Converting your attic into a usable space is an exciting prospect. Perhaps you’ve been longing for a new office or need an extra bedroom to make way for a little one, either way there are so many opportunities when expanding your home. However, a loft conversion is a big investment so you should always take the time to go over every aspect carefully to make your project goes smoothly. Here we discuss some of the important factors to consider when converting your loft.
Is the loft space usable?
Luckily, the majority of lofts can be converted, but, you and your contractor will still need to assess the space. The first step is to measure how much headroom is available, generally speaking you should have around 2 to 2.1 meters between the rafters and joists, reducing to around 1.9 to 2 meters once the flooring and insulation has been installed. The angle of the roof will also need to be measured as well as the footprint.
Doing you need planning permission?
Planning permission is not usually required if your loft conversion is within the specified limits and conditions. However, if your plans exceed these or you live in a listed property, then you should seek advice and consent for your build. Another thing to consider is if you live in a semi-detached house, or have any other type of shared walls; structural work will affect these party walls meaning they require permission from your neighbours.
A Party Structure Notice must be served at least two months before the proposed start date, to which your neighbours then have two weeks to respond in writing. However, you may still be liable for additional costs such as compensation or the cost of a surveyor. Always try to speak to your neighbours as soon as possible to avoid any shock and give yourself an opportunity to explain your plans to them fully.
What are you using the space for?
Deciding what you’re going to be using your loft space for will help you and your contractor come up with the best design. If you’re opting for an additional bedroom then make sure you’ve considered whether you want an ensuite added or not, or, if a walk in wardrobe is more up your street then space needs to be allocated for storage.
Who should you go with?
Always do your research when finding the right building company to complete the work, remember, a loft conversion is a big and expensive project so you should aim to find a professional and expert team. Make sure you have your plans ready, a tradesmen can then advise you if the work is doable and go over any potential problems.
Other important things to consider are:
- Finding out if they’ve done a similar conversion to yours.
- Their familiarity with planning permission and regulations.
- Making sure you can trust them and get at least three other quotes so you can compare costs and professionalism of each company.
- Be open to recommendations from friends, family and neighbours and ask about their experience.
If you’re living in North London, Essex or the surrounding areas then Abbey Lofts are the renovators you can trust. Our experienced and professional team can advise you on how to turn your plans into reality, as well as providing a 10 year guarantee on all of our work. For more information get in touch today.