WHERE TO START FOR LOFT CONVERSION

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Why do a loft conversion?

A loft conversion can add a significant amount of money  – up to 20% – to the value of a property. Many families choose to convert their loft area as a means of obtaining more space without having to endure the costly and stressful process of moving home. Work taking place in the loft can also be less disruptive than, say, a major extension to an existing living space.

But be careful not to outgrow your road. If you invest too much and extend too far you’re unlikely to see a return on your investment.

Is my loft a useable space?

You’ll want to start by assessing whether your roof space is suitable for a loft conversion. Most are, but there are three main things to check:

  • Internal height. Measure from the top of the ceiling joist to underneath the ridge board in the apex. It needs to measure 2,500mm to suitably convert.
  • Roof pitch. Measure the angle of the roof. The higher the pitch angle, the higher the central head height is likely to be.
  • Footprint. As a minimum rule of thumb, internal rules should measure 5,500mm side to side, inclusive of the chimney, and 7,500mm front to back.

How will I use the loft space?

Once you have roughly established your home is suitable for a loft conversion, think about how you would like to use it; perhaps an extra bedroom with en-suite bathroom, or maybe a den or playroom for your growing children. How about a space to relax or study away from the rest of the family?

Or it could be a multi-purpose room with a combination of uses, such as extra living space which doubles as guest accommodation. If you are going to include a bathroom, will it be a shower room or will there be space to include a bath? When you are thinking about planning a bathroom in a loft, remember to leave plenty of headroom.

Also think about storage, as built-in space can often be included, especially in the eaves.

When looking at the floor plan don’t overestimate the space you will get. You may have angled ceilings that restrict movement and the type of furniture you can have. By necessity, most domestic loft conversions offer useable space of cosy dimensions, best suited to sleeping, play, or office space.

Who should I use to do my loft conversion?

There are a few options:

1. Appoint an architect/technician or building surveyor. They will prepare drawings and designs for your proposal, obtain the necessary approvals, and if required, they will also help you find a suitable builder and manage the project for you.  

2. Appoint a specialist loft conversion company. These companies offer a one-stop-shop for loft conversions: their design department will prepare the necessary drawings and obtain the necessary approvals and their construction departments will translate the designs into reality.

3. Use an experienced builder. Some builders have experience in loft conversions and may well be able to offer you a package similar to the loft conversion companies.

Ask neighbors, friends, or search online to find a trusted architect, loft conversion company, or experienced builder for your project. Don’t forget to get three quotes and make sure they visit the site and quote based on accurate measurements. Knowing how you want to use the space will be essential to getting a few good quotations.

Ask your contractor how they plan to minimise dust and disruption during the conversion and how they will protect your home from the risk of water damage should works affect the existing roof before you sign up.

Do I need planning permission and building regulations for a loft extension?

Planning permission is not normally required unless you are extending the roof space or exceeding specified limits e.g. any dormer is higher than the current highest part of the roof or you live within a conservation area. It’s best to check permitted development guidelines with your local planning department to understand what you are allowed to do.

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Building regulations apply to loft conversions to ensure, for example, that the structural strength of the new floor is sufficient, the stability of the existing structure is not endangered, there are safely designed stairs to the new floor and reasonable sound insulation exists between the conversion and the rooms below.  There are also fire safety regulations with which you may need to comply.  Read our guide Do I need a Structural Engineer?

Do I need a party wall agreement for my loft conversion?

If you are putting a loft extension on a detached house and there is no shared wall with the neighbour, then no.

If you live in a top-floor flat, terrace, or semi-detached house, then yes you are likely to need a party wall agreement with your immediate neighbours. This is because building work typically involves changes to shared walls, chimneys, and roofs that could potentially damage adjoining properties. The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a way of giving adjoining owners notice of works and protecting all parties.

Loft conversion costs 2022

The typical loft conversion cost in the UK is around £40,000. However, this price can vary considerably depending on the type of loft conversion, the size, number of dormers, the complexity of the project, and your property’s location.

A Velux loft conversion will cost around £27,500, while a bungalow loft conversion will cost in the region £75,000.

Types of loft conversion

The most common types of loft conversion and average costs are as follows:t7AkFoaQd95O0jSMFtdceSChzdpb9u5mJGcow YWYeE sk5vgnDFwOukdstn3anKHe87gxtdrSXB6b6Oq5WTGWRcvqhU n1rCKRrNQ2b2JITrzMff5A2I3rIgtpM7dDFig4UUWkQ

  • Velux – the least expensive option which involves installing Velux windows to the roof. Average cost £27,000
  • Dormer – the most common option involves a small flat-roofed extension with a window. Average cost £45,000
  • Hip to gable – this expensive option involves altering the shape of your roof structure to gain space. Average cost £55,000
  • Mansard – the most extensive option, a Mansard extension involves the whole shape of the existing roof being changed. You end up with an essentially flat roof and vertical outer walls. Average cost: £57,500. 
  • Bungalow loft conversion – these are generally larger in area than regular houses and so come in slightly higher. Average cost: £75,000.

Get expert advice from Property Contractors 

The above costs are averages in order to give you an estimate of the costs involved. Online loft conversion cost calculators sound like a good idea but similarly will only give you averages. The best thing to do to get a real idea of the costs involved is to approach us and, book a  and get a consultation and get a quote. Visit Property Contractors 247 and get a free quote today!

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