Loft Conversion

Attic and Loft Conversion Services

Loft Conversion Services: A popular method of enhancing both living space and property value in the UK is through a loft conversion. Property experts who possess extensive knowledge often recommend this approach as an effective means of adding considerable value to your home. The added appeal stems from the fact that obtaining planning permission for a loft conversion is seldom required, further heightening the allure of this option.

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You'll be wanting to get a rough estimation of the costs that are associated with getting your loft converted. How much a loft conversion costs is dependent on a few variables such as property layout and size. As a guide an average UK loft conversion will probably cost approximately £35,000 (in 2018), it could be a little more, it could be a bit less. If a figure like this doesn't scare you then you might be in a good position to press ahead with the work, if it worries you, an alternative option might be better.

Loft Conversions UK

The figure above is only to give you a rough idea of the costs involved. Get 3 or 4 detailed quotations before making a decision. The cost of the construction work and building materials will typically be about £1,250 per M2. On top of that, planning fees, building control fees and architect fees will add more to the final bill.

You should find out how much added value a loft conversion is going to generate on your property in the UK. You need to understand that most neighbourhoods of UK will have a ceiling price for houses. Taking the value of your property beyond this figure can make it hard to sell when you need to. In such circumstances, loft conversions can prove to be poor value for money. If you are not planning to sell anytime soon, this will be less of a worry for you.

A loft conversion in the UK will not usually need planning permission, though there are exceptions to this rule. Remember to check with the local planning office before you proceed. Any UK loft conversion company worth their salt will be more than willing to help you deal with this. Another detail that has nothing to do with planning permission is the building regulations, which you will naturally have to comply with. To find out what is required by law, seek the advice of your local council building control office.

Loft Conversion UK

Types of Loft Conversion

The main types of loft conversion that you will encounter in the UK are: roof light conversions, mansard loft conversions, hip-to-gable loft conversions, loft pods, velux loft conversions, roof lift loft conversions and dormer loft conversions.

Locating a reputable company renowned for doing loft conversions in the UK area, should be your top priority if you decide to go down this route. Ask around, especially if you know other people who have had a loft conversion done on their property. There are many websites online who will help you locate tradesmen you could try Trustatrader or Rated People, even better try Bark. This should provide you with an overview of dependable people in the UK area that you might use.

Loft Conversion Quotations

Loft Stairs

Loft Stairs If you decide to get a loft conversion done on your home in the UK you will need proper access for getting in and out of your newly found living space. This means installing loft stairs or maybe a loft ladder. You will find several different designs of loft stairs to choose from, and they're generally constructed out of metal or wood. Which style you opt for could be subject to your house's layout, but it's possible to buy them in spiral form for style and elegance or in space saving variations for added convenience. Whatever you choose, it is essential that you finish up with safe, convenient access which does not interfere too much with your existing living space. It must also abide by the latest Building Regulations, and provide a safe escape route in case of fire.

Mansard Loft Conversions UK

The Mansard form of doing loft conversions was first used sometime during the 1600's the brainwave of a little known French architect by the name of Francois Mansart. He hoped it would be a helpful space creating technique that could deliver an appreciable measure of supplemental liveable space where previously there was none. This kind of conversion can only be added to roof which are pitched and additional space is fashioned by bringing up one of the walls (often to the rear of the home) and also leveling out that section of the roof, consequently creating virtually a vertical shape. The final angle of the built up wall has to be on a minimum of a 72 degree incline. It's frequently the situation that the wall which needs heightening is a party wall (especially in houses in a terrace block), so this means you will need your neighbour's cooperation - an additional worry if they are difficult to get along with!

Roof Light Conversions

Far and away the least disruptive and most cost-effective kind of conversion is a "roof-light loft conversion", whereby it isn't necessary to alter the shape or slope of the roof. All that is involved with this style of loft conversion is installing a suitable floor, putting in skylight windows, and fitting an access staircase. This type of loft conversion only works when you already have enough roof space.

Dormer Windows

Dormer Loft Conversion UK

Dormer windows are among the best ways to introduce both light and space to a attic or loft, and just as there are various types of loft conversion in the UK, there are also different kinds of dormers on offer. The most widely used types of dormer window style include: gable dormers, eyebrow dormers, hipped dormers, shed dormers and flat roof dormers. The simplest of these to put in and perhaps the most widely used in the UK would be the flat-roof dormer. This design furthermore generates the most additional space of all of the other kinds, it is therefore practical as well as inexpensive, however it may be viewed as slightly less desirable than some of the alternatives. Hipped dormers are eye-catching, have 3 sloped surfaces similar to the original roof, these can also be called hip roof dormer windows. Shed dormers are quite similar to flat roof dormers, featuring a roof (single-plane) sloping at an angle less than that of the house roof. Eyebrow dormers can be really beautiful in the proper location and consist of a curved roof over a wide, low window, they have not got any straight surfaces. Gable dormer windows are considered more attractive with uncomplicated pitched rooves more suited to older houses, gable dormers can also be referred to as dog-house dormer or gable fronted dormers.

The Advantages of a Loft Conversion

Get information about planning permission for loft conversions here: Loft Conversions

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Loft Conversion Origins

Converting Lofts UK

Although the idea of a loft conversion might seem like very "British", the early loft conversions and probably the initial notions of converting lofts originated in the United States in the nineteen sixties. The location for this building revolution was the Soho district of New York, where new, chic living spaces were developed by local designers, artists and the like in the upper levels of decrepit industrial buildings. In reality such industrial buildings and zones were not designated for residential purposes, and subsequently were largely illegal in the day. It was not until the early 1970's that New York City at long last made this practise legal, and thereafter some other sections of the city such as Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Manhattan and Chelsea followed suit, and "loft living" was popular for the wealthy, talented and young. In the UK converting a loft is a desirable proposition particularly in huge cities like London, Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester, where land is expensive and any method by which to generate extra liveable space without having to extend the structure's footprint is justifiably popular. (Tag Words: Loft Conversion Origins, First Loft Conversions, History of Loft Conversions)

Loft Conversion Planning Permission

Planning Permission for Loft Conversions Bletchley Buckinghamshire

Planning permission isn't normally required for a loft conversion, however for this to be the case a few conditions have to be fulfilled. If the roof space needs to be altered and these alterations go beyond specific limitations, you will need planning permission. A few of the restrictions which should be satisfied are: pre-existing walls can't be overhung by any roof extension, building materials used in the conversion have to match existing ones, balconies, raised platforms and verandas are not allowed, the uppermost a part of the roof structure should not be exceeded by any extension, privacy glass is essential for windows that are side-facing, no more than 40 m3 added space for terraced houses and 50 m3 for detached/semi-detached houses, as viewed from the main highway no extension must extend past the height of the existing roof slope. Also it should be mentioned that those rules apply for houses and not for converted houses, maisonettes, flats or any other structures. Development rights are limited and unique planning stipulations exist in specific areas. So consult with your local council to see which regulations affect you.

House Extension TOWN

House Extensions TOWN

Loft extensions are of course not the only way to add much needed space to a property. Home extensions have become probably the most favoured ways that this can be accomplished. Not all homes in the UK have adequate available space for doing a house extension. You will also need to go through the bother of getting planning permission if you decide to do a home extension in the UK. Because your immediate neighbours are typically affected, planning permission is essential for all house extensions. Quite often the same building companies that do loft extensions will also do house extensions. Remember that your property footprint increases with a home extension and the necessary work can be messy and disruptive. Things like shared walls, access to the site, demands on services, rights of way, the chances of flooding, inherant soil conditions and the existence of trees, will all need to be considered when planning to have a house extension in the UK. The average cost of home extensions UK in 2020 are roughly £1,500 and £2,200 per square metre. It is of course also possible to extend your house with a conservatory, which is a considerably cheaper method by far. Click for UK Home Extension QUOTES

What are the Pitpalls of Loft Conversions?

While loft conversions can be a fantastic way to add space and value to your home, there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of. Here are a few common challenges associated with loft conversions:

  1. Planning permission: Depending on your location and the specific regulations in your area, you may need to obtain planning permission before undertaking a loft conversion. Failure to secure the necessary permissions can lead to legal issues and the requirement to undo or modify the work.
  2. Structural issues: Before embarking on a loft conversion, it's essential to assess the structural integrity of your property. The existing structure may require reinforcement or modifications to support the additional weight of the new space. If not addressed properly, it can lead to structural problems, such as sagging or instability.
  3. Limited headroom and awkward layouts: Lofts often have sloping roofs and limited headroom, which can pose challenges when designing the space. Achieving a comfortable and practical layout may require careful planning and creative solutions. It's important to consider the positioning of stairs, placement of furniture, and the overall functionality of the converted space.
  4. Building regulations: Loft conversions are subject to building regulations to ensure safety and compliance. These regulations cover various aspects, such as fire safety, insulation, electrical installations, and ventilation. Failing to adhere to these regulations can result in costly rework or issues when selling your property in the future.
  5. Cost considerations: Loft conversions can be expensive, and it's crucial to have a realistic budget in mind. Costs can vary depending on factors like the size of the loft, the extent of structural modifications required, materials used, and the level of finishes. It's essential to factor in all expenses, including professional fees, building materials, labor costs, and any additional features you plan to incorporate.
  6. Disruption and time: Loft conversions can be disruptive to your daily life, especially if you're living in the property during construction. The process can generate noise, dust, and inconvenience, impacting your comfort and routine. Additionally, loft conversions may take several months to complete, depending on the complexity of the project, which requires patience and planning.
  7. Access and egress: Creating a safe and practical access point to the loft conversion is crucial. You'll need to consider the location of the staircase and how it integrates with the existing floor plan. Ensuring that the stairs meet building regulations, provide sufficient headroom, and fit seamlessly within the design can be a challenge.

It's important to consult with professionals, such as architects, structural engineers, and builders, who can guide you through the process, help you anticipate potential pitfalls, and ensure that your loft conversion is a success.

To Summarize

In Summary

When you evaluate all of the possible options, doing a loft conversion is without doubt one of the the most effective means by which to add additional space or an extra room to your house. Fundamentally it's economical, it adds value to your property, it doesn't enlarge the property footprint, it creates less mess and disruption than a traditional extension and it will probably not need planning permission. The roof construction might be a deciding factor, with older homes in the UK usually being better suited to loft conversion than more modern properties. Modern properties (typically those constructed after 1960) with trussed roofs most likely won't have enough height or space to carry out a loft conversion, though it isn't impossible in some cases. Why not get a specialist in to check it out if you consider that your home is suitable for a loft conversion? (Tags: UK Loft Conversion, Loft Conversions UK, Loft Conversion UK)

Loft Conversion Ideas

Loft Conversion Ideas

You may have a big loft, you may have a small loft. Whichever it is make sure that you choose a design that suits its proportions. Pick out the type of furniture that you are going to include before the plans are drawn up. Get an expert designer that you can be sure will make the most of your available loft space, preferably an architect if you can afford one! It is important to get the maximum possible natural light into your loft conversion, a figure of about twenty percent of the roof area would be ideal. If you are lacking a particular facility in your existing house, you can balance out the layout of your property with the use of a loft conversion. For example adding an extra bathroom or bedroom. Showers and bathrooms generally don't require a lot of headroom, so adding a shower or bathroom to your loft conversion is a great way to use up awkward spaces, and extra bathrooms are always welcome in any home. Go mad and get something really stylish. A loft conversion is an excellent location for a home office, it is likely to be quieter than the rest of the house so when you need to work, you can do so in comfort and peace. A bespoke dressing room or a walk-in wardrobe are great ways to use up some of the more restricted areas, such as the eaves. Well designed storage solutions can make use of every square inch of available space.

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