Loft conversions are a terrific way to increase the space and value to your property. They can be expensive and complicated, but careful planning and design can make the process of your loft conversion as smooth as possible. There are many different facets that can differ between loft conversions, therefore it is important to have a structural survey carried out on your existing loft space to determine what type of conversion will be suitable. If other conversions have been done on similar properties in your area, check and see what type of conversions have been done.
Loft conversions can be done in many homes, but your pre-existing loft needs to have at least 2.2-2.4m of ceiling height in order to undertake a conversion as some of this space will be lost to extra insulation or alterations to the roof height. If you do not have the mandatory ceiling height, alterations can be made to the pre-existing roof or floor of the loft, but this will be costly. Also consider the location of the staircase, as you will need a appropriate location for a permanent staircase on the floor below the loft.
There are various kinds of loft conversion. Rooflight and dormer window loft conversions are the most straightforward. Rooflight conversions will simply require the installation of rooflights into the existing roof profile, while dormer windows are vertical windows with their own small roofs that are positioned in the existing roof. Dormer windows add headroom in situations where it might be limited. There’s also the more expensive hip to gable and mansard style loft conversions, but these will dramatically expand the size of the area.
Some loft conversions, especially more straightforward types like rooflight or dormer conversions, will be covered by permitted development rights and consequently not need planning permission, as long as you do not intend on modifying the size of the structure of the current roof. Hip to gable and mansard conversions usually tend to need planning permission. If you are in a conservation area you’ll need planning permission, which will probably designate the kind of conversion that you can use, as it will need to be a style 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 aspects of loft conversions.
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