Tag: conversions

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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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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Advice Center, Loft Conversion

Everything To Know About Fire Safety For A Loft Conversion

When converting existing roof space into a room the provision for escape needs to be considered throughout the full extent of the escape route. The protection of life in the event of a fire is extremely important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  

Fire detection and alarm systems –  

Where new rooms are provided above the ground floor level, fire alarm systems should be installed as they can significantly increase the level of safety, by giving an early warning of fire. 

It is essential that the fire alarms are properly designed, installed, and maintained.  

Important notes –  

  • Smoke alarms should be positioned in the circulation spaces within 7.5 m of every room.  
  • No bedroom door should be further than 3 m from the nearest smoke alarm.  
  • There should be at least one smoke alarm on every storey of the property. 
  • Smoke alarms should not be fixed next to or directly above heaters or air conditioners.  
  • They should also not be placed over stairs or any opening between floors. 

Ways to escape if there was a fire –  

The main escape route from your loft conversion would normally be the hallway and staircase of your home. Therefore. This route needs to be protected as much as possible and offer at least 30 minutes of fire resistance. 

How this can be achieved –  

  • All the doors that lead off from the staircase will need to be upgraded to give fire resistance or be placed with fire doors.  
  • If your stairs lead to an open plan area, they will either need to be enclosed with partition walls, to keep the escape route protected. Or, you will need to install a sprinkler system in the open plan area. 
  • You may need to upgrade the fireproofing on your ceiling below the new loft conversion. 

The main fire-resistant materials that are used are timber stud partitions and metal frame partitions. With these materials, the potential fire will be delayed for around 30 minutes.  

You will also need an escape window; this window would need to be no higher than 1.1 m above the floor and 459 x 450 mm in size. This is because you need a large enough space to escape out of in case of an emergency.  

Alternative escape routes –  

Often people who want to take extra safety measures feel more comfortable if there is an alternative exit. The best way to include this is by adding an external staircase leading to the loft conversion. Although, you would need to make sure that the external door is also fire resistant and the outside stairs should be protected from weather conditions.  

Do I Need Fire Doors If I Have A Loft Conversion - OakwoodLoft

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