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Loft Conversions

Do i need building inspectors involved to add a real staircase to loft converted before 1970?

I have owned my house for a long time but one thing that always bugged me is that my house has a fully converted loft with floor, ceiling, lighting and power all completed over 4 decades ago but they only had a loft ladder.

So what I want to do is cover the hatch with extending loft ladder in centre of upstairs hallway roof and make a new wooden regular staircase to the ceiling running in parallel directly over the existing stairs and of course cut away the required 8 feet by 3 feet area of the ceiling by the main wall.

I have googled til I am sick and I can find no clear cut answer as to whether I need to make just the stairs and hole cut into the upstairs ceiling/loft floor up to current regulations or the whole house (yeah all that money generating bullcrap like fire doors which is all just their to plump up the council coffers).

And would this be treated any different to someone replacing a spiral staircase (yuck!) with a proper staircase as in both cases new sections of the loft will be?

I want to make this into an occasional game room/home cinema and to be honest I can do that now but I would like to be able to go into my existing loft via a normal staircase (loft is still exactly as it came with this house I purchased in the mid 90s actually)

I don't really care what the estate agent says I can market the house as as far as number of bedrooms goes, if I ever sold the house then it's up to the buyers to decide what to do with it.

So in summary, bought a house in the 90s with fully converted loft but accessed through a traditional telescopic type ladder like a regular loft....who needs to know (hint the less people the better) and actually given it is already there and hasn't spontaneously combusted or collapsed on my head in 2 decades WHY do I even need to tell anyone what I am doing inside my own house, the change is not structural other than in itself (ie the staircase and hole in the ceiling must be structurally good design for their purpose).

2 Answers from MyBuilder Loft Conversion Specialists

Best Answer

No you dont


Answered 15th Mar 2013

Hi, you will need to have any new or replacement staircase installation inspected and signed off to comply with Building Regulations part K which you can confirm by calling your Local Authority's b'regs team.
I would suspect that as the original loft conversion had never been signed off when you bought the house that this may be picked up when you have an inspection and you will need to 'regularise' the works.
Building Regs are in place to certify for health, safety and insurance purposes and it covers lots of other matters other than structures (planning portal and LABC websites are both very useful) - we always advise our clients to comply and pay for Building Regs as it saves time, money and stress by getting it sorted.
It is better do this before you start as it can cause delays and extra costs when selling properties as solicitors are getting worse asking for paperwork!

Hope this helps
UK Property Services


Answered 19th Dec 2012

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