Tag: conversion

Conversions

Loft Conversions: All Your Questions Answered

Are you thinking about getting a loft conversion? Then you have come to the right place! Here are all the common questions asked about loft conversions. 

Things you need to know before starting a loft conversion. 

  • Structural integrity 
  • Head height 
  • Building regulations 
  • Windows and natural light  
  • Fire safety  
  • Insulation 
  • Stairs 
  • Storage space  

Do I need an architect? 

It is not a requirement to have architectural drawings for a conversion but sometimes essential. 

Does my loft have enough head height? 

For a loft conversion roof height needs to be at least 2.2 metres.  

What things can you do when your roof height is under 2.2 metres? 

  • Roof lift – This is a quick way to give headroom. Your existing room will be lifted and replaced with a higher roof. 
  • Dormer Aswell as bringing in light, a dormer conversion is good it will add head height using a boxed projection from the slope of your roof. 
  • Hip-to-gable – This conversion adds both headroom as well as floor space. This is due to the fact that the slope of the roof is replaced by a straight wall. 

Can you convert a loft without planning permission? 

The majority of loft conversions fall under permitted development. Which means you won’t need to get planning permission as long as the building work fits certain criteria. 

Can my neighbour stop my loft conversion? 

You do not usually need permission from your neighbours nor your local council as it falls under permitted development. However, under certain circumstances you may need to have a Party wall agreement if the project is taking place in a terraced or semi-detached property.  

If you need to raise your roof, do you need planning permission? 

Yes, you will need planning permission. 

How much value can a loft conversion add to your home? 

This project can raise the value of your home up to 10-20%. 

Considerations you should remember: 

  • Ceiling height 
  • Access 
  • Services 
  • Lighting 
  • Planning permission 
  • Building regulations (related to floor strength and fire escapes) 

What are the main types of loft conversions? 

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

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Conversions

Barn conversion ideas to inspire your project

A barn conversion is one of the best ways to enjoy all the delights of country living, in a rustic building that can meet all your needs. These ideas will help your barn conversion highlight all its charms and become a beautiful open-plan space.  

Firstly, here are a couple of common questions –  

what is a barn conversion?  

A barn conversion is a process of turning an agricultural building into a habitable home or building for commercial use. Barn conversion became more common in the 1980s when their use as farm buildings declined. Landowners looked to capitalise on their popularity as converted homes.  

Are barn conversions desirable? 

The barn makes great living spaces as they are able to combine traditional and modern design. Because of this, they are hugely desirable with people wanting to live in them or to sell them on.  

Can you get a mortgage on a barn conversion?  

Because a barn that hasn’t been converted is still a non-habitable building, lenders won’t offer traditional mortgages to buy or renovate them. So, in order to finance your barn, you may need to consider development finance through either a bridging loan or a self-build mortgage.  

Now let’s get into the ideas.  

Make the most of the barn’s layout –  

The layout of a barn conversion can be quite hard to get right because the space is so large. Deciding where to put each room can be a bit tricky. However, once you have figured out what works best for the space, you will have an amazing open plan, vaulted ceiling room which is breathtaking.  

10 barn conversion ideas to inspire you | Whitegates

Add extra glazing –  

Bards often have limited windows and doors, so a way to improve your conversion would be adding large windows and doors. This would allow plenty of natural light to enter your home and also gives the place a modern look. You could also bring the outside in by adding bi-fold doors or even a veranda. By installing either of these it would maximise the countryside views and add a bigger link to the outside.  

Real home: an eco-friendly barn conversion | Real Homes

Incorporate the original features – 

Even if a super modern home is your style, the inside of your barn conversion should pay tribute to the buildings previously life in agriculture. A good way to incorporate that is by maintaining the original features like beams, brickwork, or stone. 

14 Steps to a Successful Barn Conversion - Build It

Make your stairs a main feature –  

By embracing your barns height, you have a great opportunity to turn your stairs into the main attraction in your home. You have the chance to design the staircase of your dreams. A popular choice of stairs is actually a spiral staircase, if placed in the correct spot they can be a striking feature. 

A Somerset Barn Conversion With Breathtaking Views - Dear Designer

Create an upstairs –  

Barns usually have a lot of height, so it is very possible to create a mezzanine floor, that looks over the ground floor. These can create a unique and modern feel and it’s also a great use of space.  

Barn Conversion with Modern Interiors | House & Garden
Garage Conversion

Garage conversion 2022: all you should know before you start

Firstly, a garage conversion is one of the quickest and most affordable routes to adding floor space. These types of projects can often be completed in a little over a week. In addition, many people often just use their garages as a place to put their cars or as a storage room. However, maybe it’s a great time to consider converting your garage and making it into a valuable asset.  

Is your garage suitable for a conversion?  

A garage conversion is classed as a change of use, so it will require building regulations approval.  

To comply with building regs your garage conversion must:  

  • Be structurally sound 
  • Have a damp proof course 
  • Have all of the electrics tested 
  • Be moisture proofed, with good ventilation 
  • Have been fire proofed and have escape routes 
  • Have wall, floor, and loft insulation so that its energy efficient 

Will you need planning permission to convert your garage?  

Most garage conversions will usually fall under permitted development, meaning that planning permission is not required. However, it is still best to check with your local authority, because there is a small percentage that will require planning permission.  

If your home is listed or in a conservation area, then it is very likely that you will need planning permission before you can convert your garage.  

Insulating the garage conversion – 

It is important that the new room is warm and energy-efficient. In order to comply with building regs, you will need insulation.  

In addition, the simplest way to add insulation to the walls is with insulated plasterboard fitted to timber battens above the damp-proof course.  

How much will it cost?  

A garage conversion is a relatively low-cost way of increasing your living space. This is because you don’t need to pay for laying new foundations or building new walls and you also may have power.  

For a single garage conversion, you should budget around £20,000 – £30,000 with some variation due to your choice of materials and fittings.  

It is also worth mentioning that a construction material shortage is causing a spike in many building materials.  

Factors that could affect the cost of your garage conversion –  

  • Planning applications 
  • If you use an architect or designer 
  • Whether you need to use a structural engineer 
  • Whether the foundations need to be reinforced 
  • If the ceiling height needs to be raised. You need around 2.2-2.4m of headroom. 
  • If the walls, floors, or roof need to be repaired. It may be cheaper to demolish your garage and start again.  

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Conversions

Important information to know when Converting a house into flats

Converting a house into flats is becoming very popular. Landlords and homeowners are now converting homes into flats because it is a great way to make money. Especially in city locations where flats are becoming in demand more. If you are interested in converting your home, carry on reading.  

Make sure you research –  

Before you buy or alter any property it is very important that you do in detail research about the property and project. 

 Here are a few things you should find out more about:  

  • Desirable areas and upcoming locations. It is important that you buy a property within walking distance of popular transport areas and near local amenities. It is also smart to look for locations that could become popular in the future. There is no point in purchasing a property on a street or area no one wants to live in.  
  • Property prices. It’s vital to find out what the average house prices are in that area, so you know if you’re overpaying or not. You should also keep in mind that you are converting the property so you don’t want to spend all of your budget.
  • The rental market. Finding out what the rental market is like will also help you massively. Knowing if people are looking for flats, who is renting in the area, and what style of home is the most popular will help you in the long run.  

Will you need planning permission for converting a house into flats?  

Any project that has a large dwelling and splits it into multiple new units will need to undergo a full planning application before they proceed. Each council has different policies and they will dictate the size of the rooms, how many you can have, and if you can even go through with the conversion. 

You may have to hire a solicitor to work with you to find out if you are legally able to convert the house. It is also handy to have a solicitor because they can help you create leases for the flats. It’s important to have leases because you won’t be able to sell without them.  

Conversion costs –  

The cost of converting a house into flats depends on the property and the location. On average the standard conversion should cost around £25,000. Conversions are known to be big projects. This means you should expect the project to take around 6 months to be completed.  

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Loft Conversion

Dormer Loft Conversions Made Easy

Types of Dormers

  • Flat roof – This is a dormer with aa flat roof that’s sitz horizontally. 

  • Shed – A flat roof that slopes down. 

  • Dog house – A dormer with a roof that has two pitched sides like your classic dog house. 

  • L shaped – Touched on above, this dormer has two parts that form an L shape. 

  • Hipped roof – Similar to a dog house dormer, but with three sides instead of two. 

Pros And Cons Of Dormer 

Pros  

  • Brings more natural light into the room. 
  • Better ventilation 
  • Adds head room and floorspace. 
  • Versatile – has many different options to choose from. 

Cons  

  • More structural work needed. 
  • More labour intensive  
  • You may need planning permission if It doesn’t fall under permitted development. 
  • Extra costs  

Building Regulations and the Party Wall Act For A Dormer 

While planning permission for a dormer may not be required, building regulations are mandatory. Regulations are there to ensure the safety of the structure you’re building. For example, ensuring that the structural strength of the new floor that would be installed is sufficient. Also making sure the roof is stable or even to make sure the new stairs up to your new loft is safe. The party wall act is there to prevent any disputes with neighbours due to building your structure. 

What is the party wall act? 

The party wall act prevents building works by one neighbour that can undermine the structural integrity of shared walls or neighbouring properties. 

Do Dormers Need Planning Permission? 

Yes and No. One benefit of dormers is that it can be constructed under permitted development. However, depending on your home’s circumstances you will need planning permission. Here are two examples: 

  • You live in a listed building or conservation area. 
  • Your neighbours are affected by the structure through overlooking or overshadowing.

And there’s more reasons to why you’ll need planning permission. 

Is my home suitable for a dormer loft conversion? 

Any room with a pitched roof and loft space can have a dormer. 

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Architecture & Building, Loft Conversion

What Type Of Loft Conversion Is Best For Your Home

Hip to gable dormer –  

Firstly, hip to gable loft conversions is mostly found on semi-detached properties with an existing hipped roof. It is where the side of the roof is removed off of the sidewall, to maximise the internal head height. Hip to gables is slightly more expensive than a standard dormer conversion, they normally cost 20% more. However, they are the most popular way to convert your loft.  

Cost of project: £40,000 – £65,000 

hip-to-gable-loft-conversion-loft-extension - APT Renovation - Property  Design & Build - Building contractors - Balham SW12 London

Mansard – 

Mansard loft conversions are typically built at the rear of the house, allowing you to gain additional space in the loft area. However, these conversions usually require roof alterations, which means you would need planning permission.  

Cost of project: £45,000 – £70,000 

Side dormer loft conversion –  

A side dormer is when the hipped roof on the side of the property is built off the sidewall to incorporate additional head height. The side dormer can be built with a flat or pitched roof. If the property is detached, you sometimes can maximise space by constructing a side dormer on both sides of the roof.  

Cost of project: £30,000 – £45,000 

Dormer Loft Conversions | Abbey Partnership

Piggyback loft conversion –  

A piggyback loft conversion is formed by raising the existing perimeter walls in brickwork and pitching a new roof, which is stepped back from the front elevation of the property. By raising the bricks and pitching a new roof a large amount of head height is gained, as well as more living space.  

Piggyback Loft Conversion | Learn More About a Piggyback Conversion

Velux –  

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. You will generally not require planning permission to install a Velux window in a loft conversion.   

Cost of project: £20,000 – £30,000 

Velux Conversion - Loft Conversions North West

Pitched dormers –  

A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. In addition, they are commonly used to increase the useable space in a loft and to create window openings.  

Cost of project: £30,000 – £45,000 

Pitched Dormer Loft Conversions | What is a Pitched Dormer Conversion?

L shape dormer –  

Finally, an L-shaped dormer conversion is where two dormer builds are constructed in a way that they join together. Usually, one dormer will be built on the rear outrigger roof and the other on the main roof, which gives it the L shape.  

Cost of project: £50,000 – £60,000 

How to plan your loft conversion | Top tips and expert advice | Ideal Home
Conversions, Extensions

Planning A Basement Extension/ Conversion: Here’s What You Should Know

If you are in need of extra space but aren’t in a position to move house or extend outwards or upwards, there is another way. You could consider a basement conversion or an extension.  

What is a basement extension? 

A basement can be a great way to expand your living space by creating an extra bedroom, lounge, office, or gym. Basements are slowly becoming more popular in the UK. As people look for more space and don’t have the ability to extend wider, longer, or higher.  

What is a basement conversion? 

A basement conversion is a process of changing the space into an inhabitable room.  

There are three ways of building a basement extension:  

  • Conversion or refurbishment of the existing one 
  • Adding a basement to an existing property – a good option for when there’s no other way to gain extra space.  
  • Building a new basement as part of a new house build. 

Do basement conversions/ extensions need planning permission?  

You should speak to your local planning authority and building control department before you start any work. To make sure you know what permission is required. 

If you are converting an existing basement and are not making any changes to the external appearance of the building, you are unlikely to need planning permission. Whereas, if you are creating more room or if you are making changes to the external appearance of the property by adding a light well, then you are likely to need planning permission.  

Advantages basements can provide –  

In some parts of the UK especially London, where property values are at a premium, many people are turning to conversions and extensions. Another advantage is that you can create a new floor that can be used in different ways. 

Some more practical advantages are: 

  • Sun tunnels – these use mirrors to reflect sky and light above. 
  • Open up the space – keep the space as open as possible with minimal structures like walls. Consider using glass to enhance the light, for example, a glass staircase.  
  • Rooms with no light – rooms that work well with no light are perfect for basements, for example, entertainment rooms, storage, utility rooms, etc.  

Conversion/ extension disadvantages –  

The major disadvantage of starting a project in your basement can be the cost. However, in areas where property values are high, basements can work financially. Another disadvantage is that the construction of an extension or conversion can be complex, messy, and loud. 

Cost –  

Depending on the type of project you would like to achieve the prices will differ. Converting an existing basement will averagely be around £800 – £1500 per square metre. And if you are lowering the floor level it will cost you between £1400 – £2000 per square metre.  

Architects in London were asked how much it would cost to extend a basement. Most varied between £3000 – £4000 per metre square, for mid-range finishes.  

East Sheen - Cellar Conversion and Basement Construction Cellar Conversion  and Basement Construction

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Conversions, Extensions, Loft Conversion

Things You Need To Know When Converting Your Bungalow

Converting your bungalow by extending upwards or adding another storey is a great way to add lots of space at an affordable price. If you have a larger property you may be able to extend the back and the side of the property.

Bungalow Loft Conversion –

You can extend upward. There are four main types of loft conversions that can be suited for bungalows. They are a dormer loft conversion, a hip to gable conversion, a Velux conversion, or a mansard loft conversion. Before you decide on what conversion you like you should get advice on the best type of conversion for your bungalow, depending on its existing structure.

Most bungalow loft conversions don’t require planning permission and it comes under permitted development. As long as they meet some key conditions:

  • Firtsly, if your bungalow is in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty then you will need to apply for planning permission.
  • Secondly, you’re not allowed to raise the height of the roof
  • On the main elevation facing the highway, you’re not allowed to construct dormers or anything that projects out of the roof.
  • No balconies or raised platforms are permitted
  • Finally, materials must be similar in appearance to the existing bungalow

One of the big attractions of converting a bungalow loft is that it is usually a lot cheaper than a conversion in a regular home. A simple conversion would likely cost around £20,000 to £25,000 for a standard bedroom. Whereas, if you want to add dormer windows and an En suite the prices could be around £40,00. The most a loft conversion could cost with everything included could be around £65,000.

A typical bungalow loft conversion can take about 6 to 8 weeks. Although if you have to apply for planning permission you would need to add a couple of months to the timescale.

Bungalow Extension –

You do not need planning permission for an extension if you build within your permitted development rights. Without planning permission, you can build up to 6 meters or 8 depending on if your house is detached. The average single-storey bungalow extension cost is around £1875 per meter square.

Homeowners in the UK could add up to £100,000 to the value of their homes by converting their property.

Bungalow Conversion

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Conversions

Everything There Is To Know About Barn Conversions

What is a barn conversion? 

A barn conversion is the adaptation of a farm barn into a building serving a different use. For example, a house. 

Barn conversions are so popular because they present the opportunity to create flexible living spaces that can adapt to the needs of modern life. Barns are often in rural areas so if you are looking for a quiet area away from the city to raise a family, this would be perfect for you.  

If you are looking to start a barn conversion you will need full planning permission. And if your barn doesn’t meet the full requirements, You should submit a full planning application to your local council. And seek consent to convert your barn.  

Once the planning permission is submitted, the decision takes a minimum of five weeks. Once work starts on site regular inspections will be made.  

Building and designing –

Some people think that because the shell of the building is in place already that they might not need an architect. However, barn conversion projects can be even more taxing at the design stages than new homes.  

The key is to achieve the best balance between actual living space and the barn’s original character. This is because it is important to keep the character and features like the old beams and timber cladding. And it is important to remember why you loved it in the first place. 

So, because originally farm buildings are uninsulated if you are converting it into a house, it will be a key job to get the place insulated. In most cases, people want to preserve the internal cladding so you will have to insulate from the inside. Typically, you would fit breathable insulation such as a sheep’s wool wall between the studs. And then the wool will be covered by plasterboard. And then dig through the floors to accommodate underfloor heating or rigid insulation boards.  

How much will a barn conversion cost? 

A converted barn is one of the higher-end conversions you can do, they usually cost a lot more than building a new structure. It is not a project for those on a tight budget. The average barn conversion costs around £275,000, it is important not to cut corners during the process because it will lead to issues down the line.  

How to Convert a Barn | Homebuilding
Barn Conversion

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Loft Conversion

How To Create A Loft Conversion On A Budget

Really want to add more living space to your home? Here’s how you can achieve a loft conversion on a budget.  

What Is A Loft Conversion?  

A loft conversion is the process of transforming an empty attic space into a functional room. And these are usually used as a bedroom, office space, gym, or storage space. 

Will You Need Planning Permission? 

So, most conversions do not require a planning permit, this is good because it will help save money on getting the permission. However, you are required to obtain permission if you alter the roof space in any way. If the head height of the roof is above 2.2 m you should be okay. But the best way to find out if you need permission is to check with the local council or planning officer. It is also good to check because if you go ahead without permission and you end up needing it, they can fine you. And that’s not what you want when trying to stay within a budget. 

Another way you can save some money is by not using an architect and doing the majority of the stuff DIY. There is no rule saying you need to have one, but it is highly recommended that you use architectural services when it comes to your project.  

It is a lot cheaper and straightforward to do a loft conversion compared to an extension. So, it is perfect for people who do not have much time and are on a budget. A dormer conversion is the cheapest type of loft conversion.  flat and shed roof dormers have simpler styles and reduce the cost.   

What Is A Dormer? 

A dormer loft conversion is when a box-shaped structure is added onto a pitched-shaped roof. Creating walls that sit at a 90-degree angle to the floor. This expands not only the headspace but the floor space as well.  

Dormer loft conversion, Newport - Signature: Sean Horler
A Dormer Loft Conversion

On average it can take up to 8 weeks or as little as 4 weeks, with certain styles less complex than others.  

Not everything about the conversion has to be professionally done. The interior finish can be your project. You can paint, wallpaper, hang curtains, fit the carpets. Anything that you do yourself is cutting costs.  

If you are including an En-suite in the loft hiring a plumber is an extra cost. Try positioning the bathroom right above the plumbing below, or near it. It saves a lot of work.  

If you are on a budget smaller loft conversions can benefit from the more natural light coming in. It is also good to use natural, lighter colours when decorating because it helps give the illusion of spaciousness.  

To be able to access the loft you would need a staircase to enter. A straight staircase is the most common style and affordable to build. The highest part of the loft, in line with the roof ridge, is an ideal location for the stairs.  

Pricing Of A Loft Conversion –  

There are many types of loft conversions which means the prices can differ. For a deluxe conversion expect to pay anywhere between £20,000 and £27,000. Whereas, the cost of a basic conversion could be somewhere between £9,800 and £12,500.   

For a DIY conversion the prices are a bit different:  

  • Price range – £9,400 – £48,000 
  • Average price – £29,100 
  • Cheap price – £9,400 

Although you might have done this project on a budget, a loft conversion can increase the house’s value by as much as 20%.  

Loft conversions - beginner's guide - Property Price Advice
Loft Conversion

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