attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fakro

attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fakro

Postby cluelez » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:36 pm

I would like to ask for opinion or perhaps advise here,

I wish to make a proper use of the space in the attic of two bedroom property.

First issue is the conflict of opinions whether or not internal attic conversion with fixed staircase and fakro (velux's type) windows at the rear of property requires planning permission or not?

proposed project of conversion to storage attic is to be completed in County Wicklow area.

The rear of the property is not currently overlooked by any other property (some undeveloped land is present with burnout house (planning permission granted to build school and housing development, due to lack of funds not progressing, so at the moment the rear of property is not overlooked), the public road is visible from about 150-200meters from the property.

out of 7 neighbors, 4 have converted to storage (with fixed staircases and velux windows) without applying for planning permission.

Could people more educated on the subject enlighten me on the way how can I progress with proposed conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fakro roof-light windows.

Whether I should seek so-called certificate of compliance or certificate of exemption for the proposed project (please excuse me if I made errors on the terminology).

This will be mainly diy project (except structural work where one ceiling joist will require cut and support in order to insert staircase, also electrical works would require certified person to complete)

It is proposed to be a relatively simple project where the following alterations will take place: 1) build and install staircase 2) install roof-lights (fakro roof windows) 3) install floor over existing joists 4) install electrical points to facilitate artificial light if required

I am in close vicinity to neighbors (as this is mid-terrace house).

thank you for taking time to read, I would appreciate help on this subject.
cluelez
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby DOC » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:10 pm

Hi Cluelez

Generally, from what you have described, you could/should be able to carry out the proposed works without planning permission (as long as your house is not a protected structure or in an architectural conservation area), especially if the attic conversion will not be deemed 'habitable'. Generally, the provision of roof windows to the rear of a house are considered exempt from planning (and the staircase/converion itself should not require planning permisson).

You should seriously consider engaging an engineer and/or architect to advise you on planning matters, structural issues and building regulation compliance (even if you do intend to do most of the works yourself). There is a lot to consider! There is very useful information contained in this leaflet: http://www.environ.ie/en/DevelopmentHou ... 657,en.pdf

At the end of the day, if you decide to sell your house in the future (or even borrow money 'against' your house), you will need opinions on complaince with regard to both planning permission/exemption and building regulations, so, you should ensure, in the first place, that the works are compliant.

On a completely seperate matter from planning and building regulations, you now also need to consider Health and Safety. Have a look at this: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/956021ef7d ... _guide.pdf
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:39 am

Thank you for response, the house in not a protected structure.

It is going to be 3-4 days long project in terms of work hours. The conversion to storage, therefore I believe most of the points from the leaflet are redundant.

I made a number of inquiries with Dublin based builders, contractors, as to whether one can issue me with engineers certificate such as that the structure of roof will be secure after on joist will be cut to allow to fit staircase.

So far I haven't have any luck with getting confirmation that such certificate will be issued. Everyone is telling that I don't need any certificate or that I need steel beams (RSJ's or similar).

Is it possible to reinforce the current joist with the correct structural grade timber and then cut the existing joist, fit staircase and then issue with certificate signed of by engineer?

Any suggestions welcome as this is difficult field to deal with contractors which are pushing to get job done but not promising to issue paperwork that job will be secure in years time.
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:03 am

note: none of above mentioned builders/contractors have visited the property, which is even more concerning.
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby henno » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:16 am

It would be unusual to install a fixed staircase simply to serve an attic for storage space.
Its the use of the space which will determine whether planning permission is required or not, not the dimensions or whether other properties are near or whether other properties have done it already, none of that matters really.

should you need to sell for any reason, and you are required to provide a cert of exemption, and you have an attic which is, for example, properly kitted out with flooring, plastered wall and ceiling, rooflights, electrical points, radiator etc then its highly unlikely any certifier will say that its used for storage and give you a cert of exemption.

i will echo DOCs post encouraging the engagement of an engineer and / or an architect to advise you on the issues raised, especially the structural requirements. there is no point in you putting money into a project such as this if it ends up not adding value, or even costing you more money, in the long term.
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:38 am

There is one artificial lamp/light made by the builder, the attic won't have radiators, electrical point (one) is already present since the house was build in 2005/2006. The floor space between the joists will be insulated and boarded with chipboard to allow for more storage space. The roof space between the rafters will be also insulated with foam boards and moisture barrier, if the budget permits I may use plasterboard but not during the next few years.

I wish to use the attic space as storage space to store archive boxes, boxed seasonal clothing, boxed spare summer/winter shoes, unused collections of books.

Where can I obtain a list of engineers or an architects to seek for the advise?

As mentioned in the above post, I'm also concerned about the structural requirements.

I agree that there is no point to putting money into project if it ends up not adding value, or even costing me more money in the long term.
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:50 am

does this site allow to post request for professional?
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby DOC » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:01 pm

cluelez wrote:It is going to be 3-4 days long project in terms of work hours. The conversion to storage, therefore I believe most of the points from the leaflet are redundant.


Not sure what leaflet you are referring too? If it is the In Health and Safety one, I would re-read that one carefully, the works you are considering having done most likely invlove 'a particular risk(s)'.

For a list of architects, see here: http://www.riai.ie/practice_directory/ Search for a few in your locality and give them a call. For a modest fee, maybe one might be willing to call to you and at least give you some (valuable) advice?
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:36 pm

DOC wrote:
cluelez wrote:It is going to be 3-4 days long project in terms of work hours. The conversion to storage, therefore I believe most of the points from the leaflet are redundant.


Not sure what leaflet you are referring too? If it is the In Health and Safety one, I would re-read that one carefully, the works you are considering having done most likely invlove 'a particular risk(s)'.

For a list of architects, see here: http://www.riai.ie/practice_directory/ Search for a few in your locality and give them a call. For a modest fee, maybe one might be willing to call to you and at least give you some (valuable) advice?


I was talking about loft conversion to habitable space leaflet - as I will be converting to storage, therefore I think it's mostly redundant (not completely but mostly).

In regards to H&S I agree.

Thank you for the list of architects.
When you say a modest fee, what sort of fee would be an average fee for such call out?
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby DOC » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:11 am

Maybe E 100 to E 150. Call few in your general area and ask.
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby cluelez » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:17 pm

Hi, I have received advise and went ahead with few parts of the project, however I'm again left with problem:
I was told to maintain an equivalent to a 25mm continuous strip at the ridge. There is none ventilation at the ridge at present. Would anyone know how to achieve above with minimal invasion to the ridge?

Are there alternatives?
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Re: attic conversion to storage with fixed staircase and fak

Postby DOC » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:33 am

Equivalent of 25mm continuous strip ventilation at the eaves...stick in soffit vents.
and
Equivalent of 5mm continuous strip ventilation at the ridge...easiest way to do this (without taking off the existing ridge tiles) is put in a number of proprietary tile/slate vents either side of the ridge.

Have a look at this: http://www.tegral.com/uploads/docs/roof ... lation.pdf
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