What is a loft conversion

What is a loft conversion - Home Guide Expert
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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.  So, what is a loft conversion and how long does it take?

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 in association with our in-house Contractor PRHenryBuilder.

Follow our guide:

1. Obtain 3 quotes from different Contractors to get an idea of how much the build will cost.

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 Department of your local authority so that Building Control site visits can be arranged 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.

4. If your contractor/Agent or Architect’s service does not include planning permission arrangements/fees or the cost of a Building Control Application:

5. Arrange to borrow 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 to find a Party Wall Surveyor.

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.

Click here for guidance on Building Control.

12. Now you are ready to build!

Follow this guide on how to manage your build with Building Control site visits until completion.

We hope you found our what is a loft conversion guide helpful.

Find further how-to guides:

Improve your chances of securing a Mortgage
Improve Your Credit Score
Buy a Property for the First Time
Buy and Sell a Property at the same time
Buy a Council Property
Re-Mortgage a Property
Reduce your Mortgage Payments
How to Extend a Lease Agreement
Insurance you need for a Property
Become a Landlord
Improve your Property to Sell
Conveyancing Solicitor
Mortgage Finder