Any rules about providing a staircase to loft storage space?

I'm thinking of replacing a pull-down loft ladder with a proper staircase and door. The loft would still only be used for storage, but someone thought the presence of a staircase invoked a pile of Building Regs requirements. Can anyone clarify whether there are any rules around this?
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On Thursday, 16 March 2017 19:12:04 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

I think the staircase itself will have to comply with Building Regs, but th ere are some relaxations for staircases only serving one room (or perhaps a non-habitable room) eg the spacesaver alternating tread staircases.
If the loft is floored / walled / has any windows then adding a staircase w ould I think be presumed to be using the loft as a habitable room and the f ull requirements of loft conversion would apply. If the loft isn't floored etc then it won't be a habitable room.
Owain
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wrote:

Walls and windows I can accept could make a room be deemed to be habitable, but surely a loft is not habitable just because you've laid some chipboard flooring to save you having to walk on the joists and to place boxes across joists.
Those alternating tread staircases look horrific. I think I'd rather have a ladder that had 2" treads across the whole width that one which had 6" on one side and 3" on the other - too much risk of using the wrong foot and treading on a part of the tread that isn't there!
http://www.shawstairs.com/straight-spacesaver-stairs-birch-plywood-treads-sssss2-p-2001.html?gclid=CLe7mMTx29ICFWMz0wodNEsBAQ
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wrote:

Fark, I'd never have those in any house of mine, as you say, too much risk of very serious injury if you fall down them.
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On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:45:50 +1100, "Rod Speed"

I've never seen anything like that before. Why not go the whole hog and put one of these in ;-) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_engine
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Graham.
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wrote:

Fark. I realised that they didn't give a damn about how many people got killed and injured in the 19th century but didn't realise it was quite THAT bad.
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Look at the first few seconds of this video for a practical application. Watch the rest of the video if you like old toy trains in the loft :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykapci311-4&feature=youtu.be

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Graeme

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wrote in message news:uLWdnXf1mKPPZFfF

Sure, no argument about where it can be used, but IMO its too unsafe given what can happen if the shit hits the fan.
Same in the loft too, too easy to not close the flap and end up dead if you manage to walk into the hole.

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On 16/03/2017 20:35, snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:

You may be right, but I thought the definition of a habitable room was one conforming to the regulations.
Storage, or an uninhabitable room, by very definition, was one that failed these regulations?
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On 16/03/2017 21:52, Fredxxx wrote:

Generally speaking sleeping or "living" in the room makes it habitable. (although bathrooms are traditionally not habitable IIRC)
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On 16/03/2017 23:32, John Rumm wrote:

Sorry if I'm not clear.
If you want to make a room habitable then you have to conform to all the rules to make the room habitable. It also means when you market a house, the room can be called a 'habitable' room [1].
If the room fails in some way, such as a ceiling being 25mm too low, or access via a ladder then the room, by definition, is non habitable.
If someone then sleeps there, it's not relevant whether the room is habitable or not. It only matters to Building Control and when you market a property if you want to call the room habitable.
[1] Kitchens and bathrooms excepted
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On 17/03/2017 10:58, Fredxxx wrote:

I think we are talking at crossed purposes.
If you board out a loft space, leave it with a loft ladder, but install a bed and make it a bedroom for a kid, then you are *treating* it as a habitable room, and therefore it *should* meet the requirements for habitable rooms. However those two facts are independent - just because you are using it in a "habitable" way does not also mean it actually meets the requirements.

ISTR recall for lofts there is no actual minimum ceiling height[1]. Also for loft conversions there are some relaxations on the stair requirements, if there is only one habitable room. However that aside, see my clarification above.

Indeed - if you construct a loft conversion that does not meet the relevant building regulations you won't be able to sell it as a "bedroom" (even if it looks like one). The best you could do is market it as "storage", or alternatively if the non conformity was just procedural (i.e. no building notice was submitted at the time of conversion - but the work itself was in conformance with the rules in effect at the time) you may be able to apply for a "regularisation" after the event.
[1] Note its been a while since I did mine, so allow for changing rules etc:
http://internode.co.uk/loft/
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On 16/03/2017 20:35, snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:

It would need 2m of headroom over at least the central part of the treads. Alternate stair sets are ok for lofts in some cases.

Boarding and roof window would probably be ok. Having said that the rules have changed since I did mine.
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That's defined by rules of your local BCO. An example set of rules I saw is having more than 2 of things like staircase, heating, power, lighting, flooring, walls, etc makes it count as habitable.
The other thing that applies in any case is minimum headroom over any new stair case (something like 2m, but I don't recall the exact value).
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Andrew Gabriel
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I guess it depends on your definition of habitable. If you are continually going there to put stuff up in the loft or bring it down then to my mind its habitable. If you are not going to use it much then why clutter the place with a permanent staircase all the time? Brian
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On 17/03/17 07:38, Brian Gaff wrote:

NO. It depends on the legal definition of habitable, Brian.
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On 16/03/2017 19:12, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

If it was for your convenience and you did only use the room for storage I don't see why it would matter.
As you would be providing a fixed opening into the loft, best to fit smoke detectors at both ends of stair case for safety while up there.
The only issue that will arise when you come to sell the place is that the room would have to be declared as storage use only.
As others have said, if you wanted to "convert" the space into a habitable room, you would have to involve building regs and comply with a raft of requirements - mostly reasonable ones to be fair.
Phil
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Breaches of LA building regulations are not enforceable more than one year after construction.
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On 17/03/2017 10:05, Handsome Jack wrote:

While generally true, there are two points to consider. The minor one, is that if you "convert" the space but don't do it properly, then you would not be able to sell the place as a converted property. So at best you have added no value regardless of what you have spent, and at worst may find it difficult to sell at a price that does not factor in the cost of someone having to put right (or restore to original state) the work done.
The second however is more important; and that is the building regulations for loft conversions (especially on houses where the work is, in effect, adding a third storey), are there for very good reasons. Generally its very easy to inadvertently turn the house into a death trap. Alas many people do this, then stick their children in the new rooms that have no viable means of escape or adequate fire protection.
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Convert to Islam and call it a Prayer Room. It will escape any attention.
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