Loft conversion guide

A loft conversion guide – what you need to know

It is startling that what once offered plentiful space for the whole family is now too small to host even a few members of the family. At this point, you start wondering if it’s time to sell the old house and move to a new housing unit.

Despite how desperate you are for extra space, weigh options such as the sentimental value of the house and the cost of moving to a new house which comprises of legal fees, transportation charges, survey and stamp duties which more often than usual amount to thousands of pounds and its money you will never get back.

Even by getting property valuation tips from propertypriceadvice, and doing the actual valuation, you might still end up spending more on moving that doing home extension. There is also an additional hassle of having to shift our children from one school to another.

While on a budget, the only option that makes sense is to expand your home without the bedlam of having to move from one house to another and at the same time increase the value of your property.

With such a move, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to design and amount of space you can add to your house. Unfortunately, some cannot afford to do a home extension due to time and cost irregularities.

For those who do not have much space to do much extension or enough money to allow for such advancements, consider loft conversion as the next workable option for you. Doing loft conversion is more practicable and could cost you way less when it comes to money and time. Either, pulling this off is dependent on the roof structure, height, and feasibility of installing a staircase.

A loft conversion is less likely to reduce the size of the compound or need permission for planning like doing a home extension but will significantly add value to your home.

Here is a guide on how to go about loft conversion, what it entails and what to expect from it.

Establishing whether the loft is suitable for conversion

This is a step that you need to take before you approach any builder to get the job done.

Measure your loft. A floor to ceiling measurement of 2.2m is what is required as the minimum measurement. If you are having trouble with headroom, there is the option of lowering the ceiling of the room directly below the loft or raising the roof but be warned that this is a complex move and one that will have you dig deeper into your pockets.

The roof structure is also used to establish the practicability of loft conversion. Ideally, the pre-1960s houses with rafters are suitable for conversion compared to a trussed roof that will need structural reinforcement. Additional features such as the plumbing system of the house running through the loft or a water tank installed in the loft could cause problems with the conversion.

Planning and Permission

In most cases, there is no need to get permission for the loft conversion as it is classified under permitted development. Either way, you must follow certain policies and conditions set such as volume allowance of 40 cubic metres of extra roof space.

Besides, the following conditions apply.

· No inclusion of a balcony, raised platform or a veranda.

· Extension should not surpass the highest part of the roof.

· Windows that are facing sideways must be obscure glazed.

· The enlargement of the roof should not overhand the outer side of the original wall.

· Retractable stairs or ladders are not acceptable. It has to be a permanent structure.

Choose a good builder to get the job done

The trick to getting wowed by the work the builder does is to find the best of the best from the many of them available. Depending on the amount of work to be done, you might consider getting an architect to produce drawings that will guide the builder during the conversion work.

At this point now, you can put the loft conversion work out on tender for the builders available to send you their quotations. But even before you put them out to tender, get recommendations from neighbour, friends, and family who have done loft conversions too and also check online review and rating of the builder.

Also, consider going through photos of previous conversion work they have done.


Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

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