A guide to a loft conversion

Do you think a loft conversation can provide the extra space you need in your home? Doing a loft conversation is one of the easiest ways to expand your property and add value, whether you dream of adding a master bedroom, guest room or home theatre. 


Loft conversation design considerations
Primary design concerns you are likely to face and will require to determine are:
· Access
· Ceiling height
· Lighting issues
· Services
· Building controls related to floor intensity and fire escapes
· Planning permission


Despite these design considerations, a loft conversion can be life-changing and a cost-effective resolution to the shortage of space or facing up to the challenges of moving house.

Can my loft be converted?
Before you do anything, you need to determine if your loft is suitable for conversion. Most homes will receive an approved development allowance, which means you can continue the conversion without planning permission.
If your loft has attached properties, you must have a neighbour’s loft conversion Party Wall agreement, in according to the Party Wall Act 1996. For better guidance on this issue, please contact one of our Party Wall Surveyor. The act always applies if you need to work on a shared wall or other shared structures.
However, if you live in a protected area, or if your roof is not high enough, it may be more complex to obtain permission. You should seek advice from your architect or planning consultant.

Look for more conversions on your street
An obvious way to take an idea of if your loft can be converted is to see whether any related properties on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot them, it's more likely to be a probability.

Measure the height
The height you require to convert the loft is 2.2 meters, and you can easily measure it yourself. Take a tape measure and move it from the floor to the roof at the top of the room. If it's 2.2 meters or more, your loft should be big enough to convert it. Victorian homes tend to be lower than homes built-in 1930. Thus head height may be insufficient.

What type of roof you have
Check what kind of roof you have. Depending on when it was built, your home will either have roof trusses or rafters. By viewing through your loft hatch, you should be capable of telling accurate away what type of roof you have.

What kind of loft conversion should I go for?
There are four main varieties of loft conversion: roof light, dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard. The one you prefer is likely to be determined by several factors, including the nature and age of the house you live in, and your resources.

Dormer conversions
A dormer loft conversion is an addition that ejects from the slope of the roof. Flat-roof dormers are the most prevalent type of conversion. They are fit for pretty much any house with a sloping roof. Dormer conversions are less costly than mansard or hip-to-gable conversions, but will still add a good deal of extra headroom and floor space.

Roof light conversions
Roof light conversions are by far the most economical and least disruptive choice, as you won't have to make any modifications to the shape or angle of the roof. Instead, it's merely a case of combining in skylight windows, laying down a decent floor, and adding a staircase to make the place comfortable. However, you'll require having suitable roof space already without having an expansion for this type of conversion.

Hip-to-gable conversions
Hip-to-gable conversions work by enlarging the sloping 'hip' roof at the side of your home outwards to create a perpendicular 'gable' wall, creating a more intimate loft area. This kind of conversion will only work on separated or semi-detached houses, as it demands a free sloping roof. If you have a divided home with sloping ceilings on either side, you can build on both of these to make an even extra spacious duplex hip-to-gable extension.

Mansard conversions
Mansard extensions run onward the whole length of your house's roof and will alter the side of the roof slope, making it nearly vertical. These lead to be the most costly type of conversion but will appear in a requisite amount of extra space. Mansard conversions are suitable for most property classes, including terraced, semi-detached and detached houses but you will need to check if there are permitted on your property.

Do you need advice from a Party Wall Surveyor for your loft conversion? Need help on serving a Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party Wall Surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall issues.

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