As with any form of home renovation, it is important to get the requisite advice beforehand and this is certainly true of loft conversions. There is some basic loft conversion advice that will help ensure that you end up with the loft conversion that you had envisioned....
The first piece of loft conversion advice that any homeowner will seek is whether or not their loft space is actually viable for conversion to use as a habitable space or whether another use is envisaged, ie a playroom, office, or simply a convenient storage area, almost all domestic lofts have the space or structure to be converted depending on the use, and the best way to establish this is to provide details of its layout. Some of the main factors that will determine whether your loft space is suitable for conversion include things like the height between the joists and the roof apex, and the type of roof construction used in your home, for example whether or not it is a timber construction home with a W truss roof.
Which type of conversion is right for your home ?
When seeking out loft conversion advice, most homeowners will be informed that there are two main types of loft conversions which can be considered, these being:
Dormer Loft Conversions – A dormer style loft conversion will usually require an extension of the roof with a number of vertical projections with the overall intention of creating a more conventionally shaped room in your loft space. Dormer loft conversions provide an increased sense of space but require more work than the other most commonly utilised form of loft conversion.
VELUX Loft Conversions – Less expensive to complete than dormer loft conversions, this type is named after the sort of window which is typically utilised during the installation process. VELUX loft conversions seldom require any external alterations or work as is often the case with dormer loft conversions and, as such, this form is usually quicker to complete.
The initial processes involved.
Firstly, in order to convert an attic with full planning permission and building warrants there should be a minimum of 2.4m between the top of the attic joists and the underside of the apex of the roof, this should in most cases allow for minimum head heights to a completed conversion.
Second is to look at similar properties in the surrounding areas, if they have conversions, chances are you can too.
Lastly, look at the local councils planning portal on the internet, go to simple search and put in your postcode, any houses within that postcode that have had permissions granted will be there, with the drawings submitted available to download and print off, thus giving you an idea of what you can achieve.
If nothing comes up, and you have seen houses in the surrounding area that have been converted, put the addresses into the search function and if they have permissions you can print them out.
The next stage is to contact an architect, who then will do a home visit, and produce a set of plans ready for you to proof. Once agreed upon these plans are submitted to the council.
Once the permission is granted, the architect then organises a structural engineer to come and do a home visit, he then produces a set of structural drawings, these drawings are then added to the architectural plans and specifications, and submitted to the council to apply for building warrants.
Once the warrants are granted the whole package is then returned to us for a final quote to be submitted to the home owners.
Most building projects require a building warrant. Of course as per local council guidelines, the responsibility for the acquisition of warrants rests with the owners of the property. As such in the event a customer decides to make alterations to their attic space, should they have limited head height and declines our advice to enquire as to the feasibility of a warrant. Then they agree to accept full responsibility for all alterations.
The most time consuming part of any conversion is taking it from initial plans to building warrants. This can in some case take as little as several months, in others up to a year.
We hope this gives prospective customers an idea of how things work, please feel free to get in touch with us to take things from the enquiry stages, right the way through to your new complete attic conversion!
For an idea of exactly how we work and the quality of our projects, we produce videos of every conversion we do and share them with the world, this ensures that each and every conversion we undertake is completed to the highest of standards.
These are just a few examples of our previously completed conversion projects: