If you want to convert your existing attic space into a usable area, we can provide services to turn it into a bedroom, study, gym or anything else you have in mind.
As loft conversion specialists we can carry out a range of services to redesign your attic space. Many homeowners choose to do this if they want to turn the loft into a habitable space like an extra bedroom, study, home gym or children's play room. We can create a range of different designs for this to suit exactly what you want.
Feel free to get in touch with our team today if you'd like some more information on the costs for this work. We can supply you with a quote and discuss different options in more detail. Just fill in our contact form and let us know what you need.
The features that will decide the suitability of the roof space for a loft conversion are the available head height, the pitch and the type of structure, as well as any obstacles such as water tanks or chimney stacks. An inspection of the roof space will reveal its structure and physical dimensions.
Take a measurement from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist; the useable part of the roof should be greater than 2.2m.
The higher the pitch angle, the higher the central head height is likely to be, and if dormers are used or the roof is redesigned, then the floor area can be increased.
Two main structures are used for roof construction — namely traditional framed type and truss section type. The traditional framed type is typically found in pre-1960s near by houses where the rafters and ceiling joists, together with supporting timbers, are cut to size on site and assembled. This type of structure has more structural input, so is often the most suitable type for attic conversions. The space can be easily, and relatively inexpensively, opened up by strengthening the rafters and adding supports as specified by a structural engineer.
Post 1960s, the most popular form of construction used factory-made roof trusses. These utilise thinner – and therefore cheaper timbers – but have structural integrity by the addition of braced diagonal timbers. They allow a house roof to be erected and felted in a day. However, this type of truss suggests that there are no loadbearing structures beneath, and so opening up the space requires a greater added structural input.
This will normally involve the insertion of steel beams between loadbearing walls for the new floor joists to hang on and the rafter section to be supported on — together with a steel beam at the ridge. This added structural input requires skill, knowledge and equipment that would limit scope as far as DIY is concerned — and a far greater cash outlay. It is advisable to seek advice from specialist firms in this instance.
The cost of your loft conversion will depend on your roof structure, the existing available space and whether any alterations need to be made to the floor below to accommodate the staircase.
A basic ‘room in roof’ loft conversion is the cheapest and could start at around £15,000. This will usually involve:
This option is the most expensive as it require the removal and rebuild of the existing roof. It also requires planning permission approval so you local planning permission application cost must be added on.
Another added expense will be the additional design work that may be needed as it is more complicated that a room in roof, or dormer loft conversion. This type of work is likely to cost upwards of £40,000.
Some companies will create a package type ready-made room which is fabricated off-site and craned into position. The benefit of this is that it is quicker than replacing the rafters and rebuilding the roof thus reducing scaffold hire and labour costs. However, this option costs around £55,000 for the average home.
The second option which does not require dramatic changes to the roof is to do the above and add dormer windows. This will increase the useable floorspace and can be used to add head height which gives you more options when it comes to placement of the stairs. This will cost upwards of £20,000. However the average dormer loft conversion with a double bedroom and en suite costs about £35,000–£45,000.
Usually constructed to the rear of a property, they are finished in tiles externally with PVCu vertical windows. Dormers alter the profile of the roof, however, providing they are constructed within certain guidelines, planning permission is not usually required.
The most popular type of loft conversion is the L-Shape conversion with owners of Victorian terraced houses and properties of a similar style. It involves constructing two dormers – one over the roof of the main house and a second above the rear extension. In the majority of cases, the second dormer will be constructed above what is usually the existing kitchen or bathroom. The two dormers meet to form a right angled ‘L’ shape (how this type of conversion came to be named).
The advantage of an L-Shape conversion is that it allows you to almost replicate your first floor in terms of space and design. It gives you the possibility for even three or four new rooms and no other type of loft conversion will give you as much additional space.
You can extend your roof space by up to 50m3 (or 40 m3 for terraced housing) under Permitted Development Rights. This is providing the allowance hasn’t previously been removed or used up. This can save you the hassle of gaining planning permission but there are strict limits to follow.
For example, no additions are allowed at the main elevation beyond the plane of the existing roof slope. Also, you can only use materials similar in appearance to the houses near by.
Permitted Development Rights are removed for loft conversions exceeding the 40 m3 to 50 m3 space allowance, in conservation areas and in other designated zones, so you’ll always need full planning consent in here.
Loft conversions always need approval under Building Regulations (irrespective of whether they need planning permission). It pays to adopt the full plans application approach and have a detailed scheme approved before you find a builder. Having an approved design will take much of the risk out of the work and also mean the builder has a chance to give you a fixed quotation, rather than a vague estimate.
Your Building Control officer will inspect the work at various stages. On the final inspection they should issue you with a completion certificate — don’t settle any final accounts until you’ve received the certificate.
If your house is semi-detached or terraced don’t forget to notify your local neighbour(s) of your proposals. This requirement usually falls under the Party Wall Act 1996.
From April 2015 homeowners are now responsible for safety on their building projects – big or small. All projects will require a health and safety plan and you will be required to manage that plan.
CO2 emissions are a major concern in today’s environment and you will need to provide a high level of insulation to your roof as part of your loft conversion.
The most common way of achieving this is to place a high performance insulation board in between and below the rafters or surrounding areas. Unless your roof has a breathable felt you will need to leave a void above the insulation and ensure that you have effective roof ventilation to prevent the build-up of condensation.
If you would like more information on loft conversion don't hesitate to fill in our contact form today and speak with our team. We'll be able to provide a quote to let you know about the costs for our different services.