How to plan a loft conversion

How to plan a loft conversion

You need more space? A loft conversion might be the best option. You have many reasons to convert your loft or expand it. It’s the most unused square footage in your home and is also the easiest and most disruptive space to convert. It’s also less expensive and more stressful than moving house. You don’t need to extend the house. All you have to do is strengthen your floor and insulate.

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A loft conversion is always preferred over a basement conversion. The work will take less time and cheaper than a basement conversion. It also won’t require any major structural changes like digging and underpinning foundations.

You’ll be rewarded with a spacious space filled with light and stunning views of the surrounding neighborhood once you are done. This could have also helped to improve the insulation in your home and reduced your heating costs.

Continue reading to learn everything you need about loft conversions.

How to plan a loft conversion

Adrienne Minster CEO of Rated People, says that loft conversions are becoming more popular as homeowners seek to increase their property’s space. “We have seen loft conversions demand rise by nearly a quarter (24%) since the beginning of 2020.

Converting your loft will give you more space and increase the value of your home should you decide to sell. While there are many conversion benefits, it is important to take the time to think about all aspects before you start work. You will first need to verify that your loft space can be converted. It all depends on your loft’s internal height and type and the amount of space available downstairs for an additional staircase.

My attic space is suitable for a loft conversion.

To ensure that your loft conversion is compliant, there are some head height requirements. You need to measure 2.2m from the loft’s top floor joist to the bottom of your ridge beam. If you measure 210cm between the floor and the roof’s highest point, you can convert a loft. This should make the loft space sufficient to create a comfortable living area or bedroom in the attic. If headroom is less important, you could also consider putting a bathroom or loo under the sloping roof.

These are the most difficult buildings to convert in pre-war times. However, there are always structural considerations and lofts will need additional support from steel beams to reinforce the floor and roof.

You will need to prepare architectural plans before you begin any construction work. These plans must meet the requirements for either planning permission or permitted development. Party wall agreements are required if your home is connected to another. Your loft conversion must pass all building control inspections to be considered compliant.

Lofts, unlike extensions, are relatively self-contained during the initial stages of construction. They can be accessed from outside, so you can continue to live in your home while work is done.

What is allowed development?

Loft conversions are considered ‘permitted development’. This means that you don’t have to get planning permission for them. This is a good thing, since the planning process can be complicated and long. Some special guidelines and rules govern listed buildings and conservation areas. You will need Listed Building Consent if your house is listed. If you live in a conservation zone, permission will be required for any extensions or dormers.

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No matter your situation, you will need Building Regulations approval.

This should be your goal.

  • A detached or semi-detached home should not have more than 50m2 of extra space. This figure drops to 40 cubic meters for terraced homes. These figures do not include loft additions.
  • The building’s front is not being altered or the roof height raised. Although the back can be altered physically and cosmetically, it is best to check with your local council.
  • As stated above, the head height should be at least 2.1m in the main portion of the conversion.
  • Any balcony or terrace must be granted planning permission.

Conversions of lofts – Know your building regulations

Access to your loft space

A permanent staircase is required for loft conversions in glasgow. It does not have to be as long as the stairs on the lower flights. A spiral staircase is an appealing solution for spaces that are limited.

Consider the space that you will lose below the stairs to make the conversion worthwhile. Also, consider the height of your head.

Insulating a loft conversion

Part L of the building regulations requires good insulation. This is because loft spaces can become extremely hot and cold in summer and be subject to extreme temperatures in winter.

Specialists use Celotex insulation boards for walls and ceilings. However, a fibre blanket like Gyprock Rockwool is used between floor joists. To meet building regulations for fire, thermal and sound insulation, the insulation should be between 150-250mm thick. It is recommended to soundproof your home.

Fire regulations

In your earliest plans, you should include fire regulations. Your builder should be able to provide this information.

A smoke detector must be installed in every hallway. A sprinkler system is required for any building that has a floor higher than 7.5m above the ground.

Fire doors must be installed around the staircase in a two-storey house to protect the attic and ground floor exits. Companies such as Envirograf can upgrade your original doors.

You should have an emergency exit from the roof if there are multiple rooms in your conversion. A fire escape window that is large enough for one person to climb through each space is the best and most appealing option.

Adrienne Minster, Rated People’s Adrienne Minster, advises that although loft conversions don’t usually require permission, permission is required for any exterior work beyond the limits. It’s a smart idea to verify that the tradesperson you hire to work on your loft conversion is registered with an official body like The Chartered Institute of Building or Federation of Master Builders. Make sure they have insurance.

They will be happy to answer any questions that you might have. However, you can also visit the Planning Portal (the government’s online portal for planning) to get up-to-date information about regulations like fire-resistant doors and structural floors and beams.