Wondering how to convert loft? Loft conversions are becoming increasingly popular as families across the UK are in need of more living room, without a big spend. A loft conversion project could be exactly what you are after if you are thinking that you could really do with additional space in your home, but would prefer not to leave your property. Since most loft conversions are generally allowed under permitted development rights, there’s no need to go through the lengthy process of obtaining planning permission. And, another bonus is that you’ll get the extra room you need, without having to sacrifice garden space, as is the case with a conventional rear or side extension. So the first question we would definitely ask would be, can my loft be converted.
Can your loft be converted?
Many homes can have their loft space converted but sometimes it’s not possible due to planning application, Permitted Development (PD) rules and your Local Planning Authority. The first thing to do when you’re thinking of loft conversion is to see if your home has any restrictions in place or if it has any existing approved applications. Permitted Development is a set of rights that are given to homeowners to allow them to carry out certain building works without needing any further permissions. These apply to different types of properties in different ways and each set of building works has criteria that yours must meet to be considered ‘approved’.
Why should you convert your loft?
The main reason that homeowners opt to convert their lofts is added space. By utilising existing rooms within the home, families can obtain far more usable space without having to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of moving home. The added floor space can be used for just about any purpose – a main or guest bedroom, study, studio or children’s playroom – often with less disruption than a major extension to an existing living space. One of the biggest advantages of loft conversion is its effect on the value of your home. Those that incorporate a bedroom and bathroom can add up to 21% to a property’s value. Lofts can be one of the least energy-efficient parts of the home. Around 25% of the heat produced in our houses will escape through the roof without proper insulation. Converting your loft gives you the option to add roof windows, which let in more natural light without being overshadowed by buildings and trees. If you’re thinking of getting an extension, a loft conversion can be a more time-saving and cost-effective alternative for a number of reasons.
What type of loft conversion should you go for?
- Rooflight conversions –The simplest structural option, most suitable for those on a tighter budget. If the floor is structurally sound, the main change is simply the addition of windows, allowing your existing space to be flooded with light. This straightforward route is best suited to higher roofs with plenty of headroom.
- Dormer loft conversions – This involves restructuring the roof, usually at the rear or side of the house to add an (often flat-roofed) ‘box’ dormer extension. Full height windows and doors can be added for additional light and space, although if you are hoping to add a balcony, this will necessitate planning permission.
- Hip to gable loft conversions –This style of conversion maximises the relatively small loft spaces of properties with hipped roofs (a roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a gentle slope). One sloping side is removed, with the vertical wall built up so that a new gable is created. A dormer can also be added to maximise the interior space.
- Roof lift conversions – If there isn’t enough headroom in your current space, it’s possible to raise the roof itself. This is the most expensive option, as the existing roof will be removed completely so that the ridgeline and pitch can be adjusted accordingly. This conversion is best suited to detached properties, with planning permission necessary.
- Mansard conversions – Mansard extensions run along the whole length of your house’s roof and will alter the angle of the roof slope, making it almost vertical. These tend to be the most expensive type of conversion but will result in a significant amount of extra space. Mansard conversions are suitable for most property types, including terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.
Do I Need Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion?
In most cases, loft conversions tend to be considered Permitted Development (PD), but your design will need to adhere to a number of specified parameters. If you plan on extending beyond the limits and conditions of PD, or your property is listed or located in a conversation area, then you will need to apply for planning permission. You will also need planning permission if you are altering the roof height or shape. Rooflights and dormers can be installed under PD, but they must not sit forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation, nor must they be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Loft?
A lot of factors determine the amount you are likely to spend when converting your loft. These factors include the structure of your roof, the available space, and whether major alterations are needed to complete the project. Prices start at around £15,000 for a room in the roof loft conversion, which is the cheapest and most straight forward option. The factors involving in deciding the price
- Reinforcing the floor
- Adding a couple of skylights
- Adding insulation
- Building a staircase to the loft
- Fitting electric appliances like heating and lighting
- Installing fire safety measures to adhere to building regulations such as smoke alarms and fire doors
Before start thinking of building a loft wardrobe, you should definitely keep these factors in mind. If you have bespoke specifications in mind, it could be better for you to choose a designer. Inspired elements being one of the finest manufacturers of loft conversion wardrobes could be a better option for you. We make all customisations depending on your individual needs and requirements for a loft conversion.