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 Home extension guide - how to build a house extension and refurbish your home


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Loft Conversion Gallery

Most loft conversions are unable to have an ‘open gallery’ looking directly into the floor below from the new habitable room itself. This is because of the 30 minute fire compartmentation requirement under the Building Regulations. A loft conversion gallery can only be created if there is a separate landing or lobby area at the top floor of the loft conversion and there are separate 30/30 fire doors into the habitable room or rooms.

The alternative to this would be to have the new compartment door separating the top floor from the rest of the house at the bottom of the new stair set landing and the new stairs would not be open to the rest of the house - they would be surrounded by a half hour partition as well. A large bottom landing can be created rather than simply a minimal lobby provided it does not house any furniture or is used fro any other purpose (study area for example).

Most loft conversion galleries will require a hand rail and guarding or a balustrade to the requirements of the Building regulations. This is to prevent falling from any top floor landing and for health and safety issues. Modern materials can be used such as glass and stainless steel rather than wood for a modern contemporary style.

The loft conversion gallery is also the usual location for placing of the new interlinked fire and smoke alarm unit rather than in each separate new room.

Another design trick is to try and get natural light into the gallery area of the loft conversions and this can be achieved by installing a roof light such as those made by Velux or Fakro. Sometimes these need shafting down to the ceiling area within insulated casings. Another alternative is to use light tubes being mirrored round ducting from a clear illuminator on the roof slope down to a ceiling obscure glazed lay light finished flush with the existing ceiling level.






























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