Where to start with a Loft Conversion?

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Loft Conversion: Where Do I Start?

A loft conversion is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to increase the space of your house while adding some value into it.

Find out to start with your loft conversion ideas with our expert advice to determine the best suitable way to convert your loft.

Why do a loft conversion?

A loft conversion is a perfect way to add significant value to the house, which can be up to 20% value of the existing property. Many families opt for the loft conversion to obtain more space without enduring costly and stressing the full process of moving.

However, be careful not to outgrow your road, as if you are investing a lot and extending too far, you may end up unlikely to see the return of investment.

Can my loft get converted?

Before you start with your loft conversion, you need to work out whether your loft is suitable for conversion are not. You need to check that your house comes under an allowance for permitted development. It means that you do not require any planning permission to go ahead with your conversion planning. You can ask your builder or architect to visit and check if you need any planning permission.

Does my loft have a usable space?

You should assess whether your loft is suitable for conversion. Mainly you should check three things:

  • Internal height: 2,500mm internal height from the top of the ceiling joist to underneath is an ideal height to convert.
  • Footprint: It is a thumb rule that from side to side internal height should measure 5,500mm.
  • Roof pitch: Angle of the roof plays an essential role in roof conversion as a higher pitch angle improves the central head height.

Can take an idea from other conversions on your street

Checking your neighbour's loft can give you a rough idea for more possibilities and conversion designs. Also, you can ask them for any references.

How can I use the space?

Once you have a plan in your kind about your house establishment, think about how you would like to use it. Perhaps you want an extra bedroom or a playroom or space where you can spend your free time. Also, you can think about changing it into a multi-functional room or in storage as in-built space. However, it entirely depends on your requirement, and if you are not sure you can take help from your family members or your architect.

Who should approach for the loft conversion?

  • Appoint an architect: An architect can help you in designing your proposal, in obtaining necessary planning approvals if required, and can manage your project.
  • Appoint an expert loft conversion company: Loft conversion companies provide a one-stop conversion solution from designing to taking necessary approvals and translating your dream project into reality.
  • Appoint an experienced builder: A professional builder helps to convert your loft into a usable space and offers a competitive price for the loft conversion.

Which type of conversion should I go for?

From the four main types of loft conversion, you can choose the most suitable one for you. However, before selecting any, determine your house type, age of your house and budget. For your guidance, here we are sharing brief details about the types of conversion:

  • Roof light conversion: Roof light conversion is one of the cheapest and least disturbed conversion options, which necessarily do not need any massive changes in the space or the pitch of the roof. It is a simple conversion which adds a skylight window and staircase to make the room habitable. However, for this conversion type, you need to have enough roof space without an extension.
  • Dormer loft conversion: This is one of the most famous types of conversion, that protrudes from the slope of the roof. Though any house with the sloping roof is an ideal roof type for this, it goes well with any house type. A dormer loft conversion is less expensive in comparison to hip-to-gable or mansard type, and adds extra headroom and attic space.
  • Mansard Conversion: Mansard loft conversion will change the angle of the roof slope, and can change the entire attic look. This one is the most expensive type of conversion, which gives an ample amount of space and enhances the appearance.
  • Hip-to-gable conversion: It extends the hip 'slope' of the roof from the side of the property and creates a vertical wall. It provides an extensive amount of internal space and works well for detached and semi-detached houses.

Do I need to take planning permission for my loft conversion?

There is a possibility that your conversion may not need any planning permission. However, it is always advisable to check it with the council to be sure.

Nevertheless, if you are extending the roof space or exceed specified limits, like if your plan is going higher than the current highest part of the roof, you may have to apply for planning permission. Also, some properties don't have permitted development rights, so without submitting a full planning application, you may not be able to build your extension. But in the following conditions, you do not need to have permission:

  • For maisonettes and flats
  • Listed properties and buildings in the conversion area
  • Other protected areas such as the national park.

Conversion rules

  • You can use similar kind appearance materials for your conversion
  • You cannot extend your conversion beyond the existing highest part
  • No balconies, verandas or raised platform can be added.
  • For the terraced house, the conversion must not exceed the 40 cubics, and for semi-detached, the limit is 50 cubic meter.

You may also need to check whether your loft conversion is subject to the party wall act 1996. If yes, then you must have adjoining owners notice.

You can contact your contractor for more planning rules information.

Summarization

  • The initial assessment is needed to understand the existing loft space
  • Think seriously how you want to use that space
  • Consider with whom you want to work with and go through with at least three quotations
  • Consider all planning permission and party wall act
  • Get a contact at a place with your builder
  • Inform your insurer about your undertaking building work to avoid any future dispute and to ensure that cover does not get affected.


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