Loft and Attic Conversions
Buying a new house in today’s economy isn’t possible for everyone. So what do you do when you need more space? Most houses in the UK have an attic or loft space. These spaces are often only used for storage and insulation. But, lofts are a great opportunity to create a new functional room for various purposes. Transform a dusty space into a new bedroom, home office or games room.
Loft and attic conversions can provide so many benefits. As well as adding more space, they also increase the value of a house. Plus, this type of renovation is far less disruptive than a full blown extension. It will be quicker and less noisy, so your neighbours will still like you at the end!
Types of conversion:
There many types of attic conversion. But the three you are likely to consider are dormer, roof light, and hip-to-gable. Which one you opt for will depend on the space available and what you want to use it for.
Dormer lofts add both extra head and floor space, with vertical walls and horizontal ceilings just like any other room. From the outside, it looks like a right angled triangle attached to the side of a pitched roof.
Roof light conversions require little actual construction, but more renovation of the internal space to make it liveable. With the addition of roof light windows to allow natural light in, you can create a light and beautiful room.
Some houses have hipped roofs, meaning every side of the roof is slanted. Hip-to-gable requires one of these sloping sides to become vertical, opening up the inside space to become whatever you’d like. This type of conversion only works for semi-detached or detached houses, since it requires a hip end.
Do I need planning permission?
Most roof and loft conversions will not need planning permission due to permitted development rights. You might need planning permission if the planned design exceeds limits or extends past the current roof space. You will definitely need to comply to building regulations. You can read more about building regulations here. If you are not the homeowner, you’ll need to obtain permission from your landlord.
We suggest you check with your local planning department to be sure.
There are a few important things to think about if you are considering a loft conversion:
- Head height should be at least 2.2m
- The steepness of the roof pitch may need to be changed to allow for more internal space
- Check the structural properties of the house to ensure the foundations, beams and lintels will be able to withstand the extra weight of a new room