The Dos and Don'ts of Planning A Loft Conversion

17th December 2021

Loft conversions are an innovative and elegant solution to realise the full potential of your home by maximising underused space. Compared to basement conversions, the average attic occupies the most room in your home and is easier to convert into a practical space solution. While loft conversions in London might help you make the most of your space, getting started with a large-scale renovation project can be difficult. When planning a contemporary loft conversion, here are some crucial dos and don’ts to keep in mind.


DO ensure you have enough space for your loft conversion

Make sure you have sufficient place to convert before you begin designing; we recommend checking the type of roof for this first. Are there roof trusses or rafters (supports that go through the cross-section of your roof)? The most crucial criterion to follow is to ensure that the loft area has sufficient head height. When evaluating space, ensure the distance between the ridge height and the floor joist should be 2.2m. This height requirement should be met by at least half of the loft area in order to convert the attic into a living room or bedroom.


DO decide on what your loft space will be used for

Your taste will determine the style and arrangement of your loft conversion. Think carefully about how much space you’ll need for bedding, storage space, and an ensuite if you’re turning the loft into a bedroom.


DO find out if you’ll need planning permission

Most loft conversions are considered ‘permitted development,’ which means they don’t require planning approval, but there are cases in which you may be required to do so. Listed buildings, such as those in conservation areas, would require Listed Building Consent as I If you reside in a flat, maisonette, or conservation area, you will need planning clearance.


Depending on the sort of conversion, you’ll still require Building Regulations clearance from the property administration and a Party Wall Agreement agreed upon with your neighbours.


DO check for building approvals and regulations

At the start of a loft conversion project, you must first ensure that it complies with all applicable building codes.
Installing a permanent staircase is one of them, especially if you’re transforming the space into a bedroom, bathroom, or office. If you don’t have enough room, a mounted ladder or spiral staircase may be an option. You’ll also need appropriate insulation to keep the room warm during the winter months and cool during the summer to help save on energy costs as well.


Another essential planning requirement is that building materials must meet fire codes by including fire escape windows or exits, as well as smoke detectors in residence, so be sure to account for them in your planning.


DON’T forget a backup budget

Loft conversions in London now start at roughly £45,000, although it’s always good to have some extra cash on hand. This applies to design-build projects; therefore, it contains architectural drawings as well as the actual building.

Additionally, always be sure to include a 10% contingency in your budget for any unexpected costs, and don’t forget to include fixtures and fittings for the space such as toilets in the bathroom and any furnishings you want in your new loft.


DO evaluate your lighting options beforehand

For attic space, always evaluate the optimal position for your roof windows, regardless of whether you choose a skylight or double windows. Natural light is ideal for brightening and airing out a loft room. It also establishes the tone and ambiance of the room, so think about what style suits your general decor, house facade and lifestyle. For example, Juliet balconies work well in smaller loft conversions because they provide the impression that the area extends beyond the room’s footprint.


Ready to transform your home via extending at the back or adding spacious loft? Capital Loft Conversions Ltd are the industry experts, specialising in designing and installation of custom and high quality loft conversions and house extensions across London and the M25. If you would like to discuss any of the information in this blog further, we’d be happy to chat with you.


Please Contact us today to arrange a free, no obligation site survey.

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