Tag: loft

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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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

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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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

The best 6 insulation types for a loft conversion

Firstly, a loft conversion is a great way to add extra space to your home. As well as, adding an extra room to the house, a well-insulated conversion may also provide savings by reducing the energy bills. It is important to know about and choose the best type of insulation for your home.

Here are the 6 main insulation types:  

Rigid foam (PIR/ PUR)-  

Both PIR and PUR boards are made by mixing chemicals with a blowing agent. However, this forms large rigid blocks which are low density, closed-cell insulation sheets. The gas which is trapped in the closed-cell of the insulation has a very low thermal conductivity.  

Extruded polystyrene –  

So, extruded polystyrene is rigid insulation that has also formed with polystyrene polymer, but manufactured using an extrusion process. . This means that there will be no further movement of the foam. Ensuring that it will retain its final structure and thermal values.  

Mineral wool (glass/ stone) – 

Mineral wool is available in rolls or slabs. It is man-made from a range of materials including, recycled glass and fibers. In addition, mineral wool is a porous material that traps the air, making it one of the best insulating materials. It is also good because it doesn’t fuel fire or propagates flames.  

Multi-foil insulation –  

Multi-foil is thin reflective layers of insulation. The layers are separated by wadding and foam. This insulation is perfect for preventing radiant heat loss.  

Expanded polystyrene –  

Also, expanded polystyrene often known as Styrofoam is produced by the expansion of beads. These beads contain pentane as a blowing agent. In addition, This closed-cell structure provides minimal water absorption and low vapor permanence.  

Phenolic foams –  

Finally, phenolic insulation is made by a process in which plastic foam forms. It creates an insulating core between two flexible layers.  

This insulation is perfect for preventing radiant heat loss.  

Earthwool

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Mineral wool is available in rolls or slabs. It is man-made from a range of materials including, recycled glass and fibers. In addition, mineral wool is a porous material that traps the air, making it one of the best insulating materials.

Architecture & Building

Understanding All Of The Details Of A Roof

When it comes to the roof of your home, there are quite a few components. Here you can gain an understanding of all of the details that make up a roof.  

What is a ridge?  

Firstly, the ridge is defined as the highest point on a roof, often referred to as the peak. It is a horizontal line running the length of the roof where the two planes meet. 

A ridge beam is a necessary structural member that carries half of the roof load and must be used when building roofs with slopes less than 3/12.  

 If you are thinking of installing a loft conversion, you must measure from the floor to the ridge height to see if you have a minimum head height of 2.2 m.  

What is a hip?  

A hip roof has no vertical ends. It is sloped on all sides, with the slopes meeting in a peak. The hip is the external angle at which adjacent sloping sides of a roof meets.  

The hip provides the ideal protection from the weather, like heavy rain, snow, and high winds. This is because the sides are sloped towards the ground so the weather can slide off and makes the building more stable.  

Rafters –  

A rafter is a structural component that is used as a part of the construction. Typically, it runs from the ridge or hip of the roof to the wall plate of the external wall. Rafters contain two main outer beams which support the structure. In addition, they are usually laid side-by-side, providing a base to support roof decks and coverings. 

Valley –  

A valley is a gutter-like valley that runs between two sloped sections. They are used so that the rainwater has somewhere to escape.  

Although just like gutters, valleys undergo a fair amount of wear over time. They can leak, rust, and get blocked up; however, the repairs are a common situation and easy to fix.  

They are typically made of lead, concrete, or fiberglass. Although, aluminum is now growing in popularity, as a lightweight and rust-resistant alternative to older iron/ steel valleys.  

Rakes –  

The rake refers to the slanting edge of a gable roof at the end wall of the house. This f is most common in colder climates and consists of two sections sloping in opposite directions from the peak to allow for the best flow of water off the roof.  

They are important because they help keep your roof dry and they serve the important function of preventing water from getting into the fascia.  

Shingles –  

Finally, shingles are coverings consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up. With each course overlapping the joints below.  

Roofing Terms | Brothers Roofing NJ

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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
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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