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Ventilation for Internal Bathroom in Flat


Gizasmum
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I'm viewing some flats just now (built 1970) for my 85 year old Mum and am looking for some guidance re ventilating the bathroom in the flat she's really keen on buying (Flat A). Sorry if this is a bit long-winded, but it’s the only way that I can describe the situation. I just need to know what my options are before I put the offer in.

The property is in Scotland (just in case regs are different). The building is 2 storeys high and Flat A is a top floor property, with a flat roof. The bathroom dimensions are 7’ x 7’ approximately. There is a shower over a bath, loo and wash hand basin. If successful with buying Flat A, I would be taking out the bath and replacing it with a walk-in shower. The bathroom does not have any outside walls. It has been wet walled and a new ceiling has been installed and fitted with spots. The wall opposite the bathroom door is an outside wall.

I know from viewing another top floor flat (Flat B) at the opposite end of the building that there was a horrible domed skylight in it’s bathroom ceiling. This could be opened by putting a pole into a tube attached to skylight, thus ventilating the bathroom. I’m presuming that this set up is the same as that above the new ceiling in Flat A.

Back in Flat A, through the bathroom wall on the side opposite the long edge of the bath, is a deep walk in cupboard accessed from the hall. In this cupboard, at the far end, it has been boxed in (floor to ceiling) with wet wall. There are two square holes cut into this (about 4”x4”) set about 4 feet and 4.5 feet off the ground, but the holes are not aligned one above the other. They’re offset by about 4”. The Estate Agent thinks that's where the stopcock might be located. Being completely non-technical I didn't even think to check. There is a hatch to the roof void in this cupboard, but as far as I’m aware it’s not a very high space, so don’t think a person could get up inside it to work in it.

Through the wall, at the short end of the bath, is a shallow linen cupboard. This is also accessed from the hall and contains the shower's (over the bath) electrical switch.

Can anyone please provide any suggestions (not horribly expensive) for the best way of venting the bathroom. For example, could a ceiling fan be installed with some sort of ducting running across the new ceiling and roof void to the wall outside. Would simply fitting a fan on to this outside wall be of any use, by at least removing some of the moisture that will come out the bathroom into the hall? I would be employing a company to do the work, probably the same one who would replace the bath with a walk-in shower. Look forward to receiving the benefit of your knowledge :)??

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No 1, look on Google earth (other satellite imaging programs are available) to look at the roof of this flat to see if the domed skylight is still there now hidden under the new ceiling.

 

You can put a wall fan but how high up is "top floor"? that may not be practical.

 

I doubt anyone can offer any other suggestions without seeing up into the roof void to see if there is a way to get a duct from somewhere on the ceiling to outside, perhaps through the eaves if any exist, and again that comes with the complication of how his is "top floor"?

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You can retrofit any height as long as you’re careful with a core drill. Search for High Rise vents, they are designed to be retrofitted from the inside only. 

 

I would be surprised if the dome had been removed but it would be pretty challenging to reinstate something like that without a full scale rework of the ceiling. You may also find the flat doesn’t own the roof either - some leasehold tenancies keep the roof as a shared component so doing any work to it may be a problem. 

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It will be interesting to see the tenure.  Leasehold is rare in Scotland.  When we owned a flat, we owned a share of the freehold upon which the flat sat, shared equally with (in our case) the one flat above us.  "Common parts" like the foundations and roof were repairable at the equal expense of both joint owners.

 

Had I had forgotten about high rise vents. Never fitted one but I understand the principle. Though how you ensure bits don't drop as you are coring through I don't know.

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Apologies everyone for not responding sooner. I thought I’d receive notification of any posts made as I’d ticked the box to get them, but nothing’s came through so I didn’t know that you’d responded.

 

On 24/09/2019 at 11:23, ProDave said:

No 1, look on Google earth (other satellite imaging programs are available) to look at the roof of this flat to see if the domed skylight is still there now hidden under the new ceiling.

 

You can put a wall fan but how high up is "top floor"? that may not be practical.

 

I doubt anyone can offer any other suggestions without seeing up into the roof void to see if there is a way to get a duct from somewhere on the ceiling to outside, perhaps through the eaves if any exist, and again that comes with the complication of how his is "top floor"?

 

Completely forgot about Google Earth! Yes the skylight's still there. As I said in my original post, the building is 2-storeys high. It’s low rise so the top floor flat is one up.

 

On 24/09/2019 at 14:25, PeterW said:

You can retrofit any height as long as you’re careful with a core drill. Search for High Rise vents, they are designed to be retrofitted from the inside only. 

 

I would be surprised if the dome had been removed but it would be pretty challenging to reinstate something like that without a full scale rework of the ceiling. You may also find the flat doesn’t own the roof either - some leasehold tenancies keep the roof as a shared component so doing any work to it may be a problem. 

 

I definitely wouldn’t want to go up through the flat roof to the outside. It would cause more bother than it’s worth and I imagine it would be very expensive. The building has both owner occupiers and housing authority tenants, factored by the housing authority. Any repairs or work to the roof would therefore need to be arranged via the factor. That adds expense right away, robbers!

 

It has to be out through the external wall on the other side of the hallway or not at all. I’ve discovered today that the Scottish Building Regs allow for minor holes for ventilation ducts without a building warrant. I’m just trying to find the best, and least expensive, way of doing that.

 

On 25/09/2019 at 13:33, Ferdinand said:

I thought Leasehold had been abolished in Scotland.

 

 

It was, back in 2004, but wasn’t applicable anyway to most houses long before that. The flat is freehold, as with almost every residential property in Scotland. In fact only around 0.001% of houses in Scotland are leasehold, which will cease for them whenever they are next sold. 

 

I am am thinking that the least messy and cheapest way to tackle this might be to just put a fan in above the bathroom door (ie just below the ceiling level), run ducting from it across the hall ceiling and out through the external wall. The ducting could be boxed in so that it’s not an eyesore. I am totally non-technical, so am not sure if this is possible to do or not.

 

Thanks everyone for your input. Much appreciated.

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