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Maggie

Loft height is 2.0m at the centre

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My loft height is only 2.0m at the centre. After fitting a structural floor in the loft i will only have around 1.75m in height. This is under the minimum requirement under building regulations. With my property also being a mid terrace they cannot make the roof higher. 

Lowering the ceiling height on the first floor is an option, but the existing ceiling is not that high to begin with. So I don’t want to go down that route.

What should I do to my loft? Can even make it into a storage room with windows? Can it be made into anything like a wet room, a shower room? Anything? I want something done at least, considering it’s quite spacious up there.

Bare in mind I have a ‘truss’ roof, which means the strength of the roof is within the ‘W’.

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19 minutes ago, Maggie said:

Bare in mind I have a ‘truss’ roof, which means the strength of the roof is within the ‘W’.

A can of worms if you want to break into that space tbh. Is this extra space super important / necessary?

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Nick summed it up nicely, leave it as storage, or buy another house it will be cheaper and less hassle.

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1 hour ago, Maggie said:

Bare in mind I have a ‘truss’ roof, which means the strength of the roof is within the ‘W’.

Without spending shed loads on re designing the structure and still ending up with a very low ceiling it’s just not worth it, yes put in a fold down loft ladder and use it fir storage which might free up some Space within the house. I was asked to do similar fir a customer once but persuaded them to convert the intergral  garage instead at much less cost and ended up with a more usable space.

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For a useable loft room architects usually say you need about 9ft at the apex.

 

And that's without all those trusses.

 

Storage with an insulated hatch (if it will fit) or leave alone.

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On 03/09/2021 at 21:06, Nickfromwales said:

A can of worms if you want to break into that space tbh. Is this extra space super important / necessary?

Ideally I wanted an extra room. But I guess now I’ll just make it into storage. If made into storage will I have to have a pull down ladder to access it or can I have stairs leading up to the storage room? 
 

Also, I’ve spoken to a few neighbours on my row and some of them said they would like a loft done. Can that reasoning be used to apply for raising the ridge (planning permission)? If I raise the ridge then it will allow others to raise the ridge and get their loft done? I don’t know if that makes sense, I’m know NOTHING about architecture or structural engineering 

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I’m just sad for myself that someone who lives 1 street behind me, was able to do a loft conversion as there’s was 2.2m and they were mid terraced. 🙁 bare in mind, all the houses in the area look very similar and were designed by the same company.

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All the mass built copy / cut / paste W trussed homes don’t easily lend themselves to the attics being converted, but it is possible by lowering the 1st floor ceilings, and setting the steel ridge beam up an outward of the existing ridge tile profile. It is a hack, and quite undesirable from an aesthetics POV and would make the house stick out of not at least semi-detached.  
It would be more sympathetic to extend if that was an option, or convert a garage etc if you have one? 
If you REALLY want this attic as additional meaningful space, the W trusses can be done away with by getting a steel ridge beam put in from inside, by having it made in 2 or 3 sections and bolting it up into place. This would require brick or block gables though, and an SE. Then with that installed you could beef up the rafters and lose the W’s. 
Giant ball ache though for a room that in honesty you’d struggle to ever have recognised for downstream added ( marketable ) value eg habitable, useful space vs just a big attic for storage or possibly a cinema / snug.

The heart wants what the heart wants so it’s up to you how much you do, or don’t, throw at this. 
I’d go on holidays with the money instead ;)  

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4 hours ago, Nickfromwales said:

All the mass built copy / cut / paste W trussed homes don’t easily lend themselves to the attics being converted, but it is possible by lowering the 1st floor ceilings, and setting the steel ridge beam up an outward of the existing ridge tile profile. It is a hack, and quite undesirable from an aesthetics POV and would make the house stick out of not at least semi-detached.  
It would be more sympathetic to extend if that was an option, or convert a garage etc if you have one? 
If you REALLY want this attic as additional meaningful space, the W trusses can be done away with by getting a steel ridge beam put in from inside, by having it made in 2 or 3 sections and bolting it up into place. This would require brick or block gables though, and an SE. Then with that installed you could beef up the rafters and lose the W’s. 
Giant ball ache though for a room that in honesty you’d struggle to ever have recognised for downstream added ( marketable ) value eg habitable, useful space vs just a big attic for storage or possibly a cinema / snug.

The heart wants what the heart wants so it’s up to you how much you do, or don’t, throw at this. 
I’d go on holidays with the money instead ;)  


I REALLY REALLY want it done 😩. As I don’t have a garage and I don’t want to extend, as we’ll lose garden space. 

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We have done jobs where we dropped the first floor ceiling height a bit, need clever engineer and more difficult to find additional height.

 

regs require 2m at top of stairs can relax to 1.9 but floor joists will need to be 200mm and ridge beam could need to be 250 overall 

 

move house is my advice 

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26 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

Do you have a budget? 

I don’t have a budget. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind paying anything to get it done. I don’t want to move house either, as the house has recently been renovated. 

Edited by Maggie

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17 minutes ago, tonyshouse said:

We have done jobs where we dropped the first floor ceiling height a bit, need clever engineer and more difficult to find additional height.

 

regs require 2m at top of stairs can relax to 1.9 but floor joists will need to be 200mm and ridge beam could need to be 250 overall 

 

move house is my advice 

I don’t fancy dropping the ceiling height as two people in the house are 6ft. And the first floor, ceiling height to floor is 94inch.

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Someone told me if I dropped my ceiling height, I’ll lose 50cm, not sure how true that is.

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Plenty of examples of old croft houses here converted, where basically the whole roof has been taken off and a "box" build on top, front and back, with the top of the "box" higher than the original ridge, and a token 6" of sloping roof at each end following the original pitch.

 

They often look ridiculous and it's a lot of work and cost for 1 or at most 2 extra rooms.

 

I would put my money towards moving to a larger property, or one that lends itself to extending in an easier way.

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1 hour ago, Maggie said:

I don’t have a budget. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind paying anything to get it done.

Just promise not to say that out loud in front of anyone pricing for the job eh!?!? ;) 

So, decide if you want a habitable room with full building regs approvals, or a 'posh storage area' that requires next to zero input from building regs other than a sign off from a SE's set of drawings for a competent builder or carpenter / joiner-come-builder to work to. BRegs would need to be involved as the roof structure would be changing, they will want SE calcs and proposal for the alteration to rid you of the dreaded W's. Builder / joiner will need those to work from / to.

If you go for a 'posh storage area', it will be cheaper and simpler, and you can have a non-compliant staircase ( spiral or 'hit and miss' steep stepladder etc ) and just accept it will never be recognised as a 'room', and categorically it should never be used as a bedroom or other routinely habitable space. 

Velux windows can go in on the elevation NOT facing the street, PP is required for any which do.

As the above proposal does not include any specific need to strengthen the floor ( 1st floor ceiling joists ) you would need to be mindful of what you stored or put in any one place. TBH if you see the amount of shit most people put in their attics, you ask yourself why would you care!

You can simply put a 5" x 2" joist either side of the existing 3" x 2" joist, known as sister-ing the timbers, to beef the floor up quickly and inexpensively. A layer of P5 22mm deck board would then go atop as finished floor. The roof rafters will all need this attention to compensate for the W reductions, and the fist smaller legs of the trusses will need to stay most likely to keep things as rigid as possible.

Head height with a steel ridge beam installed, minus the disruption to the shape and height of the roof / ridge, will of course compromise head room up there, but if you wont budge on the ceiling height coming down by at least 50mm then your choices from there will all be compromises. However, if you want to throw a bucket of money at this then the roof can come off, the beam installed low enough to reinstate the roof / ridge as was, and then the carpentry and joinery would be a far simpler task to remedy as there would be open access. Summertime job for sure.

You'd be looking at £20-£22k easy, roof / stairs / staircase / plaster / decoration / electrics and so on, maybe more depending on your postcode. ( do not post your postcode here please ).

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it all depends on the loading... I had an SE draw up a scheme for the current abode to open up the trusses in part of the attic for "accessible storage" and it took a fair bit of sistering and lots of nails, bolts, and plywood flanges. But it gave me the extra "room" I needed to house stock and computer when young son needed a room of his own...

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Here me out I really don’t want to buy a new house as this house has sentimental value. I need help achieving this loft conversion. 

I was reading this: 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it possible to convert mine, people in this thread are saying regulations for having a head height of 2.2m were abolished for a loft conversion

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