Loft conversion makes for a great project to take on when you need some extra space in your home. It is a stylish way of transforming a room in your home that otherwise lacks purpose into a spare bedroom, a home office or anything you like. Loft conversions aren’t difficult to execute and add a lot of value to the property. If you end up selling your home, you will have more cash in the attic.
But make no mistake – loft conversions are grand projects, which require attention to detail and a certain level of knowledge on what to do.
Some of the Dos and Don’ts you Will do Well to Take into Account when Undertaking such a Change to the Property
DO ensure the loft is suitable for conversion
The loft needs to have enough room to be considered conversion-worthy. A space that is not suitable is just not going to cut it. The type of roof is the most important indicator. It needs to provide enough head height. Experts agree that you require at least 2.2m of height between the ridge and the floor joist. At least 50% of the room should be of this height to allow for a comfortable living room or a bedroom.
DO have an idea of what you will use the space for
Consider what you want to use the loft for. Perhaps you wish for a nice bedroom, or maybe a home office. Or maybe you want to turn the loft into a gym. In any case, there are certain requirements you have to consider if the room is to fulfil its purpose. Placing an ensuite on the outside of the room is very important because it determines things like plumbing and running pipes.
DO see if you need planning permission
Most loft conversions are under the category of ‘permitted development’, which means there is no need to get planning permission. However, there are also exceptions to this. For instance, if your house is a listed one, or it is within a conservation area, you will need a Listed Building Consent. If you live in a flat, maisonette or a conservation area, you will always need planning permission for the loft conversion project. Aside from that, you also need a building regulations approval, as well as a party wall agreement, regardless of the need for planning permission.
DON’T go with the first quiet from a building company
It is always a good idea to do a little research before you accept a quote from a building company. Don’t accept the first offer you get, because a better one can be a phone call away. Make sure the building company is registered with any official body and that they are fully insured.
DON’T forget to have a contingency budget
No matter how much you think the loft conversion is going to cost, it is a good idea to have some contingency funds at the ready. As a general rule, keeping 10% of the budget as contingency funds will give you the ability to pay for any unexpected costs.
DO check building regulations
Before any loft conversion can begin, you should check the required building regulations. This means installing a permanent staircase, or a ladder/spiral staircase if you lack the space. All building works need to comply with fire regulations, which means there must be a fire escape window and smoke detectors.
When you keep in mind all of these considerations, you can better see a full loft conversion project through.