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Guest Freyja

Loft party wall upgrades to make fire safe

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Guest Freyja

Good afternoon. 

I am currently in the process of buying a house, and my surveyor has informed me that the loft party walls of the house we are looking to buy are timber (a money saving exercise by the builders 14 years ago) and although technically not breaching regulations, he wouldn't be happy recommending we leave them as is. He mentioned that we would need to get boarding on them to make them more fire resistant. 

After doing some research it looks as though this sort of boarding is only useful if both parties install it (as their timber side would just knock over our boarding if there were a fire). I also have no idea who to contact about looking at/doing this work, whether we need a party wall agreement, how much it would cost etc. 

Can anyone help with some advice - I don't know where to get started!

Thanks in advance, Freyja 

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I have built many party walls and they were all 9 inch thick brickwork which went to the roof. If a fire resisting timber partition is acceptable I am not sure, but what I am sure of is it would need to be fire resisting from both sides.

You would need to contact the appropriate contractor and if you are accepting your surveyors advice then it would be a joiner. If you use the internet there are sites that will advise you and recommend suitable contractor or advice from friends/family is a good way to go.

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. This is something that bothers me too, its called spandrel boarding, its a layer of fire resistant material sandwiched between two timber boards which is then placed onto the party wall in the loft space. A layer of felt is then placed loosely at the top between the board and the apex of the roof. I can actually push my hand through the felt into the next compartment. I am also told its a cheaper and quicker way than carrying on with concrete block up to the apex of the roof. I have tried to find some info on this with no success but my gut instincts tell me this is no way suitable? what do you guys think? I have attached a photo showing the layer of felt that has fallen away from the top of the board

IMG_4692.jpg

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If installed properly and proper pre-made they can comply, something knocked up on site probably won't....the felt barrier isn't allowed to be loose either and should be mechanically fastened.

This should help http://www.nhbc.co.uk/Builders/ProductsandServices/TechZone/NHBCStandards/TechnicalGuidanceDocuments/72/filedownload,75082,en.pdf

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