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 Post subject: Loft Conversion Queries
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:00 am 
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Hello.

At some stage, I want to start on a loft conversion.

What doesn't seem clear is what permission I need.

I can see I don't need planning permission but do I need to inform the Council of 'change of use'?

My local council have 'Building control fees' here: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planning-building-control-fees

Table B and Table C seem relevant but none of it is very well explained. Will I need to pay fees from both tables?

Do I need a Party Wall Agreement?

Is there anything else to look out for?

I have had the existing rafters assessed by a structural engineer and they don't need reinforcing.

All other aspects like decent access, good stairs, linked smoke alarms etc I can find details on.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:45 pm 
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Hello.

Any thoughts?

Also, with regards to insulation - I currently have some on the floor.

Is it best to keep it there and add some between the roof rafters or just have it between the roof rafters only?


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:03 pm 
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If you plan on having dormers you’ll need planning permission.
You’re best getting an architect on board as to what insulation etc is required in your specific case.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 12:16 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
If you plan on having dormers you’ll need planning permission.
You’re best getting an architect on board as to what insulation etc is required in your specific case.


No dormers - using all existing space but no extensions to the building like that.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 3:14 pm 
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If the conversion is from a loft to proper living space then you will need to comply with building regulations and will also need to get building regs approval for some aspects. These will include general things like structural adequacy, fire safety, energy efficiency and so on, but will also depend on the specifics of your plans - such as waste and drains if there is a bathroom involved. It sounds like you would benefit from involving someone who is experienced in such things.

In theory, you can unilaterally only do quite minor things to party walls (such as install electrics and small shelves on them). So if the plans involve anything significant or structural happening to it then you will likely need a party wall agreement with the owners of next door - it is their wall too, after all.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 4:10 pm 
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Kev888 wrote:
If the conversion is from a loft to proper living space then you will need to comply with building regulations and will also need to get building regs approval for some aspects. These will include general things like structural adequacy, fire safety, energy efficiency and so on, but will also depend on the specifics of your plans - such as waste and drains if there is a bathroom involved. It sounds like you would benefit from involving someone who is experienced in such things.

In theory, you can unilaterally only do quite minor things to party walls (such as install electrics and small shelves on them). So if the plans involve anything significant or structural happening to it then you will likely need a party wall agreement with the owners of next door - it is their wall too, after all.


Yes - a bathroom will be installed.

Drains and water pipes are up there already. Waste from the shower etc will just need connecting in.

Re/ building regs - do I need to inform the Council before I start work? And what about that Council link I posted below - what is that all about?

Re/ party walls. I will be plasterboarding and plastering them. Some studs will go in for partition walls but that is it.

Any thoughts on insulating the floor AND between the roof rafters? I can't seem to find any advice online.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Yes building control should be notified beforehand; they will usually want to come and inspect things at key stages, and you don't want to be (e.g.) breaking through new floors or plasterboard for them to see (e.g.) if you reinforced the joists adequately.

If you are going for approval of full plans then they may need several weeks to consider the application (and there may be additional delays if revisions are needed). If you are intending to use a building notification instead then you can start much quicker, but to take this route you 'must' know and be able to work to all the applicable regs to have a chance of the work being approved when they come to inspect it. Revisions are much more painful after the work has already been done.

Sadly this isn't a trivial matter: the regs are extensive and DIYers have wasted enormous sums (I even read of a house being condemned) through non-compliant loft conversions. IMO not a thing to rush, or base on a few bits of info gleaned from forums etc. An experienced architect or builder helping to plan, or at least a discussion with your local building control could be invaluable.

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:48 pm 
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Thanks for the tips.

And yes - this is something I know will take a very long time and plan on spending lots of time doing.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 7:11 pm 
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If it is a third floor then all doors added or adjusted will need to be fires doors with a door closure.

Lift up the floor boards and put fibreglass insulation. You need to leave a 5cm gap between the top if the insulation and the roofing felt so you will need to use insulation blocks between the rafters. Never block any vents. Lift all wiring above the insulation.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 am 
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Manc chippy wrote:
If it is a third floor then all doors added or adjusted will need to be fires doors with a door closure.

Lift up the floor boards and put fibreglass insulation. You need to leave a 5cm gap between the top if the insulation and the roofing felt so you will need to use insulation blocks between the rafters. Never block any vents. Lift all wiring above the insulation.


Thanks. (There are no floorboards yet of course but there will be - I've taken on board your comments).

The 'floor' is already insulated with fibreglass but I'll need to add the blocks between the rafters.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:15 am 
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For a loft conversion in your house. If you are considering loft conversion for existing place of your house then you do not need to worry about party wall agreement and all but you will need to maintain building regulations and safety controls for your loft room.


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