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Conversions

Conversions

A list of Design ideas for a bungalow conversion

The bungalows are no longer reserve for the homeowners. There is a huge potential to transform them into something exciting. There is not just the potential for renovation but also great design opportunities. 

 Here is a list of design ideas to modernise your bungalow –  

Renovate the exterior of the bungalow 

When it comes to any property first impressions mean a lot, so don’t forget about the exterior. You can achieve a more modern look by simply adding a fresh coat of paint to the bungalow. Another way of making the exterior of your property stand out is by having a nice garden. Landscaping and adding garden furniture can make the home feel welcoming and create a good environment to be around.  

Adding a loft conversion  

You can also consider the loft conversion for your bungalow. However, you need to make sure that the head height is at least 2.3m. Furthermore, you may not need planning permission application as it comes under permitted development rights. A loft conversion is a great way to create some useable space. One of our favourite types is a dormer which is the cheapest and easy option. 

Adding an extension  

You can also consider adding a bungalow extension. However, the process is trickier to achieve from design and structure point of view. Although, bi-fold doors are the perfect way to create that indoor/ outdoor living and bring extra light in to your home. Also, if you like the modern style they add an amazing aesthetic to the house.

Focus on the social areas of the house  

The kitchen is worth investing in because it is one of the most important rooms in a home. You should keep it open and bright making sure all the natural light comes floods in. It is also important to pick a style of kitchen and work with that so everything matches.  

Loft Conversion

What beginners need to know about Velux loft conversions

Velux Loft Conversion 

The name Velux is after a famous brand of loft windows. It also implies that this loft conversion done by installing Velux windows. 

For converting a loft, the head height of the loft must be sufficient enough. So, a person can stand under the roof without banging its head. Furthermore, if your loft has a hipped roof, then a hip-to-gable loft conversion is the best choice. The reason is that this conversion helps in increasing the space in the loft. 

If Velux loft conversion is what you are looking for, then you should call our team of structural engineers to arrange a site visit. Our qualified engineers will assess the space in the lift and other things to provide you with an accurate quote for the work required. 

Planning Permission 

In most of the cases, you do not need to apply for planning permission. Other loft conversions required significant changes to the roof but, Velux loft conversion does not need these alterations. You can do the construction under permitted development unless your house is in a heritage or conservation site. 

Cost of a Velux loft conversion –   

The average cost for a Velux loft conversion is around £27,500. However, there are various things that will affect the cost such as: 

  • Size of windows  
  • Number of windows required  
  • Type of windows  
  • Head height and space of your loft  
  • Where you live  
  • Style and quality of finishings   

When we compare this conversion with other loft conversions such as mansard loft conversion; It is the most cost-effective. You also need to keep in mind that you are not wasting your money. Instead, it is an investment in the property. Just like any other extension or conversion, it adds value to your property. If you have plans to sell the property in the future, you will get higher offers thanks to the extra space you have in the house. 

How much value does a Velux loft conversion add? 

As a guide a well built and perfectly appointed loft conversion can add between 10–20% to the value of your home, according to Ideal Home. But where do you start? It can be an overwhelming process, especially for those of us who’ve not been through major building works previously.  

Conversions

All there is to know about class Q barn conversions

What is a barn conversion?  

A barn conversion is the adaptation of a farm barn into serving a different use, such as a house or commercial premises.  

What is a class Q conversion?  

Class Q allows the conversion of agricultural buildings to houses subject to certain conditions and limitations. It was first introduced in 2014, as a form of permitted development designed to ease the pressure on housing in rural areas.  

What you’re allowed to do with class Q permitted development rights –  

Class q regulations can be applied to buildings which have been used for agriculture. It doesn’t apply to buildings in AONB, conservation areas or listed buildings.  

The regulations show:  

  • You cannot extend the building beyond its existing dimensions.  
  • The garden area cannot be bigger than the footprint of the building.  
  •   You can create up to three dwellings when converting existing buildings.  
  • As long as it is necessary you can undertake partial demolition.  
  • You can install or replace almost everything if it is necessary for the building to become a home. For example: windows, doors, roof, exterior walls, gas, electric, drainage etc.  

Development is not permitted by class Q if – 

  • The floor space of the building changing use within an agricultural unit exceeds 450 square metres.  
  •  The site is occupied under an agricultural tenancy, unless the consent of both landlords and the tenant has been obtained.  
  • The number of separate dwellings exceeds 3.  
  • If the site is, or part of a safety hazard area, a site of special scientific interest, or a military explosives storage area.  

The new dwellings can be created from one or more agricultural buildings on the plot, so long as the total footprint isn’t exceeded. The new houses can be divided as follows: 

  • Smaller dwelling houses – 5 units; no more than 100m2 each. 
  • Larger dwelling houses – 3 units; no more than 465m2 each. 
  • Up to 5 homes comprising of a mix of larger and smaller homes, with neither exceeding the maximum floorspace for each type. 

How long does class Q planning last?  

Planning permission for development under class Q must be completed within a 3-year period starting with the approval date.  

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Loft Conversion

Will you need planning permission for your loft conversion in Ashford?

If you are looking to add more space to your Ashford home then a loft conversion can be a great option. However, if you are unsure if you will need planning permission then read on for further information.  

Here are a few things you should know and research before installing a loft conversion:  

  • Structural integrity  
  • Head height  
  • Building regulations  
  • Windows and natural light   
  • Fire safety   
  • Insulation  
  • Stairs  
  • Storage space   
  • If you will need planning 

Will you need planning permission in Ashford? 

Most loft conversions are considered permitted development, which means you won’t need to get planning permission as long as the building work fits a certain criterion. So, if you go for a simple conversion, you wouldn’t need to worry. Although, you will need to get planning permission if your plans exceed certain limits and conditions. For example, extending or altering the roof space beyond its current boundaries.  

However, if you live in the following you will have to apply for planning permission  

  • Flats  
  • Maisonettes  
  • Converted houses  
  • Houses created through the permitted development right to change use 
  • Non-dwelling buildings 
  • Homes in areas where there may be restrictions that limits the permitted development rights.  

You shouldn’t need planning in Ashford if you follow these conditions:  

  • Firstly, the extension doesn’t go higher than the highest part of the roof  
  • The materials are similar in appearance to the existing house 
  • The extension doesn’t reach beyond the outermost part of the existing roof slope at the front of the house 
  • Your house is not on designated land. Such as, national parks, conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty and world heritage sites.  
  • The roof enlargement doesn’t overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.  
  • Side facing window openings are 1.7m or more above the floor  
  • Finally, your head height is above 2.2m  

If you are still unsure if you need planning permission then you can contact us here. Feel free to ask any questions and get helpful and informative advice.  

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Garage Conversion

Questions Regularly Asked About Garage Conversions

Does converting your garage add value? 

Yes. Converting your garage will add value to your home. Especially, when there’s on road parking. Having your car in a garage decreases the chance of your car being stolen or damaged. Converting a garage can add value to your home by 15-20%. 

Do I need to follow building regulations converting a garage? 

When wanting to turn somewhere into a habitable space then yes, you will need to follow building regulations. This will include fire safety, drainage, ventilation, electrics, insulation, and the overall structure. If building regulations are not followed you can be fined or made to re-do the work. 

What is building control? 

Building control is a service provided by building inspectors. The building inspectors’ job is to make sure that all conversions, alterations, or constructions have been done under building regulations. For example, Building regulations such as fire safety, ventilation, structure, drainage, and others must be followed. 

Do I need planning permission to convert a garage? 

You don’t usually need planning permission when converting a garage as long as the work is internal and does not make the garages larger. But before anything always check your permitted development rights. 

Do I need planning permission to extend my garage? 

As long you won’t require planning permission as long as the garages will not be more than 4 metres high, and doesn’t cover more than half of the land covered by the main dwelling. 

What is planning permission? 

Planning permission is permission from your local council to carry out building works of your choice. Your local authority will decide based on area, neighbours and if it will affect anyone. 

Different types of garages you can have 

There are three types of garages you can have which is attached, integrated and detached. 

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Loft Conversion

What is The Best Loft Conversion For You

Here is a guide to loft conversions to help pick the best one for you and your home. When choosing a project you must take into account the styles, budget, your existing roof structure and any planning restrictions you may face.  

Types of Loft Conversions  

There are four main types of conversions which are: 

  • Dormer 
  • Roof light 
  • Hip-to-gable  
  • Mansard  

Dormer Conversion  

Dormer conversions are one of the best and more popular loft conversion, they provide lots of extra space. A Dormer is an extension that is built on the slop of your roof. There are different types of Domer conversions you should know about such as: 

  • Single dormer 
  • Double dormer 
  • Flat-roofed dormer 
  • Gabled dormer  

Pros and cons of getting a Dormer 

Pros  

  • Suitable for most homes  
  • Less expensive than other conversions  
  • Adds a good amount of extra space 
  • Planning permission isn’t needed in most cases 
  • An option for most that houses that have sloping roofs 

Cons  

  • Not a quick process  
  • More structural changes than most conversions  

Roof Light Loft Conversion 

A roof light conversion is simply your existing loft is retained but rooflights are added. However, after that all you need to do is lay down flooring and add some stairs. Don’t forget about plumbing along with insulation. This is perfect for smaller spaces. 

Pros and cons of a Roof light conversion 

Pros 

  • The cheapest loft conversion  
  • Suitable if you live in a conservation area 
  • Not a lot of structural changes  
  • Least disruptive to the home 

Cons  

  • Less space provided than other conversions 

Hip-To-Gable Loft Conversion 

Hip-to-gable conversions work by extending the sloping roof at the side or your house outwards to create a vertical wall, creating more space. 

Pros and cons of a Hip-to-gable conversion 

Pros 

  • Natural looking  
  • Less expensive than extending outwards 

Cons  

  • More expensive than a dormer  
  • Can only be done on semi-detached or detached houses 
  • Only suits house’s with a sloping side roof 

Mansard Loft Conversion 

A Mansard conversion involves replacing the sloping roof structure with a wall that is almost vertical. The final roof is flat. This project can add a whole additional storey for say. 

Pros and cons of a Mansard conversion 

Pros  

  • A large amount of additional space 
  • Suitable for different types of properties 

Cons  

  • Expensive  
  • Does not look natural  
  • Complex project meaning it could take longer  

Planning Permission & Permitted Development 

Usually when wanting to convert your loft you will not need to do a full planning application as this will come under permitted development rights. In some cases, you will need to apply for planning permission. If you: 

  • Live in a flat or maisonette 
  • Exceed permitted development  
  • Live in a conservation area  

You will need to apply for permission. For your project to be considered as permitted development it must follow these set rules. Here are a few: 

  • Not to build higher than the highest part of the roof. 
  • Not have any dormers or extensions on the roof plane of the principal elevation facing the road. 
  • Be constructed with materials similar in appearance to the existing house. 

There are more rules you will have to follow under permitted development. 

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Loft Conversion

The best 2022 guide to a Velux loft conversion

If you’re looking to gain extra space in your home, and want to add value to the property, then a loft conversion can be a great solution.  

What is a Velux loft conversion? 

A Velux loft conversion is when the shape of the existing roof is retained and Velux windows are installed into the rafters. The rafters will have to be cut depending on the size of the new windows, the inside of the roof space is fitted out to a carefully thought-out design. The name Velux is after a famous brand of loft windows.   

Will you need planning permission?  

Most loft conversions are considered permitted development, which means you won’t need to get planning permission as long as the building work fits certain criteria. So, if you’re looking to get a simple conversion with roof windows, you generally don’t need to worry. However, it is best to check just to be safe.  

How long does a this loft conversion take to complete? 

Velux loft conversions are usually completed in between 4 and 6 weeks since they are one of the simplest conversion types. 

Cost of a Velux loft conversion –  

The average cost for a Velux loft conversion is around £27,500. However, there are various things that will affect the cost such as: 

  • Size of windows 
  • Number of windows required 
  • Type of windows 
  • Head height and space of your loft 
  • Where you live 
  • Style and quality of finishings  

Velux windows –  

A Velux window is easier to install than a dormer window, and still provides a good amount of light to the space. The windows are paired with a number of modern features, such as: 

  • Electric operation  
  • Solar operation 
  • Top hung hinges  
  • Hundreds of blinds and shutter options  
  • Extra-large balcony windows 

How they can transform your home? 

Compared to other loft conversions, Velux requires less construction and hence low cost. The main addition in the loft will be the Velux windows to transform the space. Many of our clients have used this extra space for: 

  • Bedroom 
  • Home Office 
  • Living Room 
  • Bathroom 
  • Entertainment Room 

You see, there are lots of possibilities to transform this unliveable place into something useful for the whole family. Furthermore, the windows in the loft will allow for more natural light and ventilation. If you are living in a warm area, then you can use glass that prevents sunlight from entering. 

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Loft Conversion

Adding a dormer to an existing loft conversion

There are two reasons why people may want to do this: 

  • People buy a house with an existing roofline conversion and decide they want to upgrade the loft accommodation. They might do this to make the space larger, brighter and, perhaps change the interior usage.  
  • Secondly, the loft conversion is planned in two stages to spread the cost. Or because the demand for accommodation at that time is satisfied with a simpler roofline conversion. 

What is a dormer loft conversion? 

A dormer is a box-like structure with vertical walls which come out from the roof slope. They can vary in size and style. In addition, dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in a loft and to create window openings in the roof.  

Do you need planning permission to add dormers to an existing loft conversion? 

The same planning deliberations will apply to the upgrade just like if you were to start from scratch. If your loft conversion was built under permitted development, you shouldn’t assume that the dormer you’re adding will be as well. So, some points that may make you need planning permission are: 

  • How far the dormer windows project from the roof 
  • Whether the property is listed or in a conservation area.  
  • How much structural change is made to the appearance and height of the existing roof.  
  • The overall size of the loft conversion, the upgrade could make the conversion larger than the original design.  
  • Your neighbours are affected by your dormer. Either by being over shadowed or over looked.  
  • The dormer exceeds 40 square meters on a terraced house or 50 square meters on a semi-detached or detached house.  

Although, not all dormer conversions require planning permission. Your builder or architect will be able to advise you on whether your plans fall within permitted development rights.  

Advantages of adding a dormer –  

Dormer loft conversions are one of the most popular options when it comes to loft conversions. So, here are some advantages of adding them:  

  • They are suitable for almost every type and style of house. 
  • Dormers increase the head height and usable floor space.  
  • You can use any type of window to match the property. You aren’t confined to Velux windows or roof lights.  
  • Could add a small Juliet balcony 

How much would it cost?  

Finally, if you already have an existing loft conversion and you want to add a dormer, you should expect to pay upwards of £5000. However, this all depends on the size, style, and other factors when it comes to a dormer.  

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Garage Conversion

Building a Garage:Pros And Cons

Here are the pros and cons of building a garage.

Garage Pros and Cons

Pros  

Increase property value 

Building a garage can increase your property value by 10-15%. The property value of your home could become higher depending where your home is, especially if your street has on road parking. One, a garage increases the value as you have somewhere safe to put your car and second the value can increase as you now have a large extra space. 

Your car is safe 

Having a garage takes the risks away of having your car damages, broken into or even stolen. You will not have to leave your car on the street or driveway anymore. Also, car insurances can be cheaper if you leave you can in a garage overnight. 

Additional space  

Extra space is great! Everyone loves extra space. Now not only do you have a safe space for your car but now you have extra space for anything you’d like. For example, having your own home gym or DIY workshop. This room could also be used for storage purposes. However, if you decide to insulate your garage you could turn it into a home office or even a spare bedroom.  

Cons  

More cleaning  

A garage normally gets dirty a lot quicker than the inside of your home would. This is due to having a car in there or even someone carrying out a messy DIY project. This will definitely add more add more to your list of maintenance tasks. 

Increases energy bills 

If you decide to insulate your garage and use it as a habitable living space this will increase your homes energy bills. You’ll have extra heating and lighting bills to keep the added space running. 

Prone to rodents  

One problem with garages is it is prone to rodents. For example, rats and mice. Rats and mice will try and enter your home and if they succeed that will be a huge problem for you. Garages can be the perfect environment for rodents as they are quiet, dark and secluded. 

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Conversions, Extensions

Are Timber frame orangeries worth building? Here’s what to know

Timber frame orangeries are an excellent choice if you require the light and spacious feeling of a conservatory, but want the warmth and solid structure of a brick extension.  

What is a timber frame orangery?  

A timber orangery consists of timber window frames, doors at the sides, and sometimes separate timber glazed roof lanterns built-in.  Some experts like to use the 75% rule. If the extension has less than 75% glass it is classed as an orangery rather than a conservatory. Orangeries tend to have a brick base or more brickwork than a conservatory.  

Do you need planning permission for an orangery?  

An orangery can be seen as halfway between a conservatory and an extension. It’s an extended space that has the insulation of brick walls but the benefit of lots of light and good views.  

For planning purposes, an orangery is considered a single-story extension on and has the same building regulations as an extension. However, you won’t need planning permission for an orangery if you build within permitted development. 

Advantages and disadvantages of a timber orangery –  

Here are some of the main advantages of a timber orangery –  

  • Can be built to exceed 60-year design life  
  • Fast heating due to low thermal mass 
  • Energy efficient when constructed 
  • Quick build time 
  • Reduces site labour 
  • Recyclable  
  • Renewable 
  • Reduced construction waste 

And here are some disadvantages –  

  • Acoustics  
  • May decay when exposed to excessive moisture 
  • Subjected to risk of fire  
  • Lack of experienced builders and erection crews 
  • Transportation and carriage access  
  • Deficiency of site quality control 
  • Requires regular maintenance  

How much will a timer frame orangery cost?  

Building an orangery is often cheaper than building a single-storey extension based of a structure that is similar in size. Orangeries are one of the most affordable ways to create more space.  

As of 2021, the average price of an orangery stands around £19,000. Although, because of the material shortage wood has become a bit more expensive. This means the average price can be from £20,000 onwards.  

However, orangeries are a good investment because they can increase the value of your home. They are known to add around 11% more value to your property.  

Orangeries aren’t just for the summer –  

In addition, how you use your orangery is completely down to you. However, they have so much more potential than just being a sunroom, it is an improvement to the heart of your home. They are perfect spaces for entertaining and hosting friends and family all year round.