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Loft beams in the way

Postby CLMettrick » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:36 am

Hi, I live in a 1930's end terrace with a hipped roof. To do a full loft conversion would require planning, fire regs, a new gable end wall and about £30k. So I just want to 'clean up' the space to use as an occasional office/storage accessed via a pull down ladder. I intend to fit a velux, insulate and palsterboard it so it become a cleaner more usable space.

The problem is there are two horizontal beams (2"x4"s) that run the depth of the house, v cut and nailed to the underside of the perlins. They pass right through the most usable part of the space so I need to remove them. My neighbour said they were just there to support things while the roof was being constructed and that you can just take them out. I'm not sure but it's difficult to see what role they play other than to stop the perlins moving apart which is odd because if anything wouldn't the forces be pushing in under the weight of the tiles? Anyone out there know what they are for and if I can remove them?

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Postby thedoctor » Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:40 am

However you transform a loft to do anything in other than storage requires the appropriate permissions. There is no difference in using it as an office to using it as a bedroom, without the correct safety regulations in place you will still burn to death. Every single piece of timber in a roof space is there to keep the roof together, do not remove anything. The floor of a loft is simply the ceiling of the room below. It was built for this, just to hold up a ceiling, not to be walked on, laid or sat on, it is not a supporting floor and unless this is strengthened with the proper regulations ( Building regulations are in place to keep your property safe for you and anyone who lives there after you, they are not just legislation for the sake of it) it will be dangerous.
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Postby wintonian » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:02 am

What an unhelpful reply. This site will never get anywhere if the site admin is the only one to give an opinion. He must think he knows everything - must be a tradesman.
Many of the roof timbers were indeed used only in the construction of the roof framing and, once finished, served no other purpose. It would not have been economic to remove them so they were left in place.
This is not true of recent roof trusses that are factory made. They cannot be touched without redesigning the interior roof supports.
Common sense, and a little basic knowledge of structures will guide you.
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Postby enfield250 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:09 pm

I have a similar problem, a piece of 4x2 nailed to the rafters and resting on the pirlins. A friend of mine who is a retired builder, tells me I can remove this bit of 4x2, as it was only used in roof construction. However in the 80's I had my house reroofed and the roofers fitted 2 pieces of 4x2 angled up from the joists and fixed to the pirlins, to support the extra weight of the concrete tiles, previous roofing was slate. These newer bits of 4x2 have to be left in place to support the roof. Therefore my loft can only be used for a store, which I intend to do, What is the best insulation to put behind the plasterboard on the rafters. I also intend to fit one or two rooflights.
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