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About loft conversions

Growing family, need more space, how about transforming that empty attic space, into a functional habitable room, loft conversions are a great way to gain extra living space, without altering the external appearance of your home. Typical uses include a bedroom, bathroom, office or entertaining room. The first stage of any loft conversion is a close inspection of the loft space to find out its exact dimensions and whether a conversion is feasible. Measure the distance from the floor to the ridge height (the highest point) you will require a minimum measurement of 2.3 metres for headroom. Then measure the distance from the stairs to the ceiling above the stairs, a minimum of 2 metres headroom is required here. If these measurements are okay, your attic is most likely feasibly for a loft conversion. Planning permission is not normally required, however, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space, and it exceeds specified limits and conditions.

A loft conversion for your house is considered permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions.


 

Velux window conversion

Roof windows are often an attractive option for homeowners, due to their ability to fit the line of the roof: thus not necessitating any restructuring of the roof itself. The installation of such windows will provide the loft space with substantial light.This type on conversion is used in a conservation area, for a listed building or a building that has building restrictions.

advantages
Affordable
Rarely requires planning permission

disadvantages
Head room might be an issue

 

Dormer conversion

A window-featured extension of the roof, A rear dormer creates a square end and has a flat roof usually installed to provide more space and headroom within the loft, in addition to improved staircase access. A dormer conversion is possible on most semi-detached and terrace houses, usually available without gaining planning permission.

advantages
Aesthetically better than a loft window
Adds more usable space & head room

disadvantages
Awkward to move around, lack of space

 

Hip to Gable conversion

A hip to gable conversion extends your existing hip ended roof, gives more headroom and greater loft space. The gable wall is built up to the ridge line and a new roof section is built.

advantages
Adds maximum amount of space
Can make stair access easy

disadvantages
Can be expensive
Planning permission will be required

 

Manstard conversion

A manstard roof has two slopes, this enables you to achieve maximum loft space. This style of roof is named after 17th century French architect Francois Mansart who used this design of roof on many of his buildings. The conversion goes up to the apex of the roof space, Windows, French doors and Velux windows can be inserted into the Mansard

advantages
Adds a lot of space
Aesthetically preferred

disadvantages
Can be expensive
Planning permission will be required

Party Walls

The Party Wall Act, 1996, places certain obligations on you if you are going to carry out work which involves the party wall (that is a separating wall) if you live in a semi detached or terrace property.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations approval is required to convert a loft or attic into a liveable space. The regulations will be applied to ensure, for example:

  • The structural strength of the new floor is sufficient
  • The stability of the structure (including the existing roof) is not endangered
  • Safe escape from fire
  • Safely designed stairs to the new floor
  • Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below
  • Ventilation of rooms and control of condensation in roofs,
  • Thermal Insulation of conversionWeathering