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Frequently Asked Questions on Loft Conversions

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Q. Is my roof high enough for a loft conversion?

A. Yes, if the measurement from floor to underside of roof apex is a minimum of 2.3metres 7`6″.

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Q. Can a modern trussed rafter roof be converted?

A. Yes, it is possible, but this type of roof will require careful design considerations and additional structural work.

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Q. Do I need planning permission?

A. Some dormers and alterations require planning consent, while others may be built without planning consent under PD (permitted development).

Brief summary:
Any dormers/roof alterations on the principal elevation facing a highway normally require planning consent.

Rear dormers/roof alterations may not require consent and can be built under permitted development (depending on volume limits).

Side facing dormers/velux can be built under permitted development if the windows are obscure glazed and non-opening. Any clear glass and opening windows to side elevations must be 1.7m off the floor.

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Q. Will you arrange the installation of electrics , plumbing and heating?

A.Yes, this will be carried out by our trained staff and will be included in your quotation. All gas work is Gas Safe registered. All electrical work is Part P compliant.

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Q. How long will my conversion take?

A. This depends on the size of your particular conversion. An average conversion is normally completed within 4-8 weeks.

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Q. Can I see completed conversions?

A. Yes, we would be delighted to show you similar conversions of some of our many satisfied customers, you can even view conversions under construction.

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Q. Do you install bathrooms, showers, decorate & tile etc?

A. We fit and install bathrooms showers and fully tile. Though we don’t paint & decorate or fit carpets, we do fit laminate and real wood flooring on request,finishing to a high standard ready for paint & decorating.

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Q. Can I expect much mess?

A. Disturbance and mess is kept to a minimum, your home will be left clean, tidy and safe on a daily basis. You do not have to vacate your home during construction.

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Q. Why choose Brewer Loft & Roof Conversions?

A. Because with over 25 years experience we are the south coasts leading specialists in design and build loft conversions.

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Q. How do I get a quote?

A. Make a no obligation appointment with Nick Brewer by using our Contact Form then he will discuss your requirements, measure your property and provide a detailed floor plan and quotation. You can also use our Online Estimate Form for a quick quote.

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Q. Are there any different building regulations when comparing bungalows to houses?

A. Yes there are, generally fire regulations.

Mains connected smoke detection with battery back-up is mandatory in all new conversions and extensions.

Normally one detector to each hallway and landing is required and they must be interlinked.

Below is guidance on what needs to be undertaken for building regulation compliance to each property type.

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Bungalow building regulations

When converting an existing bungalow the new staircase can generally be sited anywhere on the ground floor. Each new habitable room in the loft conversion will have to fitted with a window for escape purposes which must have an unobstructed clear openable area of 0.33 square metres, this is best achieved with a window opening a minimum of 450mm wide by 750mm high and can be either a window within a dormer, external wall or a Velux roof window. The bottom (cill) of the escape window must not be higher than 1100mm above the floor.

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House building regulations

When converting say a standard 2-storey house into 3 storeys careful consideration must be given to form a protected route out from the loft rooms to a final exit at ground floor. The upper storeys must be served by a fire protected stairway (protected at all levels) which either at ground floor:

a. discharges to a hall served by an external door, or
b. there must be at least two separate escape routes available to an external door – separated by fire resistant construction and fire doors.

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If you have an existing open plan staircase please see notes below.

The protected stair enclosure should be enclosed in a minimum 30-minute fire resistant structure to protect the escape route for the occupants to make a safe escape. All doors (new and existing) opening onto the protected stair route are to be fire resistant. This means your existing doors will probably have to be changed to fire doors. One concession is that there is no need to fit self-closing devices to fire doors anymore apart from a door to an integral garage. You must ensure that the new loft access/stairwell is an extension of the existing to avoid the creation of inner rooms i.e. where escape can only be made by passing through another room (this situation is not acceptable).

A lobby and fire door at the bottom of the stairs off your existing landing is acceptable, as long as there is one new loft room only.

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Q. What if I have an open-plan arrangement in my house i.e. stairs are open to the main living areas and are not enclosed by a traditional hallway leading to a final exit?

A. Where the existing house is open-plan, it will be necessary to provide a new 30-minute fire resistant partition with fire doors to enclose and extend the escape route to a final exit as indicated in the diagram below.

Diagrams: Alternative arrangements for final exits in a house.

There is no longer a requirement for escape windows in any new loft rooms of houses.

Bungalow Conversions

This section presents our Bungalow Loft and Roof Conversions which includes galleries, price guides and client testimonials.

House Conversions

This section presents our House Loft and Roof Conversions which includes galleries, price guides and client testimonials.

Before & After

This section creates a visual impact, high-lighting how your property could be transformed, after a Brewer Loft and Roof conversion.