Converting your loft is a more cost effective and less stressful alternative to moving house. With the recent falls in property prices increasing numbers of people are now opting to maximise the space in their homes, rather than moving. Making use of the otherwise wasted space in your loft is a great solution to your space problems and you probably won’t even need Planning Permission!
While most people won’t need Planning Permission, your loft conversion must meet building regulations. You should also inform your current insurer that an extra room has been added to your house as this may affect your premium and the cover provided.
Is your Loft Suitable?
Most Lofts can be converted into usable space. The main issue is headroom. If your loft is too low then perhaps you should consider an extension. You also need to consider where the stairs will go – is it worth losing the stair room on the floor below?
- Roof type
The two main types of roof construction are the more traditional rafter and purlin; or the modern trussed roof. Generally a trussed roof would be more difficult to convert as there may be supports running through the loft space. Trusses are complex engineered components and should not just be cut and altered.
As a general rule you will need a minimum height of 2.2 metres across half of the floor area to make a conversion worthwhile. Dormers can be used to increase headroom for part of the roof.
An often overlooked consideration is the additional staircase. This will take up space from the floor below. The stairs can usually be accommodated without affecting the existing bedroom, but not always.
The cost is affected by many factors, below I shall cover some of these
- The size and type of your home
- The roof type and condition
- Plumbing and wiring
- Unsual construction, layout or other complications
Type of Conversion:
- Finish quality
- Dormers / Roof-lights
- Plumbing: does a boiler/water tank need to be moved, is your existing boiler big enough?
Doing some of the work yourself can help to keep costs down. You should not undertake any structural work unless you know what you are doing
- Planning Permission
- Certificate of Lawful Development
- Building Regulations
Most loft conversions will be covered by permitted development rights.
Please note while you may not need planning permission, your loft conversion will need to conform to the Building Regulations if:
- They are to provide extra living accommodation
- Roof windows are installed
- They are to form a permanently accessible floored storage area
- Structural members are to be removed or modified