However, they can be very technical and onerous regarding the design and installation especially for properties
of 3 stories. Some loft conversions are very easy to convert especially of the existing property is of sound
traditional construction with a good supply of existing load bearing first floor internal partitions & sound
existing lintels over wall openings.
Some properties do not lend themselves to a loft conversion at all due to the existing roof structure being
trussed rafters or the properties internal layout does not already have a protected shaft arrangement running
through the house (traditional hallways and landings for the circulation areas).
Therefore, before the home owner gets carried away with the idea for a loft conversion they should be calling in
a professional and experienced house extension designer or architect right from the start so that some form of
practical and Planning issue analysis can be completed to identify all the legal, practical and planning
Here we have a series of articles dedicated to loft conversions.
- Loft Conversion Advice
Loft conversions cover many aspects of design and compliance under Building Regulations so getting upfront and accurate advice on loft conversions right from the start is vital. Most house owners will approach a house extension designer or architect for such advice with varying degrees of success.
- Loft Conversion Average Cost or Price
The average cost of a loft conversion will vary from location to location combined with the size and complexity of the conversion itself. The loft conversion average price or cost is also affected by the type of natural lighting to be installed. Using roof lights such as Velux windows will be cheaper than installing a new external dormer window.
- Loft Conversion Architect
The term ‘architect’ has been hi-jacked my a simple misunderstanding than many homeowners have. Not all people that prepare plans and specifications for loft conversions or any other building project for that matter is an architect. The term or title of ‘architect’ is protected to only those that are qualified and registered to use the term.
- Loft Conversion Access and Stairs Options
Accessing a loft conversion is usually via a Building Regulations compliant set of stairs. Gone are the days when a ‘pull down loft ladder’ was an acceptable means of accessing the loft conversion. However, the Building Regulations do allow for certain flexibilities regarding the final choice of access stairs that you might want to use within a loft conversion.
- Loft Conversion Building Regulations or rules
The Building Regulations are applicable for all loft conversions into habitable room spaces. They probably encompass more aspects of the Building Regulations compliance sections than for most other types of residential extensions yet many homeowners perceive a loft conversion to be a relatively simple process with relatively few rules not worthy of a fully thought through pre-approved design using their own professional loft conversion designer or architect which can often be very short sighted.
- Loft Conversion Before and After images or photos
The internet and house improvement publications alike are awash with design ideas for loft conversions and some even show ‘before’ as well as ‘after’ photos or images of house extension scheme. Simply searching on google images will reveal a variety of loft conversion photos and images.
- Loft Conversion Cost Calculator
Everyone seems to be looking for cost calculators these days and loft conversions are no exception. Costing a lost conversion without the aid of a pre-prepared and approved set of design drawings and specifications can be very hard for anyone to provide a firm price cost for the loft conversion simply due to not knowing what level of works are required.
- Loft Conversion Company
Lost conversion companies can offer an ideal solution to the homeowner who simply want to communicate and have one company involved from design to completion. However, often all is not what it seems with some loft conversion companies especially some of the national ional operators.
- Loft Conversion Design Ideas
Having some design ideas before engaging your house extension designer or architect can be a good tactic if only to have a good two way discussion of the options and design features one could include for a loft conversion. Sourcing the design ideas for a loft conversion can take some time though as there may be some digging and reading to do.
- Loft Conversion DIY
No, No, No! Can I be any clearer? Loft conversion work to obtain a compliant habitable room is a very specialist job from design to installation on site and it is not something easily geared for the enthusiastic DIY’er. Those that have normally regret their involvement and attempts to cut costs when they are unable to sell the property when the defects or lack of approval becomes apparent to the purchasers surveyors and legal team.
- Loft Conversion Dormer Designs
Over half of all loft conversions will incorporate a dormer window design many of which will be built under the sites permitted development (PD) allowances. This is where you can build certain structures to a dwelling house without the need for formal Planning Consent.
- Loft Conversion Drawings and plans
Yes. Any building project requires drawings or plans simply for ensuring that you get the design right on paper before its installed on site. Having a ‘make it up as you go’ approach will lead to tears and a poor quality loft conversion that is probably also illegal.
- Loft Conversion Floor Plans
Most loft conversion designers or architects will be able to provide you with sample floor plans of previous loft conversions for you to assess the quality of their work. This is one way of getting to see loft conversion floor plans. Another way is to look online at any Councils Public Access systems where you can view previous planning applications - many of which will be for a loft conversion that will include floor plans.
- Loft Conversion Fire Regulations
The Building Regulations for most loft conversions will also consider fire regulations which are a combination of ensuring that the proposal has a good means of escape (primary and secondary), early warning smoke detection with alarms and compartmentation (usually 30 minutes).
- Loft Conversion Furniture
It is a fact that most loft conversions end up being a little tight for space, head height and access. This means that most furniture to be placed within the finished loft conversion normally needs to be flat packed or at least broken down. Trying to get a full size bed into a loft conversion will be impossible unless it can be dismantled.
- Loft Conversion Floor Joists
This article also covers Loft Conversion Joists, Loft Conversion Joist Size, Loft Conversion Joist Regulations and Loft Conversion Joist Thickness.
- Loft Conversion Guide and Guidance
The best guide any homeowner can have for a loft conversion is to ensure they employ their own experienced house extension designer or architect right from the start. Going off half cocked with your own builder working on a Council Building Notice with just bare bones sketch plans will be a recipe for disaster.
- Loft Conversion Gallery
Most loft conversions are unable to have an ‘open gallery’ looking directly into the floor below from the new habitable room itself. This is because of the 30 minute fire compartmentation requirement under the Building Regulations. A loft conversion gallery can only be created if there is a separate landing or lobby area at the top floor of the loft conversion and there are separate 30/30 fire doors into the habitable room or rooms.
- Loft Conversions how much do they cost
The cost of loft conversions can vary dependant upon the complexity of the design solution and standard of fit out or specification. The size or floor area of the loft conversion will also have a bearing on how much it will cost. Many simple basic loft conversions for one room, new stair set and using roof lights rather than dormer windows would be in the regain of £25,000.00 plus VAT (2011).
- Loft Conversion How To build one
Most loft conversions follow the same basic elements being, structural improvements and alterations, installation of new natural lighting in the form of roof lights or dormer windows, installation of the new stair access route, installing new insulations and new internal linings, installing fire prevention measures and maintaining a good means of escape.
- Loft Conversion Head Height
About 20 years ago there was a minimum head height requirement within the Building Regulations of 2.3M. This was done away with to allow greater design flexibility but many house extension designers today still use this head height as the norm.
- Loft Conversion U values and Insulation Regulations
Part of the Building Regulations requirements is to ensure that the new habitable roof formed within the roof void is thermally efficient and compliant under current regulations. This means achieving a certain maximum U Value for the uprated structure of the roof, walls, ceilings and sometimes floors (over garages for example).
- Loft Conversion Images and Pictures
Loft conversion images or pictures can be found in a variety of locations and sources. The web or internet is a great source of finding great examples of loft conversions. Most images and pictures of loft conversions are presented by house extension designers or architects as part of their portfolio of previously completed designs.
- Loft Conversion In a Terraced House
Terraced housing is probably the main type of property that seeks a loft conversion from its current owners. The reason for this is usually to do with the fact that it may be the only option for adding extra habitable room floor space as many terraced housing only have rear gardens for extending and often these area are small or have adverse neighbour implications for a normal extension.
- Loft Conversion DIY Kit
Anyone reading this article must be considering a DIY loft conversion and is seeking to purchase or obtain a loft conversion kit from somewhere. Well first off, I do not know of anyone putting together a loft conversion DIY kit to sell to the general public as ‘one size fits all’ approach to building design - so, in short there is no such thing.
- Loft Conversion Lighting
There are no real strict regulations or requirements regarding new lighting for a loft conversion so most homeowners can choose what they want. Most homeowners seem to like the recessed down lighters although these may now have to be low energy types as the Building Regulations requires 1 in 4 light fittings to be of the energy efficient sort.
- Loft Conversion Ladders
Retractable ladders for a loft conversion are now really a thing of the past although I do still come across some historic examples of when these were permitted under Building regulations. In a nutshell, if the room being formed within the loft conversion is deemed to be habitable then retractable or pull down loft ladders far access are not acceptable as they do not aid good means of escape in the event of a fire.
- Loft Conversion Manual
Some house extension designers, architects or specialist companies have made their own ‘loft conversion manual’ as a sort of sales aid for their possible future clients or customers. Even some house improvement magazines have attempted to prepare a loft conversion manual but these are often very generic and are simply useful as a basic check list for the homeowner rather than the experienced designer or architect. None of them are really a technical guide that the house owner can use as a DIY approach to a loft conversion (thank goodness).
- Loft Conversion Materials
Most loft conversions will use a variety of materials. Some will be very obvious such as new timber joists and rafters, while others may be strange such as Idenden tape (for sealing insulation board gaps and joints when using Celotex insulation boards).
- Loft Conversion Prices
For the house owner who has employed their own loft conversion designer or architect, they will be in possession of their own design plans and specifications that can then be put out to competitive tender to local builders or loft conversion specialists who will each supply the clients with their own price for the loft conversion.
- Loft Conversion Planning Permission
Most loft conversions are completed under the sites permitted development rights but this legislation is riddled with requirements and clauses and sometimes a loft conversion will require planning permission. When a loft conversion does require planning permission first, the final design may be different from what could be achieved under permitted development.
- Loft Conversion Permitted Development without planning
A sites permitted development rights are a very useful tool for building a loft conversion without the requirement to obtain formal planning permission first. Most planning officers view a house owners permitted development rights as the ‘anti-Christ’ of residential development as they do not have control over what the house owner can build onto their property.
- Loft Conversion Quotes and quotations Online
The internet has revolutionised many aspect of modern living and building construction is no exception to this fact. Many homeowners using the internet see it as a fast track way of getting instant answers and some try to seek online quotes or quotations for their loft conversion or other works.
- Loft Conversion Questions
Most homeowners do not embark on a loft conversion lightly but many fail to do a basic check list of analogy questions they should be considering. Many homeowners are actually disappointed with there completed loft conversion because they failed to ask the right questions right from the start. Here are the main 5 questions we think a homeowner should be asking before embarking on their loft conversion.
- Loft Conversion Storage
Most loft conversions will automatically remove the homeowners useful storage facility and often this can be a useful time to start that de-cluttering process we are all told to do from time to time by the so called lifestyle gurus out their in the world of house improvement.
- Loft Conversion to Bedroom use
Most loft conversions are used for creating additional bedrooms simply due to the location above the existing bedrooms and that is usually the number requirement of the homeowner. Additional bedroom space does add value to a property so it is often money well spent.
- Loft Conversion Tips
The best tip any homeowner could have when considering a loft conversion would be to employ their own experienced house extension designer or architect right from the start. Any thinking of a DIY project or how to cut costs and corners will lead to a very disappointing finish that could even be illegal.
- Loft Conversion Types
The types of loft conversions can be many and varied. Here are a few descriptions of the various types.
- Loft Conversion in Trussed Roofs
These roof structures are where the roof sections have been made in a factory as a complete unit and brought onto site on a lorry. They are then craned or man handled into location. They are meant to save on time of erecting the roof framing due to less labour involvement and also in material costs for when a quantity of houses are built (say 4 or more).
- Loft Conversion Ventilation
Ventilation for a loft conversion is in two distinct areas for Building regulations requirements. Te first is for trickle or mechanical ventilation of the room or rooms itself and the other is for venting of the roof and floor voids to prevent condensation.
- Loft Conversion Videos
Look on U Tube and search for loft conversions UK. There are a few loft conversion videos of projects at different stages throughout the job that homeowners and loft conversion specialists have uploaded. They may give the ‘newbie’ house owner considering a loft conversion a better idea of what is involved.
- Loft Conversion Windows
First of all the windows for a loft conversion will serve three distinct purposes. The first is for ventilation either using the frame trickle vents or an opening sash. The second is for natural light which may seem obvious. The third and les obvious is for secondary means of escape in the event of fire and becoming trapped.
- Loft Conversion Wardrobes
Most loft conversions do not have the available space or head heights for separate stand alone wardrobes. Most would also be difficult to get into the loft conversion due to the tights stairs and fire doors for the fire compartmentation requirements. Therefore, most loft conversions do end up having built in wardrobes simply to infill and make use of the wasted space under the scaling ceilings or sloping soffits.
- Loft Conversion use of zinc or lead
Zinc is slowly becoming more acceptable as weatherings and flashings for loft conversions simply due to the escalating price of lead and how it has become a commodity for stealing by certain members of the visiting European community and UK low life’s alike.