Does your house feel too cramped? Wishing for more space? Here’s a solution, why not consider a loft conversion! This is especially so if you are really fond of your location and the cost of buying a new house is way out of budget.
The addition of a loft gives you the extra space you need to build a room, or rooms even, that you wish to incorporate into your home. Renovating your loft into a loft is one profitable way of fixing the issue of a lack of space.
Here’s a bonus tip: with a loft, the value of your home rises.
However, prior to the major returns of the investment your home brings, time must be taken to consider if a conversion is the choice for you. Allow us to walk you through the thought process.
1. Can Conversion of the Loft Happen?
Luckily for you, usually most lofts are applicable for conversion. There is, however, a minimum requirement of at least 2 metres of headspace between the loft’s flooring and the ceiling. Don’t be discouraged if your headspace does not meet the requirement. There are solutions such as raising the roof. To do this though, would need planning permission.
Unlike what is usually shown on the television, the loft does not need to look like a cave for conversion to happen. Professionals such as architects or contractors are able to come up with a plan for your conversion regardless of the shape of your loft. There might be hindrances such as water tanks or chimneys that the professionals might advise you to remove or relocate.
2. Exemption of Planning Permission
When it comes to converting your loft, most residential properties do not need planning permission. Note though, that certain regulations must be met. For example, the hardiness of the flooring or the accessibility to the nearest fire exit.
However, if your house is under a Conservative Area, AONB, National Park or World Heritage Site, or does not have permitted development rights a different set of planning regulations are applicable. In the event that your house falls under these categories, planning permission must be obtained in order for the conversion to take place. Overall it doesn’t matter if you require consent or not, any building renovations i.e loft conversions will need you to heed the current building regulations.
It is also advisable to seek help from people with experience in the field of loft conversion to provide you with the necessary building regulations and aid you through your procedure.
3. Advantages of Having a Loft
Financially, this option is very rewarding. This is because by incorporating a loft into your home, the overall value of your house is raised by almost 25% or more, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The addition of a loft saves you not only the hassle of moving out of your home but money too. Having a loft allows you to create one or more bedrooms or bathrooms. If you’re more creative or always dreamt of having a space to do your favourite activities, you could convert your loft into a mini library or an in-home cinema.
4. Four Primary Types of Loft Conversion
Depending on the structure of your loft, the type of conversion differs. It would be best to discuss with your architect or contractor company to help you decide which method is best for your loft.
Dormer Loft Conversion
This method is highly sought after and is one of the easiest ways to brighten your room and increase space with full headspace. During this process, the back or side of the roof would be remoulded into a larger, and mostly, flat roof – the ‘box’ dormer. This allows for bigger and fuller windows to be attached allowing more light into the loft while providing sufficient ventilation into the room. Note that if you wish to have an adjoining balcony, planning permission needs to be granted.
Roof Lift Conversion
When you have the insufficient head height for a loft within the existing space, this option is best. You would be able to modify your roof, raising it up to the desired height of your dream loft. Planning permission is needed for this as it requires there to be a removal of the original roof in order to adjust ridgelines and the pitch. Considering the amount of work needed for this conversion, such a method would be most appropriate if you are trying to raise the overall value of your property or you live in a detached house.
Hip to Gable Loft Conversion
Such conversions try to maximise the small loft space in properties with sloping roofs. These are usually seen on the side of semi-detached houses or sometimes on detached properties. The slanted side of the roof is taken out and the end wall is rebuilt to make a new refurbished vertical gable. To increase the space inside the loft, a dormer can be added.
Since this method requires the least amount of structural work as compared to the rest, it is the most cost-efficient. Applicable to lofts with a higher roof, the conversion from an attic space to a habitable loft will need no alterations to the roof’s shape. The only thing being done during this process is putting more windows in place. You can check out Velux for their wide selection of window designs that would best suit your preference.
5. Plan the Interior Design of your Loft
There always needs to be an end goal before a process can even begin. You should have a clear idea of how you envision your loft before you start on the conversion. Things such as where to place a desk or the colour scheme to be used have to be planned out. Consider filling out your eaves to maximise space or customization of items such as shelves to ensure that all gaps are fully utilized.
Always contact an architect or technician to help you with this. Working with a professional designer gives you the opportunity to discuss how you would like the overall design to be like. Afterwhich, the plan can be used as a competitive edge to get the most suitable contractor.
6. Be Prepared to Potentially Move out
Like all construction projects, you would expect there to be a lot of mess. Your conversion company contractors are usually aware of this issue as such they try their best to minimise the mess being made. External work is usually what contractors begin with, building up an area around the house so that the interior of your house is not affected as much.
However, if the conversion of your loft requires more work such as the removal of a roof or 1st floor ceilings, it would be best to move out for the time being. Besides that, conversions such as a standard dormer conversion do not require you to move out. The time span of conversion is usually around 8 to 12 weeks.
With this knowledge, you have hopefully familiarised yourself with the necessary requirements to start on your very own loft conversions. Remember to look up the necessary information or seek advice from professionals before you start work on your loft conversion.