Loft conversions: what you need to know

 

Loft conversions are a popular solution to add space to your home – and we receive many requests to build them across the North East.

As well as adding extra room for a growing family, a Nationwide report states that a loft conversion adds an average of 21% to the value of a property.

So, converting your loft can also be a sensible choice for your pocket.

With more people working from home, converting lofts into an office will undoubtedly become an option for homeowners that don’t have room to extend outwards.

We have already looked at basement conversion ideas and if your home doesn’t boast a basement a loft conversion could be a solution. But, remember, that it may not be suitable for the same purposes, such as gyms, because of the weight of equipment.

Here are our tips to help you if you are thinking about a loft conversion. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look the different ways to convert your attic, look at what conversion it’s suitable for as well as the types of windows to choose from.

 

Is loft conversion the only way?

Ground floor conversions and extensions are often a more cost-effective way of adding space. Do you have a garage that could be extended or converted or space to add a room? These options can often be easier. But if you haven’t the space to extend or use the garage, then a lot conversion could be the only way.

 

Check planning permission

Most loft conversions don’t need planning permission as they fall under ‘permitted development’ rights. But some conversions may exceed certain limits or conditions, so make sure you check before starting to plan as applying for permission takes time.

If you live in a Conservation Area, you may also require permission. We’ve looked at Conservation Areas in a previous blog. In the North East, places such as Gosforth in Newcastle or Saltwell in Gateshead fall into these areas.

 

What kind of conversion?

Depending on your budget and the size of your loft space, you can plan for a conversion to suit your needs. We can help you with a simple conversion or you may want to choose one that incorporates a dormer window. There’s quite a few designs to consider and too much to go into in this blog, so we’ll look at that in a future blog.

 

What’s it for?

Adding space in the attic is all well and good, but what will you use it for? As we mentioned above, the space created may not be suitable for all uses. Loft conversions are a great idea if you want to add an extra bedroom or a dressing room. They are also great for adding a shower room or home office. We’ll look more closely at the way you can use your conversion in our next blog.

Fire regulations

Our building work is always carried out to current regulations and standards. We need to consider, among other things, fire regulations when looking at constructing loft conversions. These include escape routes and adding additional fire protection in existing parts of the house. As well as fire regulations, page 12 of this document from Newcastle City Council provides a guide for adding rooms in your loft.

 

Space invader

Don’t forget that if you decide to convert your loft you will lose space. If your attic has been a place for storage, then it will have to be moved. You might also have to sacrifice space for stairs, whether that’s on your landing or in a small bedroom.

 

Budget

When it comes to construction, you must always budget for issues. Hopefully, there won’t be any problems but sometimes hidden problems come to light when work starts. Make sure you have a contingency budget of about 10% of the quoted cost.

 

Insurance

If you add an extra bedroom to your loft conversion, most insurance policies will insist that you inform them. Make sure you do that and budget that it may add to your premium.

 

If you would like to talk about loft conversions, then contact us today