Although the majority of loft conversions may not require planning permission, they will still need to comply with building regulations covering many aspects of the proposed conversion. These regulations govern the insulation of the converted room, which must meet given U-values for thermal efficiency. Loft conversions can meet this insulation requirement by two methods. Either by using a cold roof system in which insulation is added between the rafters or a warm roof design where insulation is installed over the rafters. Building regulations also specify an amount of headroom that is required in usable rooms, generally 2 metres.
There are extra regulations to account for the fire safety aspect of a loft conversion. Generally, a loft conversion will require an additional escape route to the rest of the home, which is commonly accomplished by utilising a rooflight or window rated as an escape route. Additionally, doors adjacent to the staircase that serves the loft conversion will have to be rated as fire resistant for thirty minutes, and the property will demand mains-powered interlinked fire alarms throughout. Building regulations also govern electrical safety, meaning that any electrical work carried out in your loft conversion must be carried out by a certified electrician.
The property will also need to adhere to the building regulations that cover structural strength. Most loft conversions won’t require changes to the foundations of your house, but will still need a structural survey to ensure the building will be structurally sound with the additional weight of the conversion. Also, if any of the walls of the loft are shared with a neighbour, a Party Wall Agreement will be required, and this wall will be held to higher sound insulation requirements.
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Wishaw is a town and former burgh in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is within the edge of the Clyde Valley, 15 miles (24 km) south-east of Glasgow.