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Loft Conversion Specialists offer Velux window supply and installation, internal renovation, metal and wooden staircase construction, and all other tasks associated with loft conversion. When it comes to adding value to your home, expanding the amount of floorspace with a loft conversion is one of the best ways to do this. however, converting a loftspace in line with building regulations is not a DIY task, you will need to take on board loft conversion advice from professionals who will do their research and assess the viability of a loft conversion.
To establish if your loft space is viable for conversion to another use, such as a playroom or office, the best way to establish this is to provide details of its layout to loft conversion professionals who can examine the height between the joists and the roof apex, plus the rights that you have in relation to renovating or extending your property. they can also provide loft conversion advice pertaining to issues of planning permission and other issues, though planning is rarely a problem with loft conversions if done using a professional contractor.
There are two main types of loft conversions to consider, Dormer and Velux conversions. Dormer style loft conversions usually require an extension of the roof to create a more conventionally shaped room in the loft space. Dormer loft conversions provide more space but require more work and are more expensive. Velux conversions are less expensive than dormer loft conversions, as they seldom require any external alterations and are usually quicker to complete.
The initial process involved in any loft conversion will be a visit from the tradesman or surveyor, checking the top of the attic joists and the underside of the apex of the roof, plus looking at similar properties in the surrounding areas, as if they have conversions, chances are you can have one too. The next stage is an architect visit, to produce a set of plans ready for you to submit to the council.
Once permission is granted, a structural engineer will normally visit to produce a set of structural drawings which added to the architectural plans and specifications, then submitted to the council for building warrants. All building projects require a building warrant including attic conversions and the responsibility for the acquisition of warrants rests with the owners of the property. The most time consuming part of any loft conversion is taking it from initial plans to building warrants, which can take anywhere from a few months to a year.
New legislation introduced in 2011 means that most loft conversions and extensions will not require permission from the local council. This legislation removed the need for around 80,000 households per year to seek planning permission, saving around £1,000 in costs. However, if you have limited headroom and require a dormer, planning permission will still be required. Where permission is required loft plans drawn up by an architect or other professional which need to be submitted as part of a building regulations application will cost between £400 and £1500 depending on the project.
However, bear in mind that although you may not require planning permission, you do need to comply with current building regulations. If you are converting a loft to add an extra bedroom(s) for example, you need to be aware of the following building regulation guidelines, otherwise you may spend a lot of money creating just an expensive storage space rather than extra living space.
The five main points you need to comply with to convert a loft to a living space are 1) Structural Stability of ceiling joists and load bearing walls 2) Fire Resistance 3) Access and Means of Escape via stairs and/or VELUX skylight 4) Weather Resistance and Energy Conservation and 5) Ventilation to provide clean air for the living environment and vent moist or stale air to avoid condensation and structural problems.
If a loft conversion doesn't meet the building regulation criteria above, then you can't market your property as having an extra bedroom and the conversion cost will not be reflected in the property price when you come to sell. Even worse, if the existing supporting joists and load bearing walls are not up to the job, this could be very costly to put right and your home will be essentially unsaleable until rectified.
When it comes to building extensions, a little bit of planning know-how goes a long way with average loft conversion costing from £20,000 upwards depending on the design and the type of house. A good loft conversion needs planning and building skills, which is why those considering a conversion should always think about hiring a specialist company.
You shouldn't any problems finding a specialist company in your local area, but do not rush out and hire the first firm that you see, you should shop around for quotes and try and find testimonials and examples of work before phoning or emailing for a quote. Once you have found four of five reputable companies in the local area, you can begin the process to gather quotes, bearing in mind that the lowest quote is not always the best, consider the company experience and how helpful they have been in terms of advice too.
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