Loft conversion – factors to consider

There’s a lot to take into account when setting the wheels in motion for a high-quality loft conversion.
You’ll need to consider carefully:

  • Purpose
  • Budget
  • Size and design
  • Planning permission
  • Timeframe
  • Chosen contractor

The process begins by considering what types of loft conversions are suitable for your property. Whatever the shape, size and type of home you live in make sure your architect/engineer you select has the relevant experience in this area and has meticulous attention to detail.

For a good design you’ll need to think carefully about how you intend to use the converted space upon completion of the project. Which includes the features, conveniences and finishing touches you’d like to add to the conversion. Of course, your chosen budget will also play a role in determining the type of conversion you can afford.

Builder for the job

When embarking on a project of this size and cost it is important that you engage with a builder partner that you can work with, trust and work out differences. Because there will be times that conflicts will emerge and you don’t want to be reverting to legal action to resolve these differences. Finding a builder means choosing a local specialist with not only a flawless reputation, but extensive experience in loft or attic conversions. They should have public liability insurance and be a member of home bond or similar accredited structural defects insurance provider. Research before engaging a builder should unearth whether the builder capable of getting the job done to agreed schedule, having access to the different trades to complete the project, competent in ensuring health and safety of his team and visitors on site and being confident that  his work will be signed off by engineer on completion. The best place to gather this information is to ask friends and family or their connections who have had the experience of embarking on similar projects.

Loft Conversion Architect and/or Engineer

A experienced loft conversion architect/engineer takes the worry and hassle out of loft conversions and home improvements, by providing you with the most detailed set of drawings, material requirements and proposals for contractors. Detailing costs,  how long it will take to complete the project and all final finishing touches, it is important to have finalised these before embarking on the project. 

Most reasonable size projects require bank loans and the bank will insist on the project to be signed off by a registered engineer and should be a requirement whether you are borrowing or not. The engineer will ensure that the building works have complied with planning regulations safeguarding your investment and ensuring that your property is saleable into the future.

Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?

When going about any major home improvements or extension works, it’s a good idea to first find out if planning permission is required. In the case of a loft conversion, most of the time you will not need to obtain any specific planning permission to go ahead with the project. Factors that might indicate that you need planning permission are based on the type of property you live in, its age, location, history and the type of loft conversion you intend to choose. Structural changes that exceed the height of your existing building or adjacent buildings would typically require planning and also window that look onto neighbours property infringing their privacy also trigger a need for permission. As you sometimes do need planning permission for a loft conversion, you can either get in touch with your local planning office in your urban or county council yourself or get your architect to enquire on your behalf. it’s best to find out for sure before going ahead.

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