answer From Our Expert
The 2.4m rule is to ensure adequate standards are achieved should you wish to consider market value and is a guide, we normally suggest 2.2m is a minimum with 1.75~1.8m in local areas say in dormer window areas.
1.8m is a little low when you consider a normal door is 2.1m high.
At the end of the day it is your choice and there is nothing in the building regulations about minimum height.
To see more building regulations loft conversion questions and answers visit our Ask The Expert page.
For more info see the related pages below
Vermiculite Loft Insulation is an echo-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials
The old loft water tank will need to be moved if the roof space is being converted into a habitable room
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations