What is a loft conversion

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Image of a Loft Conversion
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A loft conversion can benefit a property by giving you more space for a growing family and it also adds value to your home.

The prospect of major building works carried out in your home can be quite daunting and also trying to find the right contractor to carry out the job.

A typical loft extension can take up to 6-7 weeks to complete.  Click here to see how we did it.

What is the process?

1. Get an idea of how much you want to spend by asking three different contractors for a rough quote over the phone.

  • You could ask people you know who have gone through this and ask for recommendations.  When choosing a contractor make sure you follow this guide.
  • Give the contractor details of your home (i.e. 2 bed, 3 bed, terraced/semi detached etc).  You do not have to give the contractor your home address.
  • Depending on the time of year your contractor may suggest erecting a tin hat to protect your home from bad weather whilst the works are in progress.

2. Arrange borrowing or have funds in place.

  • Whenever you are considering any form of borrowing, it is always good to know how good your credit rating is.
  • If you need to remortgage follow this guide.
  • You may be considering a loan from your current lender.  You will need to get your finances in order to ensure you can afford the monthly cost.
  • If borrowing from a family member, always ensure that you can afford to pay them back.

3. Clear out the area in which the works are to be carried out.

  • Ensure you have checked that your builders have access or if they need to use neighbouring land, you have sought the relevant permission from your neighbour.
  • All passageways are kept clear for the duration of the works.

4. Do I need planning permission?

Yes.  A loft conversion is considered permitted development which means that you are required to apply for planning permission.  For further guidance click here.

5. Find a contractor.

A contractor with good contacts should be able to guide you with drawings and the relevant permissions.  You also have the option of finding an architect or building surveyor yourself and they may be able to recommend a contractor to you.

What to expect from your contractor.

  • You will have a free consultation where measurements will be taken.
  • The next meeting should involve you being presented with a scaled design.  It will confirm the position of the stairs from the landing to loft space and size and shape of the room.  You will also be given a quote and a detailed step by step guide as to how the works will be carried out (including timescales and the payment structure).
  • If you have selected a good contractor, they should be able to handle architectural plans and design, planning permission applications (if required) and adhere to building regulations.  They should also have a project manager on hand to deal with any questions or problems that arise and that person should keep you up to date throughout the process.
  • Once your contractor has building control approval, the works can commence at a date and time that suits you.