Tag: conversion

Flat Conversions

Transforming a House into Stylish Flats: A Comprehensive Guide

The real estate market is constantly evolving, and property owners often seek innovative ways to maximize their investments. One popular trend is converting a traditional house into a set of stylish flats. This transformation not only offers potential for higher rental income or increased property value but also meets the growing demand for compact, modern living spaces. In this article, we will delve into the process of converting a house into flats, exploring the key considerations, benefits, challenges, and essential steps involved.

Benefits of Converting a House into Flats

  1. Increased Income Potential: Converting a single house into multiple flats can yield a significant boost in rental income. Instead of relying on a single tenant, you can cater to a broader demographic and generate multiple streams of revenue.
  2. Enhanced Property Value: Well-designed and properly executed flat conversions can substantially raise the overall value of your property. The addition of individual units can make your property more attractive to potential buyers and investors.
  3. Meeting Housing Demand: Urban areas often face a shortage of affordable, compact living spaces. By converting a house into flats, you contribute to addressing this demand while tapping into a thriving market.
  4. Creative Use of Space: Converting a house into flats allows for innovative use of available space. You can optimize layout and design to make the most of each unit, utilizing modern trends in interior design and functionality.

Key Considerations before Converting

  1. Planning Permission and Regulations: Before embarking on a conversion project, thoroughly research local zoning laws, planning permissions, and building regulations. Adhering to legal requirements is crucial to avoid delays and potential penalties.
  2. Financial Feasibility: Assess the financial viability of the conversion project. Calculate costs involved in the transformation, including architectural design, construction, permits, and potential unforeseen expenses. Compare this with projected rental income or increased property value to ensure a positive return on investment.
  3. Architectural Design: Work with an experienced architect or design professional to create a layout that optimizes space and ensures each flat is functional and aesthetically pleasing. Consider factors like privacy, natural light, and efficient use of utilities.
  4. Utilities and Infrastructure: Evaluate the existing infrastructure, such as plumbing, electrical systems, and heating. Upgrading these systems to meet the demands of multiple units is essential for tenant comfort and safety.

Steps Involved in Converting a House into Flats

  1. Conceptualization and Design: Collaborate with an architect or designer to create a detailed plan for the flat conversion. Consider the number of units, their layout, and any additional amenities you may want to include.
  2. Obtain Necessary Permissions: Work closely with local authorities to obtain the required planning permissions and building permits. Ensure your conversion project complies with all relevant regulations.
  3. Structural Changes: Depending on the design, you may need to make structural changes, such as adding new walls, partitions, or staircases. Ensure that these changes are carried out by qualified professionals to maintain structural integrity.
  4. Utilities and Infrastructure Upgrades: Upgrade plumbing, electrical, and heating systems to accommodate the needs of multiple flats. This step is crucial for tenant comfort and safety.
  5. Interior Finishes and Amenities: Install interior finishes, fixtures, and amenities that align with modern living standards. This could include energy-efficient appliances, quality flooring, and stylish lighting.
  6. Safety and Accessibility: Prioritize safety by installing fire alarms, extinguishers, and emergency exits as required by regulations. Additionally, ensure that the flats are accessible to all residents, including those with mobility challenges.
  7. Licensing and Certifications: Obtain the necessary certifications and licenses for each unit, including energy performance certificates and relevant landlord registrations.

Challenges and Mitigation

  1. Cost Overruns: Budget for unexpected expenses by setting aside a contingency fund. Conduct thorough research and work with experienced professionals to minimize the risk of cost overruns.
  2. Design and Layout Complexity: Collaborate closely with your architect to simplify design complexities while maintaining the desired aesthetics and functionality.
  3. Tenant Management: Managing multiple tenants requires effective communication, tenant screening, and addressing maintenance requests promptly. Consider hiring a property management company if needed.


Converting a house into stylish flats presents a lucrative opportunity for property owners to capitalize on the demand for modern living spaces. Through careful planning, adherence to regulations, and collaboration with professionals, this transformation can yield increased rental income, enhanced property value, and contribute to addressing the housing needs of your community. While the process may involve challenges, the rewards can be significant, making it a venture worth considering for any savvy property investor.

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Steps for Successful Barn Conversion

The barn conversion is a unique way to carve out your country’s life. But you need to keep in mind that the structures are not meant to deliver comfort. Furthermore, it requires a significant amount of work for barn conversion from scratch.

You need an excellent architectural services provider that can provide you with designs that brings the original character out once the work is finished. So, how you can convert a ban in your property? In this article, we are going to share steps for a barn conversion.

Finding a Property for Barn Conversion

You can contact estate agents for finding a property where you want to live in. But bear in mind that they will more likely advertise finished houses than wrecks. Another way to look for barn conversion is on the local paper. They may have an advertisement for a place which is suitable for you. You can also search online, there are sites like Renovate Alerts and Barns etc. to find appropriate opportunities.

Finances for Barn Conversion

If you are looking for a loan, then there is bad news for you. Conventional mortgages are not meant for conversion projects. That is why; you need to look for a self-build mortgage.

Do You Need Planning Permission?

Well, you can change agricultural buildings to residential ones in England. However, you need to notify the local council about it. It is better to check with the local council about approval of noise impact, contamination, vehicular access, and flood risk. Furthermore, the council will check if there is the harm in changing from agricultural to residential use. The process is not simple but more straightforward than making a full planning application.


Usually, the barns are used for storage and other agricultural needs and not meant for living. So, it is essential to hire a surveyor to checks its stability. Things that you need to look are the foundations, roof structure, and load-bearing walls. If you need to add the second storey, then the barn will need underpinning.

Using this information, you can decide whether the property is suitable for you or not.

Barn Conversion Designer

Some of the people think that they do not need the help of architectural services providers as they already have a building in place. Well, they are not right as a barn conversion have more design stages than a new home.

Hence, you need the help of experienced professionals that can use the existing structure. A lot of effort is required to make use of the current structure of a barn and convert it into a living space with most of the features.

Want to Retain Barn Structure

What will the design of your new home have? Of course, the original character of a barn. That is the main attraction of a barn conversion. A barn features include timber cladding, old beams and beautiful stonework, which can bring a unique character to your new home after the work is finished.

If you can do it in the right way, then you will have a unique and beautiful property to sell in the future. You may need to introduce new materials but do it carefully.

Insulating Barn Conversion

A barn is meant to store agricultural things and not intended for living. Hence, they have not insulated property. One of the first things that you need is to insulate the barn according to the modern standards. Some people want to preserve the cladding, so they need to insulate the walls internally. There are various ways to do this, such as fitting breathable insulation such as sheep wool.

Furthermore, if you want to keep the vaulted ceilings too, then you need to fit the insulation between rafters. You also need to dig the floor to install insulation boards.

Utilities and Services

It is usual for the barns not to have water, gas, drainage, and electricity. Hence, you will need these connections for the conversion, just like other house extensions. Get quotes from the utility suppliers to get an estimate of the cost. A rough estimate is that it can add up £1000 to your budget.

Barn Conversion Heating

Most of the experts recommend underfloor heating for barns. Because it is a great way to keep the living space warm, it also means that you do not need to attach radiators to the walls. It can get cold in the UK, so it is better to have an efficient heating system for the conversion.

Natural Light

Most of the barns in the country have large openings enough to satisfy demands of brightness. It also means that you do not need to puncture the structure for windows—however, some of the people like modern roof lights in the property. Well, you have the opportunity to convert the barn in the way you like. As far as natural light concerns, there is enough room for that.

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? As Schlüsseldienst Berlin states from its own experience it can be an overwhelming process, especially for those of us who’ve not been through major building works previously.  

Photo: VELUX

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 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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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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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 


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


  • 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