Can my loft be converted?
A great way to get a sense of whether your loft can be converted is by seeing whether any similar properties on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot examples, it's more likely to be a possibility.
How do I check the height for my loft conversion?
The minimum height you need for a loft conversion is 2.2 metres.
Run a tape measure from the floor to the ceiling at the tallest part of the room. If it's 2.2 metres or more, your loft should be tall enough to convert. Victorian houses tend to be lower than those built from 1930 onwards, so may not have sufficient head height.
Another great way to get a sense of whether your loft can be converted is by seeing whether any similar properties on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot examples, it's more likely to be a possibility.
What is a Hip to Gable conversion?
Hip-to-gable conversions work by extending the sloping 'hip' roof at the side of your property outwards to create a vertical 'gable' wall, creating more internal loft space. This type of conversion will only work on detached or semi-detached houses, as it requires a free-sloping side roof.
If you have a detached house with sloping roofs on either side, you can build on both to create an even more spacious double hip-to-gable extension.
Will a loft conversion add value to my home?
Add value as well as space. According to www.onthemarket.com a Nationwide study found that a loft conversion which added an extra bedroom and ensuite bathroom would add an average of 21 per cent to the value of a property in London and the surrounding areas. Which is why a loft conversion is also an investment opportunity!
Most of our clients want extra space to meet the needs of a growing family. When they want more space, a loft conversion is often much more financially viable than moving home.
What needs to be considered is whether moving to get that all important extra bedroom may cost you up to £100K on top of your existing mortgage, in comparison to £50-£60k loft conversion.
Often once the sums have been calculated, homeowners recognise that a loft conversion is a most economical route to getting a third or fourth bedroom.
For those of you that are still unsure, we urge you to speak with your local estate agents to find out what the financial benefits will be. For future reassurance, you can also compare what similar properties in your area are selling for with and without a loft conversion.
How long will my loft conversion take?
Dormer conversions will take us six to eight weeks, depending on the size of the property and the amount of new rooms required. Hip-to-gable conversions will take around eight weeks. A Mansard conversion will be closer to nine to ten weeks to complete.
Our work will start within the loft void and the outside of your property, the roof. After that, the focus turns to the insulation and stud walls. Once all the plasterboard is complete, we move onto the staircase, which is when we work within the original hallway area. On the final stage we turn our attention to the plastering, 2nd fix electrics and plumbing
How can I prepare for my loft conversion?
The most common piece of advice is to mentally prepare for the disruption you'll experience. Loft conversions are messy and intrusive, and there's very little you can do to get around this. Bear in mind that the disruption will impact your loft and the rooms below.
If you have a baby or small child, having an open roof in mid-winter is far from ideal; you may want to consider planning your conversion for the warmer months.
A loft can also affect not just mess in your home, but the current layout. For example, you may need to relocate a water tank from the loft to elsewhere in your home or get fire doors fitted to satisfy building regulations.
We will minimise the disturbance and discuss this matter right at the start, to set your expectations. We will do their best to carry out as much work as possible inside the loft before 'breaking through' to the floor below to fit the stairs, which will also help to minimise how long the disruption lasts.
Create the perfect room within your loft conversion
It’s important to think about how you will use your new space now and in the future as this will help in the design and planning stage. Will your new room become a bedroom, an office, exercise area or a multi-functional room? Think about functionality, as this will help in the design and planning stage.
Consider whether you should have an ensuite bathroom. If you do have a small space for the bathroom, we can install a small sink and toilet which you would usually find in a downstairs washroom, plus a shower cubical to maximise the space. You may also want to consider a Juliet balcony or even a Velux CABRIO® design which opens from a window to a balcony in seconds.
Bespoke furniture, such as wardrobes, dressing area or shelving that fits into the spaces created by the loft conversion. If you have always wanted a walk-in wardrobe, then designing a room from scratch means we can create your dream bedroom to your desire.
Four Tips for decorating your bedroom
- Make sure you can move One of the best ways to give your bedroom a restful and relaxing vibe is to focus on the ease of movement, or how well you can walk around the floor space without feeling cramped.
- Layer your lighting Rather than relying on just your overhead light or a table lamp, it’s a good practice to layer the lighting in your bedroom, which means including several different light sources that you can toggle on and off for maximum functionality and cohesion.
- Distribute the soft touches All bedrooms have one large soft item in them—the bed—which is often the focal point of the room. To help balance out the visual softness of the bed, try including that softness in one or two other places, which will avoid making the rest of the room feel overly “hard” in comparison.
- Follow your personal style When coming up with bedroom ideas, don’t get so caught up in decorating tips that you end up with a bedroom that doesn’t feel right to you. Your bedroom should feel comfortable and tailored to your needs, so make sure along the way that you’re asking yourself what appeals to you.
Can I have a loft conversion in a Conservation area?
Most loft conversions fall within permitted development, which means they don’t need planning permission. However, there are exceptions and one of these is if your property sits within a conservation area.
Planners will be concerned that any alteration to your property does not have a negative impact, not just on your own home, but the street view and the area overall.
The statutory definition of a conservation area is, ‘an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.’ While living in such an area offers may benefits, a downside is the restrictions that can be placed on householders.
Planning permission essentially means you must have the consent from your local authority before you start building. Every local authority is different when it comes to granting (or not granting permission) which is why, any home within a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty should work with an experienced company. We can liaise with the relevant personnel and do the paperwork on your behalf to ensure a swift and positive resolution.
Our architecture will design the roof on the loft conversion and detail the correct materials to be used, blending the exterior elements seamlessly with the period property. Which is usually the most important aspects to get right for the conservationist
Can I use my own drawings?
If you already have architects drawings and calculations created already, we can use these and omit the cost of our architect’s fee. Providing the drawings meet the new building regulations, which came into force for applications made on and after 15 June 2022. Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/approved-document-b-2022-update of further details on the latest building regulation
Can I do some of the work myself?
Urban Loft Conversions offer part conversions, where the structural work is carried out, but the rest is left to you.
Our shell conversion packages involve completing all structural timber work, creating a watertight internal loft space, fitting windows and doors, chipboard flooring, a staircase and any internal stud walls.
Please contact us for further details.