Loft conversions involve transforming an empty loft space to a habitable, functional room. Such a home improvement project may have a big variety of uses, which include creating space for an additional bedroom, a games room or even a home gym.

A loft conversion may add a substantial quantity of money to the value of a home – as a matter of fact, up to 20 percent, according to the Homeowners Alliance. This, coupled with the truth that loft conversions often are viewed as one of the more straightforward methods of extending a home, has meant most individuals around the United Kingdom are increasingly becoming fond of extending their property upwards by converting a loft.

But, ‘This is Money’ reported 36 percent of British tradesmen and builders questioned within a survey by Direct Line Home Insurance claimed that loft conversions are the most problematic type of home improvement. In addition, the average price of a 20m by 20m loft conversion within the SE may cost over £12,000; therefore, it isn’t something which ought to be entered into lightly. It’s why if you are considering adding an additional bedroom or developing your own home office, you must be alert to the processes.

Planning permission & building regulations

In England, loft conversions typically don’t require planning permission, according to Government’s Planning Portal. Though, there are different conditions and limits to this, and permission might be needed if you are altering or extending the area beyond those limitations.

A planning permission application for a loft conversion generally isn’t needed if these apply:

  • There isn’t any extension higher than the greatest portion of a roof
  • There aren’t any raised platforms, balconies, or verandas
  • Roof enlargements don’t overhang the initial outside face of the property’s wall
  • Materials utilized ought to be similar in appearance to the ones used upon the existing home

You’ll require building regulations approval in order to convert the loft into a livable area. Planning Portal guidance will apply to an existing home that has no more than two stories; therefore, if you are wanting to convert a different kind of dwelling, the regulations might be different – or even could extend to additional areas of your house.

Building regulations are made to ensure different things, which include a safe escape in the instance of a fire, a structure which is stable and the floor’s strength is sufficient. If you are considering converting your loft, it is an excellent idea to call Building Control to talk over whether you require approval.

A liveable space

Converting a loft space with the view of making it a space that habitable, instead of merely boarding it out to utilize as a storage area, will create an entirely new list of aspects to consider.

A liveable area will mean you intend to utilize the newly-converted loft as a regular part of your home, like a cinema room or spare bedroom. New internal components, like doors, walls, and floors, will have to be installed with enough consideration given to the converted space’s structural integrity – as covered within the building regulations.

One other must for making a loft space that is habitable includes a staircase, which is a must-have for a liveable space. Also, stairs are subject to building regulations; therefore, it’ll need to be decided well ahead of time to gain approval in a timely manner. You’ll have to work out the best location to position the staircase, which might mean sacrificing a part of the second floor and also could mean you’ll incur some extra expenses. If you are concerned with compromising the area on the second floor, consider options like ‘space-saving’ stairs that may be an excellent method of reducing the room and height necessary for its installation.

Safety is the main priority

If you have decided to convert your loft space in your home to a habitable space safety must be your main priority.

You must consider an escape path for those who might be inside the converted loft area during an emergency, as it is too dangerous for an individual to need to escape through windows upon floors that are above first-floor level.

The development of an escape route will mean it becomes apparent for all existing parts of a home to have extra fire protection. Requirement B1 of Building Regulations will cover fire safety in dwelling homes, which states inside a typical loft conversion of a regular two-story house you must offer brand new fire-resistant doors and sometimes even partitions to guard the stairway. Also, hard-wired smoke alarms ought to be installed on every floor of your house.

Protected species

Something you may not have considered is the existence of protected species. In particular, bats are well-known to have caused issues with loft conversion tasks; therefore, it might be necessary that you consider the existence of these types of creatures within the planning process for the new loft space. A house spider does not make the list.

Consider the light

Something you’ll have to consider if you choose to go ahead is what kind of windows you’d like to install inside your beautiful new loft room.

There’s so many choices available, from roof lights to skylights and dormer windows, or even VELUX balcony windows. Do you have windows that are installed vertically or side by side? Do you have 1, 2 or 3 roof windows? Which is the proper selection for you?

Window types

The glazing has to be heat reflective, in order to stop the room from becoming too warm in hot weather, as well as energy efficient to stop a room from becoming too cold in the winter. An opening sash will make cleaning and maintenance easier. If the windows are going to be installed out of reach, which ones? It is recommended that you choose remote-controlled windows. It is worth talking about window options within the building regulations stage as they might be needed as an escape plan.

If you decide that loft conversions Barnet is right for you, Foster & Co Group is available to help. Contact us today at 020 8441 3144.