Undertaking a loft conversion within a terraced property should be reviewed and managed in the same way as any other loft conversion. However, by the very nature of the style of property there are some serious considerations when planning to convert the loft space.
The 1966 Party Wall Act is one of the main considerations, this act imposes certain obligations between you and any neighbours you share the party wall with. A party wall is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence.
Your adjoining neighbours should be given a written notice of intent – called a Party Structure Notice. It is important that your written notice includes the following details:
If your neighbour has no objections you can go ahead. If your neighbour does raise issues with the proposals then it would be advised to get a Party Wall Agreement put in place, this would be brokered between yourself and a surveyor.
Another factor to consider when planning a terraced loft conversion is the structural stability of the properties main walls. When undertaking a loft conversion a beam will need to be supported by the front, rear or side walls of the property, because of this the structure must be strong enough to cope with the additional weight bearing of the steel beams.
The construction of your walls will ultimately decide the appropriateness of your property for a loft conversion. A common issue with some terraced houses and most likely with properties dating from the Victorian era, is the walls were often constructed using two parallel columns instead of solid bricks. If this is the case then it is unlikely the walls would be able to withstand the weight of the structural beams.
It is important that any cracks or bowing in the walls is investigated by a structural engineer as this could possibly indicate problems with the foundations of the property. This is also a good time to carry out any repointing that needs to be done to add extra strength to the mortar joints of the walls.
It is important that when undertaking a terraced house loft conversion, the external walls are properly insulated as stated within building regulations, for more information click here.
At Intotheloft we provide a complete design to build service, which means we can offer expert advice and support throughout the whole process. We have undertaken a number of different types of loft conversions, to view some of our recent projects click here.
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