Loft Conversions – Making it Happen

As children many of us saw the loft as kind of Aladdin’s cave full of our family’s treasured possessions from the yesteryears: From granddad and grandmas wedding photos to mum’s favourite shoes from her dating years! However, while it might seem like a valuable treasure chest, in reality it becomes a bit of a dumping ground over the years. Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually went into the loft, let alone use it in any functional way? That’s a lot of valuable space being wasted up there and a loft conversion is the way to make the most of it – With a little imagination even small areas can be converted to provide a good deal of extra space.

The Economic Option

Not only does a loft conversion add space – guest bedroom – office – sun room – kids play room – family room – extra bathroom – it will also enhance the price of your property. One of the UK’s largest money lenders confirms this. Their statistics revealing that around fifty percent of homeowners who cannot afford to move to a larger house find converting existing space the answer to their problems. This indicates that the costs involved with moving and buying a more expensive house are more than extending your existing home with a loft conversion or extension.

Planning Permission

All loft extensions are legally required to have a window. However, conversions that do not actually change the external form of the house and do not need full planning permission. However, all conversions need a basic building permit (Approved Documents) because the design must comply with fire and safety rules. If your home is a listed building or in a conservation area then full planning permission will probably be needed. Flats and maisonettes always need full planning permission and that can be hard to get because of the technical complexities of boundaries etc. You must check with your own local authority as each will have their own procedures and requirements depending where you live. If you are using a professional loft conversion company they would usually deal with all this for you and ensure the design meets regulations.

Limitations

If your loft space is less than 2.4 metres high it might not be viable for a conversion. Indeed, probably not even legal which could cause problems if you do want to sell. This is pretty much the lowest height and anything less will usually result in a non-practical and virtually useless space that would have been better off left with grandmas’ trunk and your first bike in it! Most houses can be extended up to around fifty metres square without any serious planning permissions required. Today, stair access is also a must – the days of fold down ladders are past.

DIY is one way to get a new loft conversion and if you’re handy and keep it simple that is an option. However, if you’re thinking something bigger and more complex contacting a professional company will get the job done faster as well as save you a lot of paperwork and stress!