Loft conversions

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

  1. pooh

    pooh New Member

    what total bo11oxs is being banded about here
    everybody has the right to "board" "do up" "make posh"
    however the size of their loft as many people do
    terminology is is the key thing storage or habitable
    completley up to the householder if the use it for living space and at ther risk the proper way would be for the householder to apply for change of use
    agreed many people do bend the rules and use it for more than storage
    also many people have done so for years with no problems
    this posh loft will have uprated joists many dont
    sound like a good bread and butter job go for it
  2. raul27

    raul27 New Member

    As a professional builder you have the obligation to know the regs and laws involved with your activity and surely everything you do has to comply with it.No disclaimer will cover you in court.By signing that you agree to build something that dose not comply with building regs and put in danger the people in the house and neighbours(in case of fire).It is illegal to do so the laws are for our own protection and others.I will never do a loft without passed plans work goes busted so the rest of the house a loft is not a detached shed where the danger is far less.I work in london and my smallest loft i done costed £26000.Liability insurance will not cover you for work done without building regs passed.
  3. panlid

    panlid New Member

    for gods sake. it does comply to building regsa as it isnt a loft conversion as you have already told them in writting. if it says loft conversion then yes you are building a loft conversion and shoiuldf stick to regs. but you arnt building aloft conversion.
  4. inkpad

    inkpad New Member

    write on the contract that your making them a blamonge - that way when you've converted their loft if anyone asks you can say 'its a blamonge - look it even says so in the contract, why would anyone want to sleep in a blamonge is beyond me m'lud':)
  5. Tembo11

    Tembo11 Member

    AS soon as you put either a window or a rooflight in then this is the provision of a CONTROLLED SERVICE per approved Doc part L1
    It is thus BUILDING WORK
    It is thus notifiable
    It is thus required to comply with the provisions relating to fire warning and fire spread

    In fact to do a replacement window without you have to be part of FENSA

    All contatined in Para 3 and Schedule 2A of the building Regs.

    I may be a sad so and so that reads such things but it's kept me out of a lot of tight scrapes with officialdom in the past especially where the body concerned were asking for something that wasn't allowed.
  6. trench

    trench New Member

    Inkpad has a point, there could be probs selling the house in the future as the buyer's solicitor is sure to ask for a copy of the approval from the council to confirm attic conversion was ok with building control/planning. Loft conversions need fire doors, smoke alarms, ceiling upgrades, fixed stairs etc to get the relevant approvals your custsomer will need if they ever sell the place. Best case is they can't market the house with the loft as a habitable room and worst case is that the alterations included structural alterations which made the place unsafe and impossible to sell. Some councils do info sheets on attic conversions showing when you need their involvement.
  7. chappers

    chappers Member

    You should be very wary of taking on these sort of jobs, now boarding and lining the rafters of a loft is one thing, but this is obviously, intended to be used as a habitable room I would say morally with regards to safety etc you should walk away from this I have on many occaisions.Legaly it is the homeowners responsibility to ensure any building works conform to regs. If you employed a builder and supplied him with plans or he agreed to work under abuilding notice and the building was not upto regs then that would be a civil dispute between you and him, you would still be responsible for making sure the works met regs.
    The decision is yours.
    As for putting a velux into a loft making it a habitable room, b****s , it is intended use that determines this.
    Beno as to the price is that for labour only ?
    I would charge £25-30K for a loft conversion on a two bed victorian terrace and the last structure only I did (staircase, steels, floor joists, dormer, re roofed and veluxes) I did for £14K and that was a bit light.
    If your price is including materials then its way out.

    By the way good luck in your new venture its always hard starting out, pricing is the worst thing. Ive been running my own business now for seven years and still get it wrong sometimes, it does get easier though if you can hang it out. I jumped straight in too taking on the first decent contract that came my way, I did a good job but made no money, still it came back to benifit me as two years ago I did a £70K extension for the same guy and made well out of it.Never comprimise your quality would be my motto and never haggle with the customer over price.
  8. Tangoman

    Tangoman Well-Known Member

    Gawd - load of ******

    The window is I believe notifiable in it's own right.

    The BCO may then inquire as to the intended usage of the room - obviously pointing out that if intended as a habitable room that it does not conform to regs - he may then take issue with other factors or not.

    But anybody is allowed to do anything they want to in their attic - it is change of usage of the room that is not allowed with approval from BCO.

    If in doubt, notify BCO about intended work.

    In this case there are a significant number of factors pointing in the direction of intended change of usage. A court of law would be left to decide whether or not the builder was aware that a usage change was intended - if it could be shown that he was then he would be held responsible for breaching regs. If it was shown that the builder could not be aware that his "posh" loft was intended to be used as a habitable room, then he would not be liable.

    In this case, due to the number of enhancements listed, it is quite likely that the room is intended as a habitable room.
    A contract would not suffice to completely negate your responsibility - the only way to go is to either risk it, or notify BCO - once the home-owner has agreed with them that there is to be no change of usage then proceed.

  9. pat the rat

    pat the rat New Member

    hello Beno,

    I want a storage spacew in my attic - dont know where youre based (im in Herts) but can you give me a quote on turning my pre 1960s loft inot a storage space for ocaisional office use:

    We already have:
    loft ladder

    beefed up ceiling joists, rafters
    vertical supports beteewn purlin and floor rafters on both sides
    velux window around 800 mm by 600mm or 2 smaller between ceiling rafters
    T and G flooring

    All plaster boarding asnd actual storage i'll do

    Can you give me a ball park figure ?


    My mob is 07981157413
  10. gangman

    gangman New Member


    There's no point digging up these old threads. Most of these people are no longer on this forum. You are better off with a new thread. Giving your location will also help you.
  11. pat the rat

    pat the rat New Member

    fair point

    Do you have anything positive to contribute?


  12. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    Whereabouts in Herts are you?
  13. pat the rat

    pat the rat New Member

    St ippolyts which is near hitchin and Stevenage


    pat the rat
  14. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    I'm in Little Wymondley. I can pop round and have a look if you want.
  15. pat the rat

    pat the rat New Member

    Yes do so - can you e-mail at for contact details cheers

  16. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    Have done.

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