3 Things To Check Before Starting A Loft Conversion

3 Things To Check Before Starting A Loft Conversion

Loft conversions are an absolutely fantastic way of making the most of the space within your property – transforming your loft from a dull, cluttered storage space of things you no longer want, need or use and into a fresh, new, modern addition to your home.

Whether it’s changing your home from a three bed into a four bedroom property, adding an additional living room or bathroom, or just creating an entirely new space you didn’t have room for before, the possibilities are virtually endless. However, careful and meticulous planning should be first on your agenda before you start grabbing tools and buying shower units – read through these top three and make sure they’re on your to-do list above ‘convert loft’.

Planning Permission

planning permissionThis is perhaps one of the most essential aspects of your pre-loft conversion checklist – ensuring you are complying with all local and national laws, rules and regulations. Failure to comply can result in local authorities asking you to reverse any changes made – something which can be incredibly costly.

It’s worth noting that not all loft conversion will necessary require you to apply for planning permission – in fact, in many cases you won’t need to apply. Changes made to the law in 2008, and again in 2011, relaxing the rules for those who had previously needed to submit an application – the reasoning behind this saving resources and money on the part of local authorities, as well as saving homeowners around £1,000 as well.

The restrictions are as follows:

  • Conversion mustn’t exceed the highest part of the roof
  • Dormer windows are not allowed to face a highway
  • Maximum volume of 40m3 for terraced houses and 50m3 for semi-detached
  • Conservation areas require planning permission
  • Materials must match as closely as possible to existing property
  • Rear dormer must be no less than 200mm from the eaves
  • There are further conditions and restrictions, so it’s worth checking out the government’s interactive Planning Portal site for specific information on your property/extension/conversion.

    Insulation

    roof insulation
    It’s vital that, before carrying out any work, you ensure that your roof and loft are correctly and sufficiently insulated – this process is a lot harder and more expensive to do once you’ve built, plastered and painted walls. The Energy Saving Trust say that loft insulation can save your home up to £180 a year, and it’ll also go a long way to making your new room a lot more comfortable and habitable, so it’s a worthy pre-construction addition that can help protect your new investment.

    Condition Of Roofing

    roof conditionJust as vital, if not more so, than including insulation as part of your loft conversion pre-planning checklist is ensuring that the condition of your home’s roofing is up to scratch; not only can it negate your newly installed insulation, but leaks, moisture build-up and issues with damp could all begin to plague your pristine and meticulously constructed and decorated conversion. There would be nothing worse than watching months of hard work deteriorate in a matter of weeks thanks to roofing that’s in a poor condition – not to mention the wealth of safety hazards that it could pose.

    You wouldn’t start decorating a room if there was a hole in the ceiling, so don’t do the same with your loft conversion – this is a case where what you don’t know could hurt you! It’s vital, therefore, that before you start planning or construction anything that you have you roof surveyed and have any issues ironed out. As with all industries like this, it’s best to look out for experienced roofers with recognised accreditations or industry memberships who hold TrustMark and SafeContractor accreditations for the roofing industry.

    Information resource: Woodstock Roofing

    Image resources:

  • www.econolofts.blogspot.co.uk
  • www.rjwconstruction.co.uk
  • www.sprayfoaminsulation.co.uk