Loft conversions are a great way to increase the space and value to your home. They can be expensive and complicated, but thorough planning and design will make the procedure of your loft conversion as smooth as is possible. There are several different aspects that can vary between loft conversions, therefore it is important to have a structural survey undertaken on your existing loft to determine what form of conversion will be appropriate. If other conversions have been done on similar properties in your road, check and see which conversions have been done.
Loft conversions can be done in many homes, but your existing loft needs to have at least 2.2-2.4m of ceiling height to be able to undertake a conversion as some of this space will be lost to supplemental insulation or changes to the roof height. If you don’t have the necessary ceiling height, alterations can be made to the existing roof or floor of the loft, but this will be expensive. Also take into account the positioning of the staircase, as you will need a ideal location for a permanent staircase on the floor below the loft.
There are a few different styles of loft conversion. Rooflight and dormer window loft conversions are the most straightforward. Rooflight conversions will simply require setting up rooflights into the existing roof profile, while dormer windows are vertical windows with their own small roofs that are positioned in the pre-existing roof. Dormer windows add headroom in situations where it could be limited. Additionally, there are the more costly hip to gable and mansard style loft conversions, but these will considerably raise the size of the area.
Some loft conversions, particularly less complicated designs like rooflight or dormer conversions, will be covered by permitted development rights and accordingly not need planning permission, as long as you do not intend on adjusting the size of the structure of the existing roof. Hip to gable and mansard conversions tend to require planning permission. If you are in a conservation area you must have planning permission, which will usually designate the kind of conversion that you can use, as it will need to be a design that suits the area. If any of the walls of the loft are terraced, you will need a Party Wall Agreement. Building regulations will apply to all elements of loft conversions.
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