Loft Conversions: Regulations and Information
Before you begin to start work in your loft you’re going to have to find out more information on building regulations from your local council and seek the help of professionals to get advice on adhering to the building regulations and planning restrictions.
What Type of Roof Structure do you have?
Your existing roof will be either Trussed Rafter or Traditional, and will need to be altered to allow for air circulation and for installation of velux windows.
Trussed Rafter roofs started to be built onto house since the 1970’s and are difficult to convert due to their complexity. You shouldn’t work on these types of roof without seeking advice from a structural engineer.
Traditional roofs are typically made with rafters and are generally easier to convert. However extra beams are normally required, so again, best seek some advice from a structural engineer.
You may be tempted to simply board over your existing rafters and ceiling joists, this can overload the existing beams, possibly leading to dangerous structural problems and lowering the value of your home.
Don’t be tempted to tackle any structural work without seeking professional advice.
Staircases into your loft.
How you access your new loft space is a very important decision.
Following on into the loft from your existing stairwell is a standard option, and helps ensure the new staircase fits into the layout and style of your current plan.
This option is only available if there is enough headroom in the loft where the new stairs would emerge.
Another option would be to section of an existing room to make way for a new set of stairs to your loft space, the downside to this ofcourse is you lose floor space from an existing room.
The maximum pitch of the staircase should not exceed 42′.
While the maximum rise (height) of each tread should be no more than 220mm.
The tread on each step should be atleast 220mm also.
The staircase regualtions help ensure staircases are designed correctly and safe to use.
Space above the staircase for headroom should be a minimum 2m, although some regulations can be a lower 1.9m in the centre of the stairs, reducing to 1.8m on the outer of the stair.
Important: The information in this article was provided to me by local council planning department and I offer it here for informational purposes only. Before you start any structural work, seek advice from your local planning office for an up to date list of their own building regulations.