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With plumbing in loft conversions the first fix stage is when the new water pipes are installed and the water tank relocated.
There is an awful lot of plumbing work needed in loft conversions with the existing water and central heating system needing to be overhauled and extended.
New plumbing will be needed regardless of the use to which the new loft room will be put.
Obviously if an en-suite bathroom complete with shower, wet room or kitchen is being built than new water pipes will need to be fitted but even for bedrooms or living rooms new radiators and heating will need to be fitted.
If this is the case than the existing boiler may need to be replaced with a new unit - possibly a combination boiler.
And, of course, no matter what sort of conversion you are planning the existing water tank will need to be moved and probably replaced.
First Fix Plumbing
Apart from moving the water tank the main plumbing job at this stage is to ensure that all new pipework is fitted in the right places.
The layout of the waste pipes needs to be planned carefully so that the most practical, shortest and cheapest, routes are used.
It may seem a small point but making sure your plans illustrate the best positions for the pipes could save a lot of unnecessary work and of course expense.
For anyone who wants to be 'hands on' with their loft conversion they will be pleased to learn that an awful lot of the plumbing work can be done by themselves.
Installing the pipework is plenty easy but care must be taken to make sure any pipework is lagged and insulated where necessary.
Also, make sure that the water is turned off before beginning work - I know that sounds ridiculously obvious but its surprising how many of us forget this step until we get a jet of water in the face.
Great care must be taken if you are running pipes beneath the new floor. Remember that the floor joists are a crucial part of the loft structure so must not be weakened.
If you do need to notch a joist to run a pipe make sure that the notches are nowhere near any holes drilled for electrical cables and don't notch joists at either end. Get as close to the middle of the joist as possible.
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