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Boarding the loft out and using the roof space as storage is one of the most common home improvement projects done today by UK property owners.
The reasons for this are pretty obvious.
Boarding the loft is quite straight forward, cheap and can be done very quickly.
And, once the loft is converted for storage, all that surplus household clutter that we all seem to accumulate can be stored safely out of sight.
At this point though it may be worthwhile to spell out exactly what a storage loft conversion actually is.
This is very important as a basic storage solution will not require building regulations approval.
But, it must be stressed that if you use the loft for anything other than storing items, than it will be classed as a habitable room and will therefore require building regs approval.
For example, simply setting up the kids train set in the loft will be deemed making the room habitable.
And. in this case, the householder will need to apply for building regulations approval which will mean that a permanent set of stairs will need to be installed along with enhanced fire precautions and all the other criteria laid down in the building regs guidelines.
So, a storage solution must be exactly that.
The usual way to convert the loft for storage involves a few different steps.
Firstly the access hatch may need to be widened and a ladder installed.
Secondly the joists may need to be strengthened. This can be done by doubling the existing joists and of course the insulation may need to be improved.
The biggest job will of course be laying the boarding itself and there are some great new materials available from the large DIY stores that are ready insulated and easily fitted by even the most technically challenged handyman.
Other improvements will include new lighting and perhaps a flush fitting skylight.
If the skylight window is fitted it should not require building regulations approval but the cautious property owner would still be advised to check with their local council's building control officers.
Finally, a storage loft conversion can be carried out very quickly and cheaply but if you don't want to do the work yourself there are plenty of good builders out there who will do the job for you at a very reasonable cost.
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft