Friday, 14 June 2013

Architect Survey

In order for us to produce working drawings/plans plus structural calculations the next step in the loft conversion process is for our Architect to visit your property. The architect will follow on from the sketch design we provided you with but will go into far greater detail. Upon the architects visit all aspects of the property will be considered.
                 First stop will be the loft space.

Truss rafter roof

Traditional cut roof
A traditional cut roof as shown on the left will require a different design approach to a truss roof on the right.
Items noted will include timber sizes and spacing's of Rafters, Ceiling Joists, Hips,Vally's & Ridges. Also party walls and their construction, services and roof covering. 

                 Next step is the first floor..

All walls, windows, chimneys and door positions will be noted. Also the type of construction of the internal walls. Are they solid masonry, could they be used for load bearing capacity for the new floor above? The location of new staircase will also be considered and check.

                Down to the ground floor...

Again all details as listed above will be checked along with confirming relative wall positions to those above. Not all properties have solid masonry walls that line up. Also some will have masonry walls to lower levels but timber walls above. A fire escape corridor is required in house conversions so any implication concerning those regulations will be noted as well.

                 Finally to the exterior....

Property type, terrace, semi-detached etc. Overall design, age of property and construction,  drainage, access, and planning implications. The planning implication could be concerning the overall design in fitting in with the surrounding properties and area (full planning), or considering cubic volumes, principel elevations. (certificate of lawfulness, COL). We will go on to discuss both in a full planning and COL in a future blog.

The Architect will then go on to produce CAD plans (computer aided design).

These plans will show the exterior if required for planning. All existing floors plus all floors with the proposed changes shown. New loft conversion floor plan and elevations will show the room layout, wall, window, dormers, en-suites and staircase etc. All details as we agreed prior to the contract signing. Along with the plans will be a specification of details such as insulation and their U value (heat loss), fire regulations, ventilation, heating, electrical works etc.

When we have confirmed that all details are correct the plans will then be emailed to the structural engineer. He will use the details from the plans plus any further notes by the architect and ourselves to design the major elements holding new floor and roof. These could be steel beams, glulam timbers, flitch beams plus new floor joists, rafters and lintels.

The working plans, notes and structural calculation are now complete and ready for submission to planning if required and for building regulation full plans approval.