Our Guide to Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is an attractive prospect for many homeowners. Loft conversions are one of the most lucrative renovations to make, with the potential to increase house value by as much as 20%, according to a Nationwide survey.

Here is our guide to loft conversion and the things you need to consider before you begin renovation.

Is your loft appropriate and able to be converted into a liveable space?

Before you start seriously considering a loft conversion, you need to check that your loft is appropriate to become a liveable space. Is the space big enough, both in terms of surface area and roof height? There isn’t much point in converting your loft if it is only possible to stand in the middle of the room; the highest point of the roof should be at least 2.2m from the floor.

If you have roof trusses, they may need to be removed to give you more room, but then they will need to be replaced with some other type of roof reinforcement.

Significant wall space isn’t an expectation with loft conversions, but the room should be comfortable for purpose, including space for any furniture you want to include. You will also need to allocate space for a staircase to be installed.

Next, you need to ensure that you have the right insulation to make your roof a liveable space. If you have a cold roof (insulation only between the floor joists), you will need to install insulation to convert it into a warm roof, by adding insulation to the underside of the roof.

You will also need to check the health of your roof, identifying any signs of damp, rot, or structural damage that will need to be addressed before you begin any renovation work.

Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?

As a guide, you usually don’t need planning permission to convert an existing loft into a liveable space. However, it is always worth checking with the relevant local authorities first to be absolutely sure and avoid trouble later. If you are planning on extending or enlarging the roof space by altering the exterior of the property, you will likely need planning permission, and listed buildings also come with certain restrictions.

Choosing the loft conversion style

The type of loft conversion you choose will determine how much work will be required for the renovation. Standard roof light/Velux conversions will only require you to install skylights, a proper floor, and a staircase for easy access. Once you have made these structural changes, you simply need to decorate and furnish the new room the way you want it!

Other types of loft conversion will likely require planning permission as they require more substantial structural adjustments to the property. Dormer loft conversions involve an extension that protrudes from the slope of a pitched roof. Hip-to-gable loft conversions give you more space by extending the roof out and creating a new vertical wall on one or both sides of the pitched roof. 

Mansard conversions also involve a structural change, altering the pitch of the roof to be almost vertical, creating a more traditional room. In any of these cases, you will definitely need to hire professionals to carry out the work.

Should you hire professionals to do the work?

We would advise that you always hire professionals for any serious renovation work, especially when you are creating a new liveable space. Unless you are well experienced in this area, you may come across a number of problems you are not equipped to deal with. Even a standard Velux loft conversion will need to be carried out by expert hands so that you don’t compromise the integrity of the roof.

That concludes our loft conversion guide, but if you have any further questions about the process, or you are looking to hire someone to carry out your loft renovation, then please get in touch with us

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