Turning a loft room without building regs back into a normal loft~how easy is it?!

(33 Posts)
poppyboo Sat 17-Nov-12 18:40:17

I made an appointment to view a potential house next week but the problem is that it has a 'useful' loft room with no building regs. This fact puts me right off making an offer in the first place but I was wondering how easy it would be to reverse what the previous owners have done (put in two velux windows, put in a staircase,carpeted etc) & turn it back into an original loft again. I have two children and I have no interest in keeping extra space which does not meet safety standards etc.
Advice please!

wendybird77 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:22:20

Why does it not have building regs? Is there just not enough head room, or is there something actually dangerous? We viewed a house like this - not enough headroom to meet regs, but would have been a fantastic 'den' for older children. If you don't want to use the space, just chuck your stuff up there like a normal loft with the added benefit of stairs to get up there. Latch the door if you are concerned the DCs will go up. I wouldn't bother tearing up carpet and taking out windows myself.

poppyboo Sat 17-Nov-12 20:31:34

wendy it has the staircase in the master bedroom which would really annoy me. Also I would not be happy using a room which has not met building regs/fire safety etc.

If I were to buy it I would want to remove staircase etc and just put it back to the original loft with a trap door thing.

I can't believe the master bedroom has been wrecked with a half -arsed attempt at a loft conversion :/

GrendelsMum Sat 17-Nov-12 21:10:44

I would think you do the following:

- take out the staircase
- re-do the loft flooring to have a loft hatch sized hole rather than the staircase sized hole
- insert loft hatch
- re-do bedroom ceiling to make good
- re-carpet and re-decorate master bedroom after building work completed

poppyboo Sat 17-Nov-12 21:27:00

...now I'm wondering how much that would cost...

wendybird77 Sun 18-Nov-12 06:32:04

If you like the house enough you could make an offer contingent on the owners putting it back as it should be. With the stair in the master bedroom they may have trouble selling as that is likely to bother lots of people. Or take a builder around if you are serious and get a quote for putting it right and knock that off your offer price? good luck!

Glittertwins Sun 18-Nov-12 06:50:13

If there are no fire doors on the other rooms in the house, it wouldnt pass the regs we have. I think the staircase has to be separate too although I vould be wrong.
I would leave as is and get them to reduce price. I would also have a good survey in case they have done other half jobs

Glittertwins Sun 18-Nov-12 06:52:16

Surely a proper conversion would need steels going in for structural support. Check for these if you go ahead

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 07:57:13

Glitter it's definitely not got building regs, EA told me yesterday, they have also messed around with floor arrangement EA told me too, they have tried to make a three bed house from a two bed, so one bedroom is really small. They have moved bathroom etc as one of the bedrooms now has the original frosted glass. I wonder how good a job they have done of any of this ?!

The problem with this house is it only went on rightmove on Saturday and there is already several viewings at the beginning of next week. It's a desirable area and property moves fast in this particular location so there wouldn't be much time to negotiate with owners. It's got a parking space which is unusual for the city centre location which I know people will see as a bonus.

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 07:59:25

Thank you Wendy for the good luck! thanks

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 08:02:42

They've left the bathroom sink in one of the bedrooms confused
I feel like the house has been spoilt by owners messing around with it, it's such a shame as it still has some original features, like sash windows and fireplaces and a lovely courtyard garden.

Glittertwins Sun 18-Nov-12 09:01:19

Do you think you will have the time and money to put it back again?

nocake Sun 18-Nov-12 09:03:46

Most buyers will be thinking the same as you... it looks nice but they've fucked it up so how much will it cost to put right. If you're really interested work out the cost of fixing it and factor that into your offer, making it clear to the agent why your offer is low.

lightrain Sun 18-Nov-12 09:13:03

Sounds like its a no go to me. Why bother if there are so many issues? Unless you have the money to correct. There must be other 2 beds coming up - have you thought about nearby up and coming areas? More for your money?

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 09:13:06

Glitter it all depends on how much it would cost to fix it, you know? I know we would need to get a builder in to quote and it all just seems like too much hassle. I just want a normal house but the area we are looking in is only about three or four streets so we are really restricted. I just love the area and what we are buying could potentially be our forever home which makes it more emotional!

We don't have a lot of spare money and we would like to install a woodburner, re-decorate etc. We would have the time, we just don't have buckets of money at all. The mortgage on it would be our top price, unless we got it reduced, which because if issues I would want to.

I wish I could put a link on here to the property but don't like to because it's a public forum!

The house is a cute as a button, the style I love, so sad they have messed a round with it!

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 09:16:18

lighttrain my gut is to walk away, but ten weeks ago we didn't put offer in on house very close by and I really regretted it and its now SSTC! So I guess this feels like it could be our chance. But I'm thinking I should wait incase another one comes up in same area...

The house has been truly messed up!

JudeFawley Sun 18-Nov-12 09:22:04

I would want to remove permanent stairs but leave the loft as it is. It could then be classified as storage space. I would reduce offer on house to reflect this.

However, if the owners installed roof lights, they would have to have regs in any case, so they should either 'regularise' this aspect with building control or arrange indemnity insurance to cover it.

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 09:27:23

Jude I think I can see a ceiling light in the loft in one of the pics.
This all seems too complicated. confused
It's looking less and les like a good idea!

JudeFawley Sun 18-Nov-12 09:39:47

Sorry poppy, by rooflights, I mean windows ie Velux. These are classified as structural openings and require strengthening, ie the rafters either side should have been doubled up.

Startail Sun 18-Nov-12 09:42:16

Personally I'd use it.
Believe me as DCs get bigger you will value every mm of space you can get. Even if you only use it as light warm storage.

But yes, I would get a proper survey to check the roof windows won't leak and that wiring etc is safe.

nancerama Sun 18-Nov-12 09:46:22

In your shoes, I would take a builder to a second viewing to cost up the work that would need to be done. Ask around friends in case someone has a dad/uncle/brother in that kind job who would be happy to come to the viewing, then you'll know how much to knock off your offer if you decide to go ahead.

I think I would only contemplate that kind of project if the house was to be my forever home though.

It does sound as if it has been messed about with a bit too much, but only you can weigh this up agains the advantages of location.

It sounds...intriquing... I would love to have a look if you are willing to put up a link?

We had a partial loft conversion (with building regs certificate) done in our last house and we loved the space. Having said that, we had the stairs on the landing, not in a bedroom... But don't underestimate the extra space a loft conversion gives, it is always handy!

Is it possible to do some work on the house to make you able to keep the loft conversion? (move bedrooms / walls around so the stairs are not in the middle of one of them?)

You may need to take a builder with you for the viewing, he will advice you on what is possible and what the cost might be. Could be useful information when bargaining with the sellers.

Good luck!

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 10:00:20

Sorry Jude, I'm so stupid! blush there are two roof lights! EA said it definitely hasn't been done to building regs.

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 10:01:10

They're velux windows, I can see in pics and its in details Jude

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 10:04:46

Behind I would love to put up a link but I don't want to 'out' myself on here to friends/family LOL who I know use mumsnet! I would love an opinion from you all!

It's the fact the staircase comes from bedroom, I can only imagine how bad that must look LOL

JudeFawley Sun 18-Nov-12 10:23:06

The stairs into the bedroom are the biggest problem. It creates an 'inner room' situation which is highly illegal in terms of means of escape in case of fire.

The rest is relatively minor, imo.

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 11:38:57

Jude I knew no building regs wasn't good which i why I wanted rid of loft conversion but I didn't know about the 'inner room' with stair case situation so I'm really greatful for you letting me know that. I think it seems too much of a mess so we will walk away. I will still view it for viewing experience IYKWIM as we are very keen on the area.

If it is not done to building regs you could well find the house is not sellable? Ie the vendors will have to get retrospective building regs, which may mean making changes to comply with regs. This could work to your advantage?

poppyboo Sun 18-Nov-12 13:24:54

behind I've decided it's not worth the risk. I will still view it though wink for viewing experience.

Yy, definately view it smile

poppyboo Mon 19-Nov-12 12:03:21

I will report back grin

poppyboo Tue 20-Nov-12 18:09:51

The property was AWFUL!
The loft conversion was AWFUL!
The velux windows looked so DIY it was untrue, one actually looked like it was at a slight angle.
I practically laughed at the estate agent about the asking price.
It was a probate property and nothing had been moved. There was still an open newspaper on the dining room table and ceareal packets in the kitchen. The state it was left in was shocking. It was really sad to see really. There was obviously no family to clear out the property.
Needless to say, we're not putting an offer in.
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who replied!

Phew, at least there is no doubt left in your mind. It would have been worse if you had gone to see it and loved it... You would have been torn then.

Sad to hear it is now unloved though, the family have left in a hurry by the sounds of it?

Are you willing to link to it on rightmove now? I am intriqued, that's all (and pathalogically nosy, sorry blush)

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