Hidden Costs/Building regulations for Loft Conversions


Converting a loft is bringing a better value of the property increasing the cost at about 3 time more than the cost to build it.

If you decide to build your Loft than probably you will look for few quotes that will help to budget and decide on the building company to Build your Loft.

Hidden Costs?

Being a very competitive market Building Companies/Builders are trying different options in order to win projects. A common way is to include less services in the project and offer a cost that comparing to a comprehensive quote that includes a turn key project, is less and seams to be more attractive.

In such cases try to compare and check if the quote is a shell built loft or is a turn key that will include all services.

Our company is often facing this issues when home owners deciding on the cheaper quotes not realising the hidden cost that they will have to pay at a later stage. However this become frustrating for the customer, therefore we tend to offer a comprehensive quote that will cover all aspects of the Loft Building.

Things to consider when building a loft to avoid hidden costs.

  • Fire regulation- is a side that you should discuss with your builder and have a plan and budget to meet these requirements.

Escape Routes

For most lofts, you will need to provide a protected route from your loft rooms to an outside door. The staircase itself may need plasterboarding and plastering below to provide 30 minutes protection. All loft conversions require windows through which a person could escape if the stairway does not provide a safe escape route. Building regulations state that window openings must be 450mm or wider to comply with this. These windows should have non-locking fasteners. Escape windows in the loft should be easy to access and close to eaves level, which is vital in case of a rescue from the outside.

Fire Rated Doors

Property doors will need to be changed if those are not fire rated FD30 and new installed doors for the loft should also be FD30. Accordingly to the Building regulation a safe corridor from the loft to the outside of the building should be created by having all doors fire rated this is ensuring that if there was a fire anywhere in the house, those in the loft conversion could make a safe exit.

Smoke Alarm

Mains powered smoke alarms should be fitted on every story of your home. Usually, in the halls and landings and the alarms must all be linked so that they all sound, even if only one’s trigged. A battery backup will need to be provided to all floors (usually in the halls and landing areas). The alarms will need to be interlinked so that if one goes off, they all go off. This ensures that those who are in the loft are alerted immediately and have the best chance of escape.

Ceiling

Existing first floor ceilings will need to achieve 30 minutes fire resistance, this may require additional plaster boarding and plastering or installing insulation that will create a fire break.

These aspects will be dictated by the way the property was built.

Sprinklers

Many councils will now accept a small sprinkler system as an alternative to the above protection requirements. These can be expensive, particularly if your mains water pressure is low and water storage is required.

If you are considering a loft conversion in Hammersmith and Fulham, Chelsea, Wandsworth or South West London then please contact A to Z Design and Build Ltd on 07578930828 or email info@atozdesignandbuild.co.uk to discuss your loft potential.

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