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5 things to know before getting your loft converted…

Post by Admin , Mar 13, 2017.
Building and Maintenance Construction Loft Conversions and Extensions

These days, the only way is up. Moving house can be costly and wanting to keep valuable garden space is essential. As a result Loft Conversions have really become a big deal. Many have considered 2017 to be the best time to get a Loft Conversion. It can increase the value of your property and the overall feeling of your home.

A loft conversion can take months. Picture it - the dust, the mess, the stress.To ensure you are prepared, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before getting a loft conversion…

1. What is already in your loft?
The short answer is dust. But dust can easily be cleaned away. Christmas decorations, old memorabilia, old televisions and whatever else may be up there needs to have some kind of action plan. Are you going to dispose of it? How? Want to keep it? Where? It would be best to clear out as much clutter as possible before starting on the Loft Conversion.

2. Size matters…
For different roofs, there are different rules. Not all roof structures will allow you to have a conversion. When it comes to different roof sizes, types, angles and pitches, it can get a little daunting and confusing. So we’ll break it down for you:

  • Your roof must be at least 2 metres (almost 6ft 6inch) from the floor to the highest point in the ceiling. You might not know anyone who is 6ft 6inch tall, but you just never know. These regulations are set for a reason.
  • It may be exciting to get carried away with the idea of getting a loft conversion, but you have to keep in mind that you need to be comfortable. Is it high enough in all areas? Is it liveable? Can you fit in everything that you want/need? Once everything is in there, will you be able to move around, get in and out easily?
  • Is there floor space for stairs? This applies to more than just the loft. Is there room below for stairs or will you have to repetitively be pulling a ladder out? There is no point getting your loft done if getting up there is impossible.
  • Plan your furniture. You do not want to get everything done and find out that no furniture will suit your needs. There are multiple places you can go to find fitted furniture- but it can become costly.

Speaking of costs…

3. The terrible B word…
Budget! Can you afford a loft conversion? Think about this realistically. If you cannot afford it now you may be able to later. It’s all about timing. Here are things to budget for, use it as a tick list:
  • An architect – needed for planning drawings. At this point, you may realise that your loft is simply too small or shaped too uncomfortably, you may realise you require a loft extension or have to scrap the idea all together.
  • Scaffolding – the workers need this space to have a solid platform on which to work. Makes sense.
  • A surveyor/engineer – a surveyor is important for shared walls. If your neighbour is against the idea of you doing work to the wall, you'll have to pay a surveyor to ensure that you can do it without any problems later arising. Thus prevent your neighbour from possibly being able to sue you. A structural engineer designer will be required for everything aside from simpler conversions.
  • Stairs – how else are you going to get in?
  • Building Control – a requirement. A building control officer is a person with the authority to control building work; they oversee and ensure everything is as it should be.
  • Insulation – this keeps the temperature of the room warm enough to live in.
  • Carpentry – they aid in the overall structure of the roof, repairing any problems and doing what needs to be done to keep the loft supported.
  • Plasterboard – to keep your walls supported.
  • Steels – required to support new floor structure or roof alterations
  • The Roof – roof structure, extensions, etc.
  • Decoration – the fun bit!
  • Electrician – rewiring for lighting and plugs if necessary.
  • Windows/Dormers – for natural light, key to keeping bills down after the conversion is done.
  • Insurance – If something goes wrong your insurance will save you. (Be sure to talk to your mortgage lender and insurer.)
  • Living Arrangements – depending on the scale of the project, you might decide to live elsewhere for a while. If this is the case, your insurance is vital. Most insurers only allow you to be away from your property for up to 30 days, but on some occasions you can get up to three months away. Your house should be covered for accidental damage and break-ins, as at the time of conversion your house will be vulnerable to burglars if you are going to be away. Consider: Where will you be? For how long?

  • 4. Little extras you might want to consider…
    • Soundproofing
    • Fire regulations
    • Colour themes
    • Shapes of windows
    • Type of lighting
    • Ventilation
    • Heating
    • Plumbing
    • Storage
    • The view, what do you want your window to face?
    • Would it be worth lowering the ceiling of the rooms below for extra space?
    • Fitted furniture
    • Speakers
    • Decide before hand what the room type is going to be. A nursery, an office or a spare room.
    • Privacy – blinds or curtains?

    5. Some tips…
    • If you’re going to have a bath installed into your loft, placing it in the centre of the room allows you the optimum amount of head space. Keep it away from the wall if possible. If you’re opting for a shower, wet rooms are an excellent way to go.
    • Ever wondered why there are mirrors in an elevator? To keep you from feeling closed in. If your loft is slightly too small for you, large wall-to-wall mirrors are the best way to create the illusion of room.
    • If mirrors are not your cup of tea, try some large windows and sky lights to make the room feel open and free.
    • Decorating your new loft can be exciting, but it is important to keep it in sync with the rest of the house. Having a grand and elaborate loft can only stick out if the rest of your home is being neglected.
    • Extendable tables keep the room spacious and looking nice, while also giving you extra space to work or eat should you need it.
    • Paler shades of paint for walls and ceilings (keep them the same or use a gradient), much like the mirrors this helps to keep your loft feeling spacious and calm.
    • Low hanging lights and ceiling fans will reduce your headroom and could create a claustrophobic feeling to the room.
    • Beds that fold into cupboards or sofas can be extremely useful when it comes to saving space.
    • Some loft conversions do not require planning approval, but regardless of this it will always legally require Building Regulations approval.

    It’s a lot of stress, but we’re here to help you through every last bit of it. If you have questions click here to complete an online enquiry or call us on 0173 266 8004. All estimates are provided free of charge. If the work requires us to employ or consult a specialist, we will discuss any costs with you and ensure you are happy with the chosen expert and their service.

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