A loft conversion can be the perfect way to transform your home; whether you are looking to create another bedroom, bathroom or home office, a good loft conversion can add between 10 and 20 percent to the value of your home.
Typically, there are two options when it comes to converting your loft. The first option is a non extended conversion where the roof stays the same shape and the new room is created within the existing space. Velux windows will be used in this instance and added on to one or multiple sides of the roof to provide ventilation and natural light. This is often the cheapest solution as the slope on the roof is not altered meaning it will not affect the appearance of your property. The downside to this option is that is may result in limited height so it is worth considering this depending on what you will be using your loft space for. A dormer conversion on the other hand involves a roof extension on one or multiple sides of the property. The latter also has vertical windows and doors which allows full head room and gives you much more space and scope for your new room.
Coupled with the fact that you don’t need to lose the garden space that you would for a typical extension, is that most loft conversions do not require planning permission. As long as the proposed conversion does not add any more than 40 cubic metres to a terraced house, or 50 cubic metres to a detached or semi-detached house it will count as permitted development. However, the extension must not protrude beyond certain points.
Before you make any decisions on the type of conversion that is most suitable you, think about what your requirements are for the new space; what will it be used for? Do you need a bathroom in there? How much space do you need for it to function properly? Once you have a list of your requirements, look at the floor plan to determine how best to use the room. It is also important to remember that most lofts will have angled ceilings which will result in restrictions when it comes to furnishings.
In general, the rules for a new loft conversion are not complicated. You require a Lawful Development Certificate from the local authority and the build will need to be passed by their Building Control Services or an approved inspector. They will check it meets the basic regulations for things such as structure, ventilation, insulation and fire safety. They will not however be assessing the overall finish. It is advised that you get around three independent quotes before deciding on a company to do the work. Ideally a recommendation from friends or family is the best way of ensuring that you get somebody reliable who will complete the work to a high standard.
If your house is a terrace or semi detached property it is possible that you may need to obtain a party-wall agreement for your loft conversion. The party wall refers to the shared wall between your property and your neighbours. The agreement is a written contract from all owners that they agree to the work. A notice will be served to all affected parties in writing. Your neighbour is well within their rights to ask for a surveyor to inspect the plans and draw up an agreed document outlining how the work should progress.
When it comes to accessing your loft a good, safe and sturdy ladder is a must-have. Ensuring easy access, loft ladders can help in transforming your home, creating more space. Purchasing the correct loft ladder will give you easy and safe access to your loft and also adds to the look of the home. There are several key points to consider when looking for the best loft ladder. If the space where you intend to install the loft ladder is limited, the best option would be the concertina. This type of ladder doesn’t need too much space for installation. If you have more space as well as a slightly larger budget, you could decide to go an aluminium ladder. If you have a larger space and a higher budget, a timber loft ladder becomes your best option. When choosing a ladder, ensure you get one that has been specifically assembled or designed to fit the loft hatch size. You will need to even consider and ensure the pivoting height needed is available, (usually 1.1 m above your loft floor). It will not only be very costly but frustrating to buy a loft ladder only to find the measurements don’t match up with your loft so it is important to do your research when choosing a loft ladder.
Now all that’s left is planning the decor. What are you waiting for?