Requirements for an attic bedroom?

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  • Requirements for an attic bedroom?
  • qwerty
    Member

    Mode of escape with windows at a certain height/opening.

    qwerty
    Member

    Mains smoke alarm.

    creamegg
    Member

    Main issue will be to comply with Part B. You will need fire doors to provide a protected escape route from the loft unless you can provide means of escape windows from the loft- max 4500mm above ground level, and max 1100mm above the loft floor level.

    How old is the property, and is the loft original and does it have previous consent?

    johndoh
    Member

    If it has always been a room no regs required I believe (we are in the process of selling a house with this too).

    After all, how can building regs apply to a room that already exists? Half the country would have rooms that don’t meet current regs (bathrooms without extractors, insufficient insulation etc).

    teenrat
    Member

    creamegg, the house was built in 1880, the attic is original but the windows do not comply with the measurements you give. My confusion is if it has always been a room (and possibly used in the past as a bedroom) i’m not actually changing the use

    creamegg
    Member

    In that case you have no requirement to comply with the current regs

    Edit. Although it may depend when it was first used as a bedroom.

    creamegg
    Member

    Even if you no not need it to comply with the regs it may be in your best interest to improve fire safety and insulation values?

    teenrat
    Member

    insulation will be upgraded anyway as it is too cold in winter and too hot in summer and the plaster board needs replacing anyway. If i’m spending the money to sort it all out, it would be nice to be able to advertise it as a bedroom if i sell the house.

    johndoh
    Member

    teenrat – Member
    insulation will be upgraded anyway as it is too cold in winter and too hot in summer and the plaster board needs replacing anyway. If i’m spending the money to sort it all out, it would be nice to be able to advertise it as a bedroom if i sell the house.
    POSTED 2 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    But from my experience, despite actual legal position, many buyers will be put off if no regs approval is proven. Saying that, if someone loves the house they won’t care – we bought ours feeling that way, our present buyer us of the same opinion).

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    many buyers will be put off if no regs approval is proven.

    Well presumably those people will only go for new build then. They certainly won’t find 200 year old houses which comply with today’s regs.

    johndoh
    Member

    I agree, but attic ‘conversions’ will always ring alarm bells with their solicitors. This us my own *direct* experience.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    attic ‘conversions’ will always ring alarm bells with their solicitors.

    But the OP claims it’s not a loft conversion. The word “attic” suggests an original room.

    Premier Icon pedropete
    Subscriber

    If it has always been a habitable room since original build then it is not a ‘conversion’ & therefore no regs requirements are applicable. Did you purchase the property with the loft room described as a bedroom? Upgrade of insulation will only kick in as a regs requirement if you are re- roofing or removing old plasterboard.

    johndoh
    Member

    And I deliberately put the word conversion in inverted commas.

    A loft/attic room will be questioned if it exists and no regs are present. As I have said, I am currently selling a house with exactly this. My buyer doesn’t care, her solicitor keeps coming back to us with questions about staircases, details of renovation (it was renovated in 2000) etc.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    And an indemnity policy costs about £50 if you come to sell it and questions are raised…

    teenrat
    Member

    We bought it as an attic room as no paperwork is available. I had to get some floorboards up when the central heating was put in in the room downstairs – they had never been up before and used the old square nails so they have been there a long long time. The stairs upto the room have always been there since the house was built – you can just tell.

    Premier Icon pedropete
    Subscriber

    Solicitors are only interested in covering their a***s & do not have their clients best interests at heart IMHO

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Yeah I saw that you put the word conversion in inverted commas. My point is that according to the OP it’s not a conversion, ie, it hasn’t been converted from one thing into another. So I can’t why it’s any different to any other bedroom. The bathroom is almost certainly a conversion though, since the house is over 200 years old.

    Premier Icon pedropete
    Subscriber

    Might be worth writing to local building control, explaining that you plan to refurb an existing 3rd floor room & request in writing that they would view as refurb & not conversion- should cover you for future eventualities

    johndoh
    Member

    And my point is that attic rooms are always assumed as being ‘conversions’ so solicitors want to see regs approval.

    b r
    Member

    The last thing I’d be doing is talking to anyone from the council – especially if you don’t need to.

    Work out what you need to do, and then do it.

    And my point is that attic rooms are always assumed as being ‘conversions’ so solicitors want to see regs approval.

    Assume = ASS of U and ME

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    attic rooms are always assumed as being ‘conversions’

    No they’re not. It is perfectly normal have original bedrooms in the roof space. I’m doing this at the moment on my present new build job.

    EDIT : What does throw me is the two velux windows. I would expect a habitable room to have more than just skylights, even in a 200 year property. The lack of dormer windows would make me question whether it really is an original room.

    teenrat
    Member

    To all the STW builders out there. My attic is already a room – it has an original proper staircase upto it, has original floorboards and has got two velux windows. As far as i know, it has always been a room since the house was built in the late 1800’s. I now want to sort it out properly, re plaster, decorate, and have it as the master bedroom. What are the requirements for a bedroom with regards to building regs as seen as it has always been a room? It is on the 3rd floor, so does it need fire doors and a minimum level of insulation?

    cheers

    Rich

    johndoh
    Member

    Okay you are right and I am wrong. Despite my buying and selling a house with exactly this set-up.

    Thanks for helping me see my error.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Here at midlifetowers we have three bedrooms, a bathroom and a store room on the top floor, all into the apex of the roof, all built that way in 1901. I’ve upped the insulation as we renovate, rewiring too as we go.

    I have used interlinked smoke alarms so folk on top hear if the ground floor ones go off, it’s a long way up to hear them. I did have a structural engineer friend informally give his opinion before I hung an extra load of Kingspan and plasterboard under the roof, but as we expected the place is hugely overbuilt so no worries there.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    the roof space in my last house an 1850’s terrace was one big room with a velux.. upon purchase i had no issue and none upon sale.. i did not descibe it as a loft/attic or bedroom just a 2nd floor room

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    When we bought our house – 1890’s terrace – we had this discussion with our solicitor as it had the attic converted and was advertised as a bedroom.

    As the conversion was done so long ago (I can’t remember the cut off) – building regs weren’t required.

    We have recently had if reroofed and the dorma windows fully rebuilt and replaced and Building Control didn’t flag any issues in respect of escape routes via windows etc.

    Speak to a solicitor though, they should be able to clarify.

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Building regs don’t apply retrospectively, after all your 1800s house will have foundations which don’t comply to current regs, but no one will quibble about that when they buy it…..

    johndoh
    Member

    i did not descibe it as a loft/attic or bedroom just a 2nd floor room

    Of course if you do this it can’t be sold as an ‘X’ Bedroom house so won’t sell for as much.

    Ours recently sold for £265k (asking of £270k, marketed as 3 bed), the house opposite (identical apart from somewhat bizarrely that row of terraces never had attic rooms like our row) sold for £220k (asking of £235k, marketed as 2 bed).

    Fair enough ours also has a small single storey extension too, but I don’t think that could make that much difference in price.

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