The Do’s and Don’ts of Loft Conversions
When the number of kids in the home starts to outweigh the number of adults, you know it’s time to move on to bigger things. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as that. Moving home can be stressful as well as expensive, for everyone involved. So when it is time to expand for the new arrival, a secret man cave or a master bedroom, look up, rather than elsewhere, to gain your space and add value to your property.
- Consult a professional; It is our job to be up to date with the latest planning and building regulations, so make sure you give us a call to ensure your conversion will get the green light.
- Measure the internal height; If you want peace of mind before contacting us, get up into your loft and stand up – you will get a good feel from this for whether there will be enough head height for a conversion or not. Generally speaking, anything upwards of 2.3m height should work. Remember that the current level of insulation in your loft is most likely not satisfactory for a living space, so this will need to be increased, potentially reducing your height.
- Calculate the footprint; Whilst you are up in the loft look at the floor space. Remember that the space you are looking at will be reduced to allow for a minimum head height of 1.1m to the sides.
- Consider costs; A loft conversion may be expensive but in the long run can add considerable valuable to your property. Think ahead and make sure you have the funds to complete before committing to the renovation.
- Remember to get your building licence; Whilst a planning permission may not be required, a building licence will.
- Think of your neighbours; If your home is terrace or semi-detached remember to inform your neighbour(s) of the works going on, even if it isn’t likely to affect them.
- Think about bathrooms; Factoring a fully-equipped bathroom into your conversion is going to increase value and desirability if (or when) you come to sell, but it is important to remember that head height is minimal. Consider a wet-room instead.
- Consider headroom; On plan it can look like you have more space than you know what to do with, but factoring in the angle of the roof loft conversions add comfortable space for sleeping, work or play purposes.
- Consider implications for the floor below; Where is the new staircase going to go? Will you need to lose a room on the floor below to accommodate a new staircase to the loft?
- Forget planning; We always recommend notifying the planning department of any alterations to your home, regardless of whether they are exempt or not. Depending on the design you may be required to submit a formal application – we can assist you every step of the way with this.
- Forget to tell your insurer and mortgage lender; When you make any alterations to your home on this scale you must remember to inform your insurance company and mortgage lender – any extra room(s) to your property can affect your premium.
- Ignore plumbing; Will your existing boiler cope with the added pressure of feeding water to another floor?
- Commit straight away; Get several quotes from builders before committing to one. We can provide recommendations, if required.
- Overlook your storage; The chances are high that you are currently using your loft for storage. When your conversion is complete you will lose that storage space so make sure that, if required, your plans feature eaves storage with easy access hatches to retain some of that.
The information in this Coffee Break article is intended for guidance only. The authors cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage which may result from the use of this article.