The Decision

When Mike and Helen Ward found they were expecting a baby they felt they wanted more space, to have room for the new arrival, and still have an extra room for visitors to stay. They considered moving to a larger house but decided to have a loft conversion, and an extension to the kitchen instead for several reasons. As Helen was going to give up work to care for the baby they wanted to avoid the extra hidden costs of moving. In addition, they liked the area they were living in, and their house had a good sized garden which they wanted to keep. Therefore they decided to have a loft conversion which increased the size of their house from a standard 3 bedroom to a 5 bedroom with en suite. They had a dormer loft conversion done 3 years ago, and the kitchen extension a year later.

The Design

The loft conversion is dormer style, consisting of 2 new bedrooms, one with en suite. At the back of the fitted wardrobes there is an access door to the retained loft storage space. Some people need to lose a room to allow for the stairs when they have a loft conversion, but Mike and Helen were pleased that they only had to lose part of one of the existing bedrooms, and the remainder of that room is used to make a play room for the little one. They had a velux window fitted at the top of the stairs, which Helen would firmly recommend as it sheds a good deal of light and gives an airy feel to the staircase and new upper floor. A new boiler was also fitted. This was to ensure that it would cope with heating the extra rooms, and to give more loft space.

Planning & Building Controls

Mike and Helen did not need planning permission for their loft conversion but plans had to be submitted to pass the building regulations. These were approved with the addition of an extractor fan and an extra lintel on the first floor.

The Building Work

Mike and Helen got quotes from several builders. The one they chose was not the cheapest, or the most expensive, but seemed the most knowledgeable. They did not ask to see previous work, although Helen would recommend anyone should do this. Having said that , Mike and Helen did not have any problems with their builders. They came on site every day and kept Mike and Helen informed about the progress of the job. The work took 12 weeks which was a little longer than it might have been, but the plumber left the building firm during the works and this held the job up. During the 12 weeks the work was going on Helen gave birth. She says that coping with a new baby whilst work was being done to the house was not as difficult as you might expect. The building work did not create too much mess, but there was a lot of dust.

The Finished Result

The total cost of the Loft Conversion including built in wardrobes, velux windows and a new boiler was £22000. Mike and Helen are really pleased with their new loft conversion, giving them a 5 bedroom house in the area they want. They are particularly pleased to have the extra space, but to still have half of the original loft space available for storage.

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