When does an attick become a habitable room?

Postby clc.sheff » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:29 pm

My attick is not high enough for a full conversion but would like to re-enforce the floor, board it out and put a lift ladder in to allow easy access. Had thought that it's not much more work to insulate it and plasterboard it (had hoped to use it for occasional hobby space/ or office). Don't want a window. Have had a couple of loft conversion companies round and have been told that this is ok. But having done some research I have come accross conflicting information as some say it's illegal to have a space that a bed can be put in. Can anyone help me? (or point me in the right direction?) Any reply muchly apreciated. Thankyou
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Simply Build It

Postby dennis graham » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:00 am

Hi, the companies you have contacted have mislead you. your roofspace becomes a "habitable" room when you "habitate" it. ie, use it for any other purpose than storing items. you can strengthen, board out and fit a ladder, lights and a socket, all to store materials. It becomes habitable when you use it for a hobby room, office or bedroom. Anything that involves you spending but a few moments in the roof. My businesses are Loft conversion Specialists of Beverley and DG design associates, we have designed and build loft conversions for over 25 years.
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Postby eljaybee » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:47 pm

Dennis is right, it's once you put the plasterboard on (irrelevent as to whether there is a window or not) it becomes a space that can be used as a room and thus needs Building Regs and all the associated structural, thermal and fire requirements apply.

See also my reply to another question on this forum

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Postby clc.sheff » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:57 pm

Thankyou for your replies. I had already read your answer to the other persons query and that's what set the alarm bells ringing. You've saved me from a very costly mistake.
I'm flabbergasted that I have been misled by supposed reputable companies. I did have the sense to ring my local council who confirmed your advice but I can imagine that many people might not have checked it out.
I contacted the companies involved to give them a piece of my mind and they said I was wrong and as long as I didn't advertise it as an extra room (i.e. saying my house was now 4 bed instead of 3) it was fine!!

Again I would like to thank you for taking the time to reply to my query
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Postby the specialist » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:14 pm


Like our learned friends have said habitable requires compliance with building regulations. Companies who say you dont need it are merely trying to get your business at a lower cost. I think they should be stopped from trading. Did you also know it is illegal to use it as a habitable room with building regs. You can be prosecuted.

Also when you sell a property without having got your certificates it will be down valued!

My company carry out basement conversions and we have to deal with the same con men - but quality and honesty still sells!

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Postby TheDoctor5 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:22 am

If you type the key words of your question into our search box to the left of the site you may find the answer is already posted or is in the DIY projects section of the website. Every post goes through a monitoring process and using the search box may speed up your answer.
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