Put your loft space to use! You could create an extra bedroom or a study. Perhaps an en suite bathroom or shower room. Even a simple storage would do the gist. After all, the important thing is to make the most out of space that you have but couldn't utilize. Convert your loft and add space and value to your property!
Let's see how we can get your conversion started.
Feasibility - Can you convert your loft?
To start with, it'd be good to check if your neighbours have converted their lofts already. This is a good sign as it would almost certainly mean that you can also convert yours. Should you be the loft pioneer amongst your peers, then it is not a problem either. Do check, and we will gladly advice you on the feasibility of your conversion.
We will check for a different number of things: the type of your roof's structure, your floor's structure, the headroom, the staircase position and any heating system elements such as tanks. At the same time we will take notes of your requirements and at this point we will be able to supply you with a design and the average typical costs of such a build.
Legal - what are the legal hurdles of converting your loft?
In order to commence the works, you would need a Re-planning permission, along with a Party Wall Agreement and a Building Control Check. Please, refer to the FAQ section at the bottom for more.
Cost - How much would it cost you to convert?
This is a tough questions, as all properties and lofts are different and it will depend on the structure you would like to achieve. But from our experience throughout the years, here are some options and indicating guidelines assuming you own a typical London terraced house:
Using your loft as a storage space (not a habitable room) would be a good idea when things are piling up fast or simply to make something out of your loft and maximize your home's area.
This would be the simplest and cheapest conversion for your house. We will reinforce the floor and lay a chipboard flooring. Then wire up some light and power, install a hatch with a pull down ladder. This would be a quick makeover and can be done within a week with a price of - including materials - £2k
You may also require some insulation and closing the ceilings, and if you'd wish we can add some nice skylights to let the natural light in.
SKYLIGHT (Velux/Roof Light): Cost effective and very simple.
This simple work would involved adding a skylight window to the already existing roof, with no need for further building. This would be ideal if you already have a spacious loft with plenty of headroom and only want to add a flair of natural light. This project would be simple to carry out.
It is generally cost effective and quick to complete. Typically, a planning permission is not required for this type of conversion as it falls under permitted development. Although we still recommend you to check with your borough to see what is permitted. It typically comes around £20k.
DORMER: A versatile and popular build to create extra space in a cost effective way.
If your loft doesn't have much headroom, a dormer conversion would be a great solution.
This project would involve building a box-shaped extension outwards to the slope of the roof. It can create a lot more space and offers great versatility as to what function you want your conversion to accomplish. It also allows for more flexibility on the location of the staircase, and the increased space would give you enough space to add, for example,a bathroom.
It is simple and cost effective to construct, and there is minimal disruption as it is a contained project. A planning permission is not usually needed for dormer conversions, but as aforementioned, we suggest you check with your local authorities.
This build would typically cost around £30k.
HIP-TO-GABLE: Increased space with a side roof extension.
If you have a roof with a slopping ('hipped') side, you may consider increasing your space by converting it into a 'gable'. This would involve turning the slope into a vertical wall up to the height of the roof ridge.
These conversions are suited to end terraces, semi detached and detached properties. It comprises rebuilding part of the roof. Normally, it does not require permission, but however, do check with your local borough.
This build would typically cost around £40k.
MANSARD: Elegant, an incredible increase of space and suitable for many types of properties.
This type of roof design dates back to the 17th-century France and is a stylish solution that significantly increases the space of your loft.
This build is suitable for a wide range of property types and involves creating a much steeper slope for the roof with gable windows (usually at the rear due to planning restrictions). A mansard conversion results in a lot more space which translates to a much wider variety of options over the usage of your loft.
As this style requires more work to the structure of your property, a planning permission is usually requires. We will gladly further advice you on the proceedings, so do contact and tell us about your plans and vision.
This build would typically cost around £45k.
Summarizing, the above
Storage - £2k
Roof light - £20k
Dormer - £30k
Hip-to-gable - £40k
Mansard - £45k
Bear in mind that cost varies according to the scale and choices of your desired project, so these are simple guidelines. For a more accurate estimate, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help.
If you'd need to move the storage tank and convert your heating system, add £1k
If installing a bathroom, add £5-7k (ware and installation)
Also, the fittings you choose will affect the cost - for example, whether you choose PVC, wood or aluminum-clad window frames. This applies to floor and wall finishes, electrical fittings, etc. The same goes for any built in joinery. Do contact us and we will go through it together.
How long would it take?
A storage build takes around a week or two.
A VELUX/ skylight conversion would be around 6 weeks.
Other types of conversion take around 8 to 12 weeks depending on the scale and complexity of the project.
Do I need to move out?
No, you do not need to move out for a loft conversion.
What about the legal requirements?
ABOUT PLANNING PERMISSION AND PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT
Before starting to build your new space, you will need to have a planning permission, unless your property falls under the permitted development category.
Permitted development works are limited to certain heights, sizes and placements. Generally speaking, building a larger project requires permission subject to the neighbour consultation scheme and others; and you will be required to attach the planning drawings along with your application.
To learn in detail about these permissions do check the Planning Portal (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/36/loft_conversion) and the Government Website ( https://www.gov.uk/planning-permission-england-wales)
ABOUT THE PARTY WALL AGREEMENT
Informing your neighbours and getting their consent is essential before the project can carry on.
Should you be unable or find it complicated to discuss it with them due a variety of reasons, you may have to employ a part wall surveyor. The surveyor will take care of the agreement on your behalf but in return you will have to bear the costs and the process would take approximately 6 weeks.
ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING REGULATIONS
It is paramount to notify Building Control (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200128/building_control) and pay their fee 48 hours prior to the commencement of the works.
Building Control is an entity within your local authorities that ensures the works comply with building regulations. Some private companies are able to provide the service as well.
Regulations will describe the acceptable standards for structure, insulation, fire safety, ventilation and other aspects of the building. Approved officiating inspector usually call on site at certain stages to perform various checks.The BCO will sign off an Issues Compliance Certificate at the end of the project when all regulations are met.
A personal advice from our team's experience is that you should see to met the BCO at least a week before the works kick off. This is in order to present the project and discuss any regulations that may affect the scope of works.
Having a well defined framework of the works will help you calculate an accurate overall cost and save you from unexpected variables during construction.
What do I need to provide you for an estimate of the works?
Get in touch us so we can arrange a site visit to gauge the works. Before meeting and going on site, do forward the following to us:
Your floor plan
Pictures of your current loft and neighboring properties.
If you have covered all of the above, congratulations! Now you are by far more prepared than 90% of our clients when they first turn to us with requests to start the works.
For anything else, do contact us - we are always happy to help!
On behalf of Andrew Draciovas (Managing Director) and the team, we hope to help you see your vision become reality!