Loft conversions are a great way to add space and value to your home. They can be costly and complicated, but thorough planning and design will make the process of your loft conversion as smooth as possible. There are numerous different factors that may differ among loft conversions, therefore it is necessary to have a structural survey undertaken on your existing loft to determine what form of conversion will be suitable. If other conversions have been done on similar properties in your road, check and find out which conversions have been done.
Loft conversions can be done in many homes, however your current loft will need to have at least 2.2-2.4m of ceiling height to be able to undertake a conversion as some of this space will be lost to additional insulation or alterations to the roof height. If you don’t have the mandatory ceiling height, alterations can be made to the pre-existing roof or floor of the loft, but this will be expensive. Also consider the location of the staircase, as you will need a ideal location for a permanent staircase on the floor below the loft.
There are a few different forms of loft conversion. Rooflight and dormer window loft conversions are the most simple. 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 current roof. Dormer windows add headroom in situations where it could be limited. Additionally, there are the more expensive hip to gable and mansard style loft conversions, but these will drastically improve the size of the area.
Some loft conversions, particularly more straightforward types like rooflight or dormer conversions, will be covered by permitted development rights and accordingly not need planning permission, as long as you do not intend on altering the size of the structure of your current roof. Hip to gable and mansard conversions are more likely to require planning permission. If you are in a conservation area you will need planning permission, and this will typically specify the type of conversion that you can use, as it will need to be a design that matches 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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