Loft conversions

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Beno, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    Apart from the fact that Beno and the client know its a loft conversion and will be used as such I think the defining answer would be 'what would a court think?'

    From what Beno has said in the opening post its got all the characteristics of a loft conversion, flooring, studwalls, heating, insulation, lighting, plasterboard finish etc. What else would a loft converion need bar a proper staircase?

    (Extreme example but if someone built a large structure in the garden fitted it out with bathroom/kitchen bedroom and lounge but also kept a lawnmower in there i doubt if anyone would be convinced its just shed even if it had a big sign saying 'My Shed').
  2. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    Beno its not intended as a dig at you but if your workmanship is good like you say you may initially get recommendations to do more of this unauthorised work - until the problems of not having regs arise.

    The owners are going to be over the moon at bargain basement prices but when the problems arise they are likely to associate the problems as being your fault/doing and then it will get around that you build problem jobs and give you a bad reputation.
  3. panlid

    panlid New Member

    i think youll find that if in writting the court would hold the customer to blame:)
  4. crobopple

    crobopple New Member

    Takes one to know one - or so Foxy reckons, pal!
  5. gazza2

    gazza2 New Member

    Sounds to me like this has opened a can of worms, you have managed to do a loft conversion ( ok to a storage room), but if you have done a good enough job, it will be very hard to tell that its not to regs

    obvious signs - loft ladder ( not fixed stairs) and missing smoke alarms), however the less obvious ( ie hidden details ar the concern) - you have upgraded the joists ( but these are under the floor) , there does not appear to be any kind of strengthening beam ( again its under the floor) - Theers a velux, but is it a fire escape capable one, yuo have not upgraded the fire resistance of the ceiling, but thats not obvious from below.

    As has been said previously you can cover yourself by invoicing for a "conversion of loft space to storage - not requiring building regs" or similar, but based on you prices and labour charge you could have quoted £10,000 and odne a slightly better job ( conforming to regs) and had increased profit.

    I had mine done to regs and at south east prices it was £18,000, and there was not much more to it than you have already done.

    as has been previously said you are in business, and i recon you just lost out on an additional £2,000 profit !
  6. Beno

    Beno New Member

    Well im here to learn and learning fast on my prices cos in December i quoted someone £15 a door yes i know mental !! Its all a learning curve been new in business !!

    Oh by the way cheers panlid for your last post im glad someone has got a bit of sense instead of slating me !!

    Ive got another one to price with an en-suite and a kite winder staircase i guess i will be pricing this one correctly and yes this one has regs and planning so the price difference will be some what different !!
  7. panlid

    panlid New Member

    unfortunatly on this forum the sparks have everyone **** scared to voice common sense and the actual people doing the jobs as apposed to those bookworms are having to run the guantlet of holmes syndrome;)
  8. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    panlid 'i think youll find that if in writting the court would hold the customer to blame'

    thats a room full of shoemakers, builders can be prosecuted.

    surely a professional builder has an obligation to know the regulations and laws to comply with and takes the responsibility for what they build

    a letter from a bank cashier saying 'please rob my bank' wont exempt a babk robber from carrying out illegal activities

    gazza2 'but if you have done a good enough job, it will be very hard to tell that its not to regs'

    aside from any obvious defects (like the staircase) - a simple check with the council will tell if its got regs and planning. If your doing it properly theres no reason not to why not have it inspected and certified.
  9. panlid

    panlid New Member

    of course builders can be prosicuted for certain things. they cant be prosecuted for making the best of a loft.
    you say aprt from the obvious of no stairs. when has a loft got stairs????
    when its not a loft.
    therefore is this not just a posh loft?
    you say the builder must take responsibilty for what hes building. where is the line drawn?
    is doing what beno has done to that loft illegal???
    i think you will find it is not.
    now stop trying to scare the living daylights out of people and use some common sense.
  10. Beno

    Beno New Member

    Doesnt scare me off doing the job !! But 1 thing i do know is half of these ** wits who are coming up with all this **** are text book readers !

    Ive spoke to a good few joiners since ive posred this thread and they have all said like yourself (Panlid) That its a posh loft ! Unless it has got a fixed staircase then its not a loft conversion !So maybe i got the title wrong ! As for you text book readers you all have my deapest sympathy !

    [Edited by: forum admin]
  11. bungalow boy

    bungalow boy New Member

    By text book readers, do you mean experienced, knowledgeable people? Ignore at your customer's peril. Building control have a guide-line of (I believe) 5sq. m. of boarding can be fixed for storage; anything over this must comply with building regulations. Stair or no stair.
  12. panlid

    panlid New Member

    next time someone calls for a loft boarding out i will tell them to contact building control first!
    5 m2????
    go on!!!someone look it up. it will make my day.
    need to get bc involved in which way a door swings next;)
  13. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    As i said - the deciding factor will be how a court views it, if it has the characteristics of a loft conversion then that is what it is.

    Not putting in a proper staircase doesnt stop it being what it is.

    From what was said in the opening post its got all the characteristics of a loft conversion bar the stairs (is it a fixed ladder instead - so what). Both builder and owner know its intended use - a bodged loft conversion.
  14. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    Oh the 'text books' are legally decided cases - pretty important which show that 'is doing what beno has done to that loft illegal??? i think you will find it is not'the correct answer is yes.

    '**** wits' - just the one - bodging other peoples lofts into liabilities

    '<u>Ive spoke to a good few joiners</u>' try solicitors or maybe people who have had the pleasure of their lofts bodged and had the problems that follow. Or how about the ones who have lost loved ones in fires after going about loft conversions this way - these stories particularly stand out to me in the papers - what a bargain.

    Youll do whatever you do but at dont pretend what your doing is ok - you know its not - hopefully the neighbours will grass on you and youll find out how legal it is.
  15. panlid

    panlid New Member

    so they can prove that the builder knew what it was for???
    mind readers are they?
    as for your scaremongering about people loosing lives. then i suggest you stop people going in there lofts then to even put boxes up there.
    there is this laughable notion that if you follow all the fire regs to do a 'loft conversion' posh loft then because you havnt got building regs it is more dangerous.
    even if you follow and comply with all fire regs?
    my next door neighbour bless her was telling me her house is a 4 bedroom house. she had the floor boarded and hardboard put on the rafters. no window, cheap bnq loft ladder and no sockets. just a light on an extension through a bedroom ceiling. she had the boarding out done by her then boyfriend. her oldest son (15) has got his bed up there and in her mind it is a 4th bedroom.
    in case of a fire can her boyfriend be prosecuted? even if they find the charred body on the bed in the loft 'conversion'
    or would it be silly to say this is a conversion? boyfriend and lady knew what it was going to be??
  16. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    'so they can prove that the builder knew what it was for???
    mind readers are they?

    the builder does know what its for - he said so. Are the courts are full of idiots who will believe the unbeliveable? Will the owners wont hesitate to put their favorite builder in the frame if it stops them being prosecuted?

    Whats the difference between 5 mins putting a box in the loft and sleeping in there for 8 hours? think about it its an easy one

    'even if you follow and comply with all fire regs?'

    did someone mention staircase? If you were following all the fire regs (the <u>minimum</u> standard) whats the point in not getting the proper certificates - because its only following the regs that are convienient, sod the rest

    Your neighbour did it - well that must make it alright then.
  17. panlid

    panlid New Member

    the builder does know what its for - he said so
    think youll find i said that if you get it in writing with the customer then you have cleared any liability and made note of the fact that you have stressed the job as a posh loft.
    i never mentioned staircase. in fact i am arguing that that literally backs up that in the builders eyes it is not a conversion.
    i think my neighbour is ridiculous.
    what you arnt appreciating is that i have said all along that all this is to be stressed in the first place and that if it is then you are not liable.
    customer has agreed it is not for use.
    by the way is there a limit in how long you can stay in your loft and if you slept in it would it be a loft conversion.
    so lets get this right.
    builder does a posh loft and customer accepts this in writing. customer then puts a bed up there and suddenly the builder is liable?
    are you an electrician?
    anyway we are going round in circles and to be honest im a little bored of this which im sure you are too.
    thanks for the debate and one day hopefully i will ask you to defend me in a court of law:)
  18. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    how do you do smilies? :)

    The 'disclaimer' would be meaningless in a court - its the combination of the works carried out that add up to it being a loft conversion (simply not having a stair would not be enough as thats only 1 aspect its not a cut and dry deciding factor).

    The builder would have to be stupid not to know what he was building.

    'by the way is there a limit in how long you can stay in your loft and if you slept in it would it be a loft conversion'

    there should be, mines way to hot! Who sleeps in the loft? if it were fitted out as a floored, plasterboarded, insulated, lit, powered room then yes (nice and comfy), if its a a floor boarded and ventilated roof then i'd use a bedrooms instead.

    'posh loft'

    i think you've discovered a new market

    'are you an electrician?'


    'to be honest im a little bored of this which im sure you are too'

    admit it - we both got bored several posts earlier :)

    lets stay away from court eh
  19. panlid

    panlid New Member

    youve never seen me in action in court have you?;)
    im off to open a red and see if i can get done for D&D
  20. 4 x 2

    4 x 2 New Member

    Hi Beno,
    been watching your thread with interest good one. too answer your question i wold say your about 1500 light but then i havnt seen the job,
    to comment on some other posts, what my bco told me was if you alter the structure of a place you need bregs if you dont,you dont. his example to me was if you put a velux in a roof that classes the attic as habitable.if its habitable it has to be to regs.if you replace a frontdoor without altering the opening you advise to you is to do your work to regs always .it will cost your client more but at the end of the day you can forget the disclaimer if the s##t hits the fan its your liabilitie ins they will be claiming on,and they wont payout if its not done right, so who then is the one stood in front of the fan.
    Remember you are in business to make money for you not to give your clients a cheap job

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