loft conversion - i have read the FAQ and this is not in it!



But they can refuse to continue acting for you.
Regards from Peter Crosland
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Philip wrote:

[snip]
It sounds like you have done most of the building notice stuff you need anyway. It may be worth looking into stairs / ladders and the approvability of them since the rules are relaxed for loft conversions. Space saver stairs etc. are allowed for example. Perhaps a phone call to the local BC office as a "general sounding out" may be worthwhile? You may find you can do it all by the book anyway.

Probably no need to replace the existing doors. The new doors in the conversion will need to be 30 min rated fire doors, but the existing ones to habitable rooms (i.e. not the bathroom) just need a self closer added if they open onto the main escape route from the third storey.
(you already have dealt with the other main fire protection requirements of escape windows and mains powered interlinked smoke alarms)
Also, if you complete the work in the loft first, then sorting out the stairwell is actually not that messy or disruptive in most cases. About a days work to cut through and tidy up. Then you can measure up carefully and make up some suitable stairs (I made mine from scratch - took about three days including fitting - or you can get them made to order for between 500 and 800 quid depending on what you need), Finally adding the ballustrading and stuff is another couple of days work and mess. Should be tolerable for even the most stroppy SWMBO (especially given the value it would add to the property) ;-)

The phone call would find out for free!
--
Cheers,

John.

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You're having a laugh!
Hardly anyone is going to not buy a house just because there's a half converted loft in it. This is as long as there's no deception, by claiming that it is fully converted or such like.
Christian.
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Philip wrote:

I did it by installing the new joists first. Then stapling chicken wire between the new joists (stapled into the sides of the new joists) level with the top of the old ceiling joists. Finally stuffed isowool between the joists on top of the wire.
This was the way suggested by the BCO, and was passed by him as well.
Not as bad as battening, but still a PITA! I expect a hammer tacker type of stapler (like the carpet layers use) would be simplest. The chicken wire I bought on a rool, which I cut in half with angle grinder first to make two narrow rolls.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Cheers John,
Just the sort of practical advice and shared experience I was looking for!
I wonder why flame ingress at the edges is not a problem your BCO is bothered about. I suppose the chicken wire will stop loss of fire barrier if a bit of ceiling fell down - good thnking.
Philip
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Philip wrote:

The bulk of the protection is provided by the plasterboard and skim underneath. In fact the BCO said I only need add extra protection if the PB was less than 1/2". Since it was 9mm plus skim, I did. (He did later mention that it may have been required anyway even if the existing ceiling had been thicker, so as to meet the new acoustic performance regulations).
--
Cheers,

John.

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John,
Did you have to do the whole loft space with the chiken wire - or just the area that will form the floor of the room. I have quite substantial areas that are to be boarded in behind stud partitions, fitted with 100mm fire proof iso wool of course.
How much was the chicken wire? i'm getting 25m sq for 30 inc vat.
did you use 100mm or 150mm iso wool?
cheers
philip
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Philip wrote:

Bit of moot point really, since I was converting the entire loft space (near enough) to make three new rooms.
http://www.internode.co.uk/temp/beam-layout.gif
About the only bit I have not made much use of is the small bit over a bay window - but event that is accessable for storage,

Erm, just dug out the invoice, "wire netting galvanised 50mm x 19 Guage x 900mm Height x 50m Long 25 quid (+VAT)". So cut in half that give me 100m of about "joist spacing width" wire which I used most of.
(from Jewson BTW)

Four (wide) rolls of 100mm.
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 02:25:13 +0100, a particular chimpanzee named John
produced:

But you wouldn't have needed the chicken wire.
--
Hugo Nebula
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Hugo Nebula wrote:

Which would be nice, since installing that was a right PITA!
--
Cheers,

John.

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Having just OPENED the chicken wire - BEFORE reading Hugo's post...Umph!
One question remaining - is it right that i will be covering over the first floor lighting circuit? The chicken wirse will make it jolly difficult to repair or remodel in the future...
Philip
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Philip wrote:

;-)
Given that you will probably be putting in rockwool under your new floor anyway (either because you need it for fire protection, or because you need it for accustic insulation), the chicken wire might actually make it simpler - by holding the insulation away from the existing electrics.
Remember that it will be fixed roughly mid way up the new joists such that it is about level with the tops of the original ceiling joists. So the cables etc would then run in the gap under it.
If you end up using modern T&G chipboard flooring panels then any rewiring of the 1st floor lights is going to be a pain if done from the top floor room(s) whichever way you look at it - the wire won't make it that much worse!
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

And in any case you're no worse off there than your existing ground floor lighting circuit always has been...
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ahh... but i have a 5 foot crawlspace under the entire house.
<ponder> I wonder how easy it would be to convert this into a room... </ponder>
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Philip wrote:

There's no height requirement for a habitable room, but there is a height requirement over stairs. So you'd have to have a big floor cutout to get the stairs down with headroom.
I suppose you convert it into a self-contained flat and rent it out to short people.
There's been a hoax taken seriously on fr.rec.jardinage about growing bonsai kittens in bottles. I don't know if it works for tenants.
Owain
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I've heard of BCOs just allowing two thicknesses of 12.5mm plasterboard below with staggered joins. This could be an advantageous solution if you have any Artex to be covered up, but less so if you have original lath ceilings with gorgeous original cornicing.
Christian.
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original lath ceilings - without gorgeous cornicing. All the ceilings have had 2" by .5" battens applied in a pattern of squares. Was this fashionable once upon a time? I have heard it was applied during the war as a safety measue to stop ceilings collapsing onto sleeping householders during bomb blasts. Anyway - no chance of replacing ceilings - all the bedromms have been recently decorated. I'm looking forward to doing up a house i'm NOT living in one day!
Philip
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On 17 Jul 2005 00:28:07 -0700, a particular chimpanzee named "Philip"

The insulation between the joists is required for two reasons;
1. To give fire resistance. If the existing ceiling is 12.5mm plasterboard (or you're under-drawing the existing ceiling), and the boards over are t & g, then this gives 30 minutes already (some authorities accept that lath & plaster in good condition is the equivalent to plasterboard, but if you had a Building Regulations application in, your local BCO could tell you if this is the case in your area). If not, then you can lay your rockwool on chicken wire. The rockwool has to be supported, so that if the plaster falls down, the rockwool still continues to give a measure of fire resistance.
2. Sound insulation.

For a regularisation the BCO will still want the joists and any other beams exposed; they'll want to see the insulation and ventilation between the rafters, etc. If the stairs aren't in, have you still trimmed out for them, and would you have the headroom, or are you leaving all those details to any future purchaser? That's assuming you get a purchaser. I've known a few sales fall through on the day contracts are due to be exchanged when it 'emerges' that the loft conversion didn't have a Building Regulations application.
--
Hugo Nebula
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Regarding the stairs...
I have drawn up plans to make use of a kit staircase supplied by RHS (Albini & Fontanot) The headroom and the rise, going etc all work as per regs. and the stairs comply with all BS.
It is precisely the cutting out for the stairs that the other half objects to. Its a) the mess b) the change in character for the upstairs landing and c) the cost.
I am putting in the steels that will support the new joists over the stairwell as if the stairs are to be placed. I hope that when the room is ready - accessed by loft ladder - the argument will be more in my favour.
Question for Hugo - I put in a building notice for the positionig of the roof windows and the ventilation in the roof. Could I put another building notice in for the floor structure? sort of get the approval in a modular fashion?
Philip
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Philip wrote:

a) Arrange for someone to take her out for the day! If you have the stairs ready, and they can just be slotted in and assembled, then you could cut through, fit them, and be cleaned up again in the space of a day.
b) Change it certainly will. However there is nothing to stop it looking quite nice when done. Especially if you take a bit of care with the ballustrading to make it all look nice.
This was the result of my efforts (prior to decorating / carpeting etc):
http://www.internode.co.uk/temp/stairs1.jpg
http://www.internode.co.uk/temp/stairs2.jpg
(there is currently debate between SWMBO and I as to how they should be finished.... gloss white, varnish, or a mixture)!
c) If you fancy a bit of woodwork then you could make your own. This is what I did.
Cost for the stairs worked out at about 150 to 200 quid for materials (3 of 3.3m 9"x1.5" PAR softwood (strings), 2 of 8'x4' 3/4" MDF sheet (treads), 1 of 8'x4' 1/2" MDF sheet (risers), and 4m of 4"x4" PAR softwood (newel bases). Plus half a dozen bits of scotia moulding for under the nosings). Allow yourself two to three days to make them.
Tools required are a saw (hand, circular, jig, (and table also handy for cutting wedges), a router, and a biscuit jointer (if you need to patch bits of string together!)
The ballustrading added about another 180 - 200. (quotes I got to have the stairs made (not including the ballustrading) were coming in at about 700 to 900!)
--
Cheers,

John.

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