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Advice: Loft conversion without building regs

(10 Posts)
NationalTreasure Fri 04-Nov-16 19:32:17

We live in a two up two down terrace and had our loft 'converted' about 12 years ago. We had the floor reinforced, electrics (lights and sockets), velux window and had the plastered. We were advised that we didn't need planning permission but there was no mention of building regs.

We can fully stand up when stood in the middle of the room but the kids use it as a games room. It had a retractable loft ladder which recently broke so we'I've had it replaced with a made to measure staircase and balastrade (If that'S the right word) to make it safer.

We are planning to put our house up for sale after Christmas. After seeing a photo of the new stairs one of our friends has said that we should have building regs for the work in the loft and the stairs.

We knew we couldn't call it a room but now I'm worried. I'm wondering if we should try and get it inspected and get the building regs certificate. I'm just concerned that the head height and stairs might not comply.

Can anyone advise? Should we just leave it and make sure it is advertised as storage space?

user1471549018 Fri 04-Nov-16 19:49:15

It's up to you. It obviously doesn't currently meet regulations so you would have to invest money if you wanted it signed off. Why don't you ask a local estate agent how much value an extra bedroom would add/check out rightmove

Bertucci Fri 04-Nov-16 20:05:33

It won't comply, I think.

The stairs look too steep (maximum pitch is 32 degrees) and you need 2m headroom from them. You would need fire doors throughout the house and a protected route all the way down to a final exit. OR you could have hard-wired, inter-linked smile detectors in every room, assuming your first floor stairs end in a hallway. You would also need structural calculations for the upgrade necessary to the loft structure.

Can't you list it as a storage space?

Bertucci Fri 04-Nov-16 20:06:38

Sorry, typo - meant 42 degrees.

BWatchWatcher Fri 04-Nov-16 20:11:43

You can just list it as storage space and not an extra bedroom. Or get an estimate from a builder/building control on what you need to be compliant.
Different councils seem to have different regs. For instance we had a loft converted 4 years ago and did not need fire doors throughout the house. Just a door at the bottom of the stairs and smoke/heat detectors.

NationalTreasure Fri 04-Nov-16 20:11:46

Thank you for replying so quickly. It definitely wouldn't meet building regs from what you've said. Sounds like we'd be best leaving it and making sure it is advertised very clearly as storage space.

It that all we need to do? The local authority website was talking about being fined etc.

We are currently going through a list of jobs ready to sell and really don't want any sale being held up because of missing paperwork. This is why we have replaced the broken stairs etc. We're having a new boiler fitted next week too. We ideally don't want to spend loads more than we already have.

Bertucci Fri 04-Nov-16 20:22:39

You won't get fined, don't worry. There's a tiny window of opportunity for prosecuting and it's well past.

NationalTreasure Fri 04-Nov-16 20:25:48

Thanks for putting my mind at rest Bertucci grin I was starting to worry

TheHiphopopotamus Fri 04-Nov-16 20:31:27

Unlikely to be fined, but it might put any buyers who are wanting to rent it out off. When we were selling ours, they all wanted to see the buildings regs etc.

If someone is buying it to live in, it won't matter. Just make sure it's not advertised as a bedroom.

NationalTreasure Fri 04-Nov-16 20:35:50

That's what I thought TheHipho, I'd see it as a bonus if I was buying.

Thanks everyone I feel much better. I tried to read the building regs government document but struggled to make sense of it. At least I can make sure it is clearly stated in any advertising and at viewings.

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