Even if you are experienced in construction, a loft conversion is definitely one thing that is best left to a professional. When loft conversions are done correctly, they can not only add an extra floor and a fully-functioning room but also increase the value of home by up to 20%.
A loft conversion is time-consuming, taking around 3 months to complete, so be prepared for some disruption at home, especially when they begin to build the new stairs. Though the good news is that the majority of the work will be carried out through the outside.
Can I Have A Loft Conversion?
If your home was built after 1975, it is likely that your home is suitable for a loft conversion. There needs to be a 2.3m distance between you when standing up and the roof. A dormer window extension can maximise the headroom throughout your loft. Provided it meets planning requirements of your local authority, dormer window extensions are usually put at the back of the house so that the house’s appearance from outside looking in from the street will not change. This will help to provide light and ventilation to the loft conversion.
It goes without saying that before your loft conversion goes ahead; it must meet all planning and building regulations of your local authority. These regulations are not standard and can vary considerably depending on where you live. Your architect can advise you but you may need to send a plan to your local authority’s building control department to verify any changes you intend to make to your home and they will tell you if and what changes you will need to make to your home.
Decide What The Conversion Will Be Used For
Is your loft conversion going to be an office? A bedroom? Will you want to include an en-suite? The most important thing to consider is the space available; will your plans for the loft conversion be possible? Discussing your requirements with your builder and making sure you have adequate space or can make space for the purpose in which the room is to be used for. Bathrooms in particular are largely dictated by the position of the staircase and plumbing arrangements. Depending on the hot water and heating system you have, it may not be suitable to heat the conversion or provide water for the new bathroom.
Choose Your Builder Wisely
It’s well-worth doing your homework when it comes to undertaking a loft conversion. It is a major structural change to your home and you need to carefully research who you use. Word of mouth is an excellent way to find a reputable company; it’s a good idea to check out professional bodies to try and find an approved builder. In the UK, theFederation Of Master Builders (FMB) is a good place to start. Always get at least 3 quotes from different builders to compare the cost and quality, and find out how they intend to carry out the work. Be wary of those who try to cut corners by taking everything through the house as opposed to through the roof. A good builder will erect the scaffolding and bring all the structural materials through the roof.
No two loft conversions are the same. The price depends on the amount of work to be done and the area in which you live. Whoever you use, make sure that you get a written contract that details all the work required and the agreed payment schedule, this will minimise any confusion and the possibility of dispute as the work proceeds.