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fire safety for loft conversionsHere in our last article on things to consider for your loft conversion, we will be explaining some of the important factors that a majority of people don’t take into account. Those areas include storage space, proper sound proofing, insulating for countering heat loss and fire safety regulations.

Upgrade for fire safety

In terms of the your home’s fire safety, loft conversions on a bungalow do not have much effect, beyond ensuring that you install large enough windows that can be escaped out of. However, there are some implications in homes where a two story house turns into three. There will need to be 30 minutes worth of fire-protection at least on the new floor. This may mean that the ceilings below it have to be re-plastered and a fire door will need to separate the loft, either at the bottom or top of the new stairs. One escaped-sized window for each room will also be needed. There are some skylight windows specifically designed for this purpose.

You no longer need to have door self-closing devices in houses. It has been proven that they put children’s safety at risk due to the fact that they may trap small fingers. What should be done instead is to replace or upgrade existing stairway doors (first and ground floors) with fire-resistant doors. Plans that were submitted earlier fall under previous guidance requiring that all lower doors have self-closing devices. However, it should be possible for you to apply so that the new approach can be adopted. As part of your electrical insulation process, you should install mains-powered smoke alarms on every floor of your house. You should interlink them so when one becomes activated all of them sound. A majority of them use a re-chargeable battery for back-up so that the supply can be extended if necessary from a light circuit.

Insulate your loft to prevent heat loss

It has become awkward to insulate loft conversions with the increased standards that have been put into place. It will be necessary to cut and fit insulation between the rafters as well as on top of them in the sloped ceiling. The plasterboard will also need to be attached to the rafters via the insulation’s bottom layer. This insulation needs to be as thin as you can get it. Therefore, some kind of high performance insulation should be used (usually some kind of foam board) in all of those areas. The dormers and ashlering walls will need insulating as well with similar products prior to being plasterboarded.

Insulate against sound

Your new floor will also need to be soundproofed. It is easy to achieve this through laying down a mineral fibre in between the joists. Denser, heavier sound insulation quilt should be used rather than thermal insulation material which is lighter and won’t be helpful here. The same is true for whatever internal stud partitions there may be in between the bathrooms or bedrooms. Another thing you should be insulating is any party walls that you might have, both against noise and heat loss. A timber stub framework lining will help you achieve both of these and it can be covered using sound-rated plasterboard.

Storage

Whenever you convert your loft, of course will you will lose some storage space. Utilizing the eaves that are behind the ashlering can help you maximize use of the space that you do have. Access hatches can be fitted and then make roll-out storage bins to fit. Also, if you insulate to the eaves down from the rafter lines, a warm storage space will be created for your belongings. Another excellent feature to have in loft bedrooms are built-in wardrobes is spaces where standard units don’t fit.