When planning a loft conversion there are a few things you need to consider well in advance of starting. Appointing a specialist such as SkyLofts is usually a safe way of ensuring that you comply with all of the new building and fire regulations whilst doing so. SkyLofts have pulled together some things to consider when having your loft converted.

1.  Is your loft suitable to be converted into extra living space

Before getting excited over the thought of having a loft conversion there are some things you need to check. Firstly you need to know if converting your loft requires raising the height of your existing roof. Knowing this will save you a considerable amount of money, as well as the fact that some planning authorities will not permit it. For example, if the height between the existing floor joists/timbers in your loft and the underside of the roof ridge is approximately 2.2m then it is a good possibility that your loft can be converted without the need to raise the height of your existing roof. Check out this simple video that shows you an easy way to find out if your loft is convertible.

Loft conversion experts such as SkyLofts will carry out these checks for you. Another major consideration is whether your house was built before 1960. This is because older roof structures tend to require more structural work to convert them rather the newer type attic trussed roof structure used more commonly today.

2.  Call in the professionals

Most loft conversions require substantial structural work to be carried out. This type of work is not really suitable for the average DIY householder. Loft conversions generally need steel beams installed, existing floor and roof timbers upgraded and adequate fire/insulation materials to be used. Building regulations must be adhered too at all times. The staircase and internal doors generally need to be upgraded or replaced. The central heating boiler may need to be upgraded especially if the cold water tanks are in the loft. If the boiler is located in the loft this will need to be decommissioned whilst the conversion takes place for safety reasons.

3. Complying with building regulations

If you don’t comply with building regulations your house insurance will be void and should you later decide to sell your home then you may face a situation where you are unable to do so. It is wise to call in an expert to avoid problems later down the line. Although not all loft conversions require planning permission, they definitely have to comply with building regulations. As the work gets underway each stage will have to be inspected and at the end, certified by a fully qualified person. A certificate is then issued stating that the work was carried out in compliance with current regulations, which is also registered with your local authority. It is this department that solicitors liaise with, checking that any work carried out on a property has been correctly inspected and registered when buying or selling.

4.  Appointing an Architect 

An architect, engineer or surveyor will be required in order to determine the extra loads that having a loft conversion and creating extra living space will place on your home and of course to make sure that your property is still structurally sounded to sustain such a property improvement.  SkyLofts can provide a complete service so you don’t have to appoint different people to carry out different aspects of the work. Keeping it all under the responsibility of one company avoids communication issues and who is responsible for what and when.

5.  How much will a loft conversion cost

When planning a loft conversion you need to establish how much it is likely to cost.  SkyLofts are happy to come to you at no cost at all to discuss you loft requirement. We will then build a quote for the work, so you know how much you will need.

6.  Work out all of the costs before you start

SkyLofts will provide you with a written and itemised breakdown of what work is included. There have been many instances whereby we have taken over projects because a previous company has won a contract on price alone. Only for the customer to find that the price given did not include insulation, fire doors, a staircase etc. Ask questions to ensure you get it right.

8.  Know what to expect throughout the work

Any type of building work you have done is disruptive and for some people a little stressful no matter how good your builders are. There will be some noise and of course dust. One good tip is to try and establish how the work will be carried out and how long it will take. A fair proportion of work can be done from the outside, eliminating the need for your builders to enter your home from the start. A good loft conversion builder will try to carry out as much work with minimum disruption to you. Most of the time SkyLofts enter the property from the scaffolding we erect. Rather than through the house to carry out most of the necessary structural work that is required. Only when we have to cut into the ceiling to install the new staircase do we start entering the property to complete the project.

9.  Establish how long the work will take

To enable you to plan ahead try to establish how long the work will take once it has started.  Generally, it takes anything from six weeks onwards depending on the size and technical aspect of the project. It is always a good idea to let your neighbours know that you are having work done. So they can be prepared for the extra vehicles, skips, and deliveries that will be in the street. SkyLofts pride themselves on keeping both customer and their neighbours happy.

If you are considering a loft conversion please contact SkyLofts on 01252 500 872 or email info@skylofts.co.uk