We all know loft conversions are a great way to create extra living capacity within your property, especially if you don’t have a large space outside for a home extension. However, when first considering this as an option, you may need to determine whether your home is suitable for this type of conversion. Here are some factors to bear in mind.
If the ceiling height in your existing loft is too low, you’ll need to check whether it’s possible for it to be raised via planning permission. Traditional roofs usually have M shaped rafters, compared with the W shaped trusses of modern roofs. The minimum height for any traditional cut rafter or purlin roofs (usually built before 1965) is 2.2 metres at its highest point or 2.4 metres for a modern trussed roof built after this time. Any new space will need to be adequate for its intended use.
Think about your roof features and any structures which may need to be moved such as your chimney stack. You should also check where your water tank is located in the loft space and whether your tiles are currently waterproofed with felt. Your builder should be able to advise about insulation and roofing requirements, including changes to its pitch.
Freehold & Party Walls
It may come as a surprise, but some property owners, especially in London, don’t own the freehold to their loft, meaning they may not have the right to undergo a conversion. If any work needs to be done to shared walls within your loft space, you may also need to consider the Party Wall Act and liaising with your neighbours.
Another limitation is living in a conservation area. It may not be possible to make any alterations to your property without consulting with your local planning department who can sometimes work with homeowners to find a design solution.
Access & Safety
Being on the top floor of your property, there will need to be adequate access, including room for a staircase to be installed. Fire safety is a huge part of ensuring your loft conversion doesn’t put you or your family at risk, so it’s important to adhere to all building regulations when thinking about the right design in your property.
Full planning permission isn’t usually required as long as the conversion fits into the specifications as outlined by the government’s planning portal. If your build meets all these criteria, then the project will fall under a ‘permitted development’.
Expert Loft Conversion Builders
The good news is, most homes can have a loft conversion. Working with an expert will help you to find the right design early on in the process, reducing the headache of trying to find one suitable for the roof structure. If they have good designers on board, they’ll be able to embrace the proportions of your loft and incorporate this into the design, taking advantage of all the quirky spaces you have.
Tiger Building Services offers an all-in-one loft conversion service from design to completion, working across areas of Surrey, London and Sussex such as Raynes Park, Coulsdon and Sutton. Contact our team now for a free assessment of your property.