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What exactly does 'open-plan' mean? Thinking in context of loft conversions

(10 Posts)
Tinker Sun 26-Aug-07 16:13:59

Read on here that loft conversions are possibly problematic if have an open-plan ground floor. So, what constitutes 'open-plan'? Walls completely removed only? What about holes knocked through walls so that there are double doors through to another room? Anyone know?


MrsBadger Sun 26-Aug-07 16:27:11

The problem is to do with fire escape - you have to have a 'protected route' out of the loft eg one that doesn't go through any other rooms.
So having the stairs from the first floor come out into a hallway leading to the front door, that's ok.
But if the stairs come out into the living room, which you have to walk through to get to the front door, that could well be a problem.

Tinker Sun 26-Aug-07 18:57:37

Ah, thank you MrsB. So, 'open-plan' as in an American style house?

MrsBadger Sun 26-Aug-07 21:01:16

not quite sure what you mean by American-style...

LIZS Sun 26-Aug-07 21:06:53

Agree. I think it is to do with the Fire Regs. You need retardancy of 20 minutes to protect the staircase between the escape and any habitable rooms. In effect I guess you cannot have stairs which open into the main living area as you need a closing door to separate it.

Tinker Sun 26-Aug-07 23:28:31

I just mean like um (trying to think of an American film with open-plan house - gives up) Oh, I know what you mean and I know what I mean smile

MrsBadger Mon 27-Aug-07 12:16:31

aha, I see, like in, er, the Fresh Prince, where the stairs come out behind the sofa in the living room = Not OK.

but in Buffy where there's a proper hallway = OK

anniemac Thu 30-Aug-07 10:04:58

Message withdrawn

Tinker Thu 30-Aug-07 16:45:49

Thank you all. Yes, was thinking open-plan liek the Cosby Show or Friends etc.

motherbird Wed 26-Sep-07 12:05:01

You could of course install a sprinkler system which would mean that your existing open plan areas can stay as are.

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