What is a loft conversion
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 but some can take longer. Click here to see how we did it.
What you will need
1. Obtain 3 quotes from different builders/contractors to get an idea of how much the build will cost.
- When choosing a builder/contractor click here for a guide on how to find one.
- You could ask people you know who have gone through this themselves. You could ask for recommendations from neighbours, friends and family.
- When your contractor comes to see your property, they will advise if you have good access or if they may need to use neighbouring land. If this is the case, you need to get the relevant permissions from your neighbour.
- Work out who is going to arrange and pay for planning permissions, building control applications and arranging building control site visits. Details of how to go about these are in steps 8 and 11 and below.
- 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. These can be costly, but if you have a run of bad weather during the build, having a tin hat will help to prevent any delays.
- Choose a contractor but do not sign any contracts until you have completed steps 1 to 5 of this guide.
2. Inform your insurance company
You will need to inform your insurance company of your intention of carrying out renovations to your home in advance of the works commencing. Check your policy wording.
In our case, our insurance company wording states that we would only need to advise them of the works if they “exceed £50,000 or which necessitates you vacating the home or the home not being adequately furnished to be lived in normally”. With an experienced builder in residence, this was not an issue for us.
3. Find an Agent/Architect to give you a quote for Drawings/Structural Steel Calculations.
You need to get an Agent/Architect to provide you with Drawings and Structural Steel Calculations of your build for your local authority and your builder. These drawings/calculations will need to be submitted to your local authority to check whether you need planning permission. If you do not need planning permission because you have a permitted development, you will still need to submit these to the Building Control of your local authority so that the site can be inspected Building Control at various stages. In any event, you should have a complete set of drawings and structural steel calculations for your build.
Work out who is going to arrange planning permissions/building control if the contractor does not do it. See if they are already included in the Agent/Architects fee.
5. Arrange borrowing or have funds in place.
- If you have fully researched the steps above, you will now know whether you will need to borrow funds or whether you have enough to pay for the build.
- Either way, you need to have a contingency fund before you start in case something goes wrong.
- If you need to borrow to fund the build, it is wise to first check how good your credit score is. If it is low, you may be refused borrowing from a lender.
- If it is low you can:
- If you need to remortgage to fund your build, follow this guide on how to remortgage your property.
- If borrowing from a family member, always ensure that you can afford to pay them back.
6. Arrange for your Drawings/Structural Steel Calculations to be drawn up by your Agent/Architect.
7. Confirm the price with your Contractor and provide them with the drawings/structural steel calculations.
8. Apply for Planning Permission if you need it.
If you need planning Permission, click here for planning permission guidance.
9. Check whether you need a Party Wall Agreement with your neighbour.
If you are carrying out works on a party wall that you share with your neighbour, then yes you do. Click here for guidance on how to do this.
10. Whilst you are waiting for planning permission, you should clear out the area in which the works are carried out.
11. Once you get planning permission and you have a party wall agreement in place, you now need to apply for building Control.
12. Now you are ready to build!