What to Consider When Calculating Loft Conversion Costs

What do you do when your home starts running out of space, thanks to the ever increasing amount of property or resident head count? Different people have different means to address this problem. Some move to a bigger house, while some augment their homes with first floor extensions. Meanwhile, there are many who opt for loft conversion.

Converting the Loft

A loft conversion is perhaps the most popular and practical way to expand one’s home. It may or may not be as expensive as buying a new house or expanding your first floor, but it will surely cost one a lot less time and effort than the previously mentioned two. This is because you already have an existing structure to house your loft, and all you have to do is to renovate it in order to be up to legal standards.

Factors to Consider when Determining Conversion Costs

If you’re planning to convert your loft, the first thing that you’ll probably want to figure out is how much it will cost. Lofts typically start from £12,000 to £60,000, and can go as high as a few hundred thousand pounds. There is no standard price as loft conversion costs vary from house to house. However, you can calculate how much your loft can cost, and here are the factors you ought to consider:

1. Type of conversion.
The design of your loft dictates much of the conversion process’ cost. Lofts to be used as storage are the cheapest, the overall conversion into which comes at more or less £1000, and that includes everything else. Residential lofts meanwhile start at an average of £12,000.

2. The size of your conversion.
The planned size of your loft is also a major factor in determining a good chunk of the conversion’s price. With this, you can derive the costs of the structural modifications and materials. The latter would typically include steel joists, wood, paint, and particulars like nails and screws.

3. Access.
Custom manufactured stairs can cost between £500 and£2000, depending on the design. Traditional stairs are the cheapest, while the space-efficient spiral staircase is the more expensive alternative. Building the stairs yourself can cost a whole lot less.

4. Dormer and skylights.
Windows are required in any loft conversion. For this, you have three options: dormers, skylights, or both. Construction of dormers is priced at no less than £2000, while skylights cost at around £600.

5. Professional services.
Of course, you must never do everything on your own. Professionals are required to do certain tasks like planning, plumbing, and electric installation. Also, you might want to hire blue collar workers to do the actual labor as it may not be easy to accomplish yourself. Costs for professional services vary though, but you will surely save a lot if you contract conversion firms instead of hiring individual specialists.

These are all the factors you have to consider when calculating loft conversion costs. As you can see, loft conversion isn’t exactly as cheap as it is relatively easy to accomplish. However, this can be easily offset by the benefits you can get from having a finished loft – extra space, better property value, and a great number of possibilities.

Loft Conversion Building Regulations: When are Permits not Needed?

Sometimes, the default space in a house just isn’t enough for its residents. Time will always come that the owner will find the living space wanting, or maybe needing just a little expansion. Sure, it will be a lot easier to move to another home, but that will be very costly, with a big sum of expenses shelled out on the purchase and the logistics of moving. Fortunately, there are many ways to expand one’s dwelling without the need to haul all those possessions to a larger residence.

There’s the traditional single storey expansion, which is simply extending the first floor. Then there’s a multiple storey extension, which is extending the first floor on one or more sides then subsequently building an upper storey extension on top of the new construction. There’s also the conservatory, which is just a fancy greenhouse-type single storey extension. These are the most popular of the many, yet they may come off as impractical as they eat up a considerable amount of the lot’s open space.

A Quick Overview of Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is a great, flexible alternative to these. This home extension method basically refers to the conversion of that void called the attic into a meaningful and functional space. It is very popular as it does not consume as much time, work, and possibly money as the previously mentioned extension methods.

Loft conversion however, is not as easy as propping up a staircase to the attic, putting planks on the other side of the ceiling, installing windows somewhere on the roof, painting and furnishing the whole place, and calling it a day. There are plenty of considerations that one must follow in order to get the whole conversion process right. These factors are backed by law no less, in the form of loft conversion building regulations.

Loft Conversion Normally Needs No Permit

First off, permits aren’t commonly required to convert the loft nowadays. This is true so long as the following conditions are satisfied by the loft’s design:

• 40 cubic meters roof space allowance for terraced houses and 50 cubic meters for detached or semi-detached ones
• The extension does not go beyond the roof’s existing dimensions e. g., higher than the roof’s apex or wider that the space covered by the roof slope.
• No such features as verandas, balconies, and the like.
• All openings are 1.7m above the floor and all side-facing windows are obscure glazed.
• Roof extensions aside from hip-and-gable types are at least 20cm from the eaves and are not allowed in certain areas designated by law.

One can go beyond these design conditions, but then one will need permission to proceed with the conversion. The need for a permit ensures that the design still follows existing loft conversion building regulations. The regulations prioritize safety and practicality above everything else, so not adhering to these rules is not only illegal, but also cause adverse effects to your home.

Loft conversion building regulations vary depending on the area. To learn more about the laws relevant to loft conversion, feel free to check with your local building control officer, whose job is to enforce such rules.

5 Helpful Loft Conversion Advices

A loft conversion is a very neat way to improve one’s home. It adds a lot of extra space as the attic, a very large unused portion of the house, is converted into a useful room. It is one of the most efficient home extension methods as it does not demand for even a single square inch of lot to occupy, and does not require new construction. This is in contrast to many other ways to expand the floor space, which is what makes it very popular to many homeowners.

Why Loft Conversion?

A loft conversion is much more preferred than other home extension methods. This is mainly due to the number of benefits one can get from a converted attic. Obviously, the first would be all that space gained from the conversion, which is more or less an additional 30% in an average home. On the side, there’s also the wonderful increase in property value, as every square meter gets more utility.

Some Advice on Loft Conversion

For one reason or another, you might also want or even need to convert your loft. If that’s the case, you’ll probably need a few tips before proceeding with your conversion project. Here’s some loft conversion advice:

1. Consult a building control officer.
First off, you’ll need to inquire about the current building codes to the local building control officer. Ask about the current loft conversion regulations and, if you already have a plan, have the officer check it as well to see if it complies with the building code.

2. Plan it well.
Plan your loft carefully. Make sure it’s designed according to the present building laws and regulations. Of course you can go beyond the rules, but then you’ll need to get a permit for that, which is, in our opinion, quite a waste of time. Make certain that your design is also practical and applicable to your attic’s structure and house type, and that it does not go beyond the budget you’ve allotted for the conversion process.

3. Be flexible.
Sometimes, not everything goes according to your plan. Often, you’ll be forced to make a compromise. You may end up abandoning the installation of a window on one particular section because an endangered bird nests in there, or maybe because it proved to be very impractical.

4. Consider your neighbors.
Do think about your neighbors when converting your loft. See if they find your construction intrusive. If they do, do not hesitate to make an agreement with them and find a win-win solution to the problem in question.

5. Hire professionals.
It’s great and cheap to work on the conversion on your own but here’s a good loft conversion advice: hire professionals if you can afford their services and when you lack the necessary skills. This is especially applicable during the conversion process. Having an architect design your loft for instance will give you a lot more confidence in the results.

In summary, plan your loft well, design it according to the building codes, and be ready to implement changes during the actual conversion. Lacking a good plan and flexibility may prevent you from completing your loft.

Your Guide to Loft Conversion: Stairs

The practice of converting the attic into a more useful part of the house or any other structure with a roof is once exclusive to artists and people resourceful enough to have it done. This home extension practice is known as loft conversion. Having boomed in New York some time during the 60s, loft conversion is now popular to many home improvement enthusiast. This home extension method take less time and effort compared to other alternatives, it is also versatile in a way that it can be applied in any home with high enough roof structure.

What is Loft Conversion?

Loft conversion is, to make it simple, the renovation of the attic space such that it becomes a useful room. The end product can be a new bedroom, a storeroom, or an entire home by itself, occupying the topmost portion of the house. Regardless, loft extension gives function to what could be the largest unused space in the house, accounting to around 30% of all the liveable space in a typical single family dwelling post conversion.

Types of Stairs for the Loft

During loft conversion, stairs are one of the primary considerations. This is the most preferred type of loft access in most residential structures, as stairs are easy to construct and elevators, perhaps the only other alternative, are impractical in the usual single or double storey home. There are several types of stairs. Such are the following:

1. Fixed straight run stairs
The simplest design, this type follows a straight, gradually rising path. This can be very easy to construct, and is the most user-friendly. It costs a lot of space however, and is only recommended in rather spacious homes.

2. Spiralling staircases
Speaking of space, spiral stairs take a lot less than the one we’ve previously detailed. The construction can be complicated however, but the results are truly worth it when done decently; it’s not only practical, but also beautiful at the same time.

3. Alternating tread staircase
Alternating staircases have, well, alternating steps. That is, the staircase follows a steep vertical angle, with each step alternating between the left and right foot. It takes less space than straight run stairs, but is also easy to build. This is not recommended for the elderly and individuals with natural difficulties climbing the stairs.

4. Pull-down stairs
These “stairs” are actually collapsible ladders that can be tucked near the loft’s door. This is the cheapest and is commonly used in storage lofts which are naturally not accessed as often as a residential one.

5. Folding stairs
Folding stairs are also known as disappearing stairs due to the fact that it can be stored obscurely in the ceiling. It has two types, the telescopic and accordion stairs. Telescopic stairs unfold a step at a time while accordions have hinged steps that unfold together.

In any loft conversion, stairs should always be one of the design priorities. One should always consider safety and practicality when choosing the type of stairs to be used, and preferences should only come second.

Explaining Benefits Of Loft Conversions

When you’ve been living in the same house for years, you’ll find that your living space is a lot smaller than when you’ve first set foot into your doorstep and is slowly, though constantly shrinking. A normal house is bound to end up cramped after a long period of use. This is due to many factors, the most notable of which are the increase in material possessions and growth in the number of residents.

There are plenty of solutions to address this problem. Some simply move if they have nothing to lose when changing address. Some get the necessary papers and literally expand their home, but then, many are discouraged to opt for this as it can take a lot of time, money, and effort. Meanwhile, many choose to do a little loft conversion.

What Is A Loft Conversion?

A loft conversion can be easily described as the process of converting the dark, dusty, and an unused attic room into a habitable space that can support the stresses of daily living. This is a very popular home extension method, seeing that despite not being cheap, it takes less time and effort when compared to first floor extension and moving.

However, loft extension isn’t as easy as merely furnishing your attic. You ought to renovate the place in such a way that the end product is a room worth living in. For that, building authorities have set up standards that are required to be followed when converting the attic space. These rules prioritize safety by emphasizing access, overall space, and structural strength. To ensure that the relevant laws are followed, building control officers are required to do the necessary pre-conversion inspections and to oversee the entire process.

Why Opt to Convert Your Loft?

There are a few good reasons why you should convert your loft, whether you need additional living space or not. The primary benefit of course is the fact that every part of the house is being utilized. The loft on its own consists of around 30% of possibly habitable space, and this can be a lot. Harnessing this can certainly improve your home, leading to many other possibilities.

Another reason why you should convert your attic is the fact that it significantly raises the value of your home. A loft can add approximately 20% to the property’s value, due to the fact that it basically increases the house’s usage per square meter. Property value increases as time passes, and as such, attic conversion is very useful if you intend to sell your residence in the near future.

The third is that lofts can make good business. This is especially true in areas with a dynamic population and plenty of nearby amenities. You can secure the necessary papers and rent your loft as an independent housing unit, then see some easy money roll in every month.

Loft conversion truly is one of the most practical methods to provide more space to your gradually shrinking home. Like any other conversion methods, it doesn’t come cheap. However, the costs are outweighed by the benefits that come with owning a nice, cozy loft.

Basics of Loft Conversions Bristol Homes Need

Rising some 11 meters above sea level and bordered by Gloucestershire and Somerset counties is Bristol, a city in West England. It’s not just a mere city mind you. Bristol is a very important settlement that’s large and significant enough to be promoted from being simply a part of Gloucestershire, to the ceremonial county and unitary authority it is today, from being simply a part of Gloucestershire.

How is it so, you say? Well Bristol is considered the largest cultural, educational, and employment center., and peoplePeople end up flocking into the city for work, academic advancement, residence, and plain old recreation. As such, Bristol became a home to over a million Britons spread over its 110 square kilometer area.

Home Extension in Bristol can be Complicated

Of course this made the city a little too cramped. This may not pose a problem to Bristol’s development, but it can be a rather big issue to individual real property owners. For these people, there will always come a time when they’ll need to expand the residential building they own or manage. The reasons for this would be an increase in the number of residents, depreciation of the current living space, a need for a new residential feature, and so on and so forth.

Extending the Urban Home through Loft Conversion

Loft conversion provides a solution to this dilemma. Basically, this means transforming one’s attic from a dark, cobweb-riddled space above the highest floor’s ceiling into a bright, functional and livable part of the house. Such conversions don’t come cheap however, but surely costs less than the usual single or multiple storey extensions as the attic already has the basic structural framework – the roof will both be the canopy and wall while the ceiling will serve as the floor.

What’s Needed in Attic Conversion?

For one to accomplish loft conversions Bristol, like any other place in the United Kingdom, requires compliance to certain building laws. To make things easier, building control officers are assigned to enforce the latest regulations in building construction and renovation. They will normally require at least two legal fees that can add up to four figure costs, one for every inspection work and the other for the completion certificate. To be fair, these professionals can be very helpful,offering advice and relaxing some requirements whenever necessary.

Once the government approves of the renovation project, there are still several considerations for loft conversions Bristol homeowners should look into for it to push through.

  1. Type of roof support.
    While most attics can undergo loft conversion, Bristol homes with truss roof supports can be rather tricky. You might still want to go on with the project if your roof is supported by trusses, but it’s advisable at this point to find other options.

  2. Cost of materials.
    Despite how simple it looks, materials don’t mean paint and furnishing. Rather, what you’ll need is steel to reinforce the ceiling, a lot of wood, nails, screws, and plaster for the finish.

  3. Professional assistance.
    There are some tasks you’d rather entrust to professionals so it’s best to list down what you and your hired hands can and cannot do to know which specialist you should employ.

Loft conversion is perfect for Bristol residences and practically any other bustling metropolis. This is by far a better and more resourceful alternative to moving and other home extension work.

Bristol Loft Conversions – A Few Helpful Facts

It is an undeniable fact that Bristol is a city of great importance. Lying southwest of Gloucestershire, the city is the place to find work, leisure and education. Thus, it is no surprise to find a lot people come into Bristol for work, academics, and leisure. What’s a lot less surprising is the fact that plenty of them chose to stay.

That is how Bristol acquired its current population of over one million, which is that of the metropolis and the larger urban zone combined. This number, accumulated through centuries, resulted in the crowding of the city. As such, residents who find a need for home extension seemingly can’t afford to do so.

If not for one good alternative, this can be very troublesome for the residents of Bristol. Loft conversions have fortunately solved this home extension problem in a very convenient manner. If you live in the UK, you are most likely familiar with this. Otherwise, here are some facts you should know about.

Loft Conversion is Simply Renovation

Unlike many other home extension methods, loft conversion usually does not require any new construction. For most part, you only have to strengthen the floor and make a room out of that space between the top-floor ceiling and the roof.

Loft Conversions may not be Feasible

In some homes in Bristol, loft conversions can be rather impossible. A primary reason would be that these houses may not be up to the standards prescribed by law. Some attics may not be large enough, or is rendered inconvertible by structural impediments. Those with truss roof supports in particular cannot be converted without weakening the roof.

Converting the Attic does not Come Cheap

Loft conversion may be fast and easy compared to other home extension projects, but it can be very expensive. Depending on your type of attic or whatever liveable room you want to convert it to, costs can range from £10,000 to £90,000. This would include not only the materials and labor, but also professional help, inspection fees, and additional features such as loft access.

Converted Lofts Grant Additional Benefits

The loft you’ve just converted does not simply add new space to your house,. It It also increases the value of your home by more or less 20%. This means that after the conversion, your house costs 20% higher than it was originally bought. This will come handy when you eventually sell the place and move to a better residence.

Trivia: It Began in New York

Popular in the UK especially in cities like Bristol, loft conversions in fact began on the other side of the Atlantic. Back in the 60s, some artists decided to settle down in New York’s SoHo area. There they converted some old buildings’ lofts – albeit illegally at first – into decent living quarters, and became loft conversion’s pioneers. The practice then quickly spread in Manhattan before it did to the rest of the world.

Without a doubt, loft conversion is a very convenient way to extend any urban home. This can be attested by its popularity, not only Bristol, but also in many other crowded cities.

5 Basic Steps of Loft Conversion Bristol Homeowners should Know About

Bristol has a sizeable population of around 430,000, plus over a million more in its designated larger urban zone. This number, all sharing the city’s area of 110 square kilometres, made sure that every inch of the city land is utilized well. Indeed, residential lands are used economically, as emphasized by the rather common narrow, multi-storey houses.

Needless to say, one or more families occupy these residential buildings. While these families increase in size and material possessions, the living space they occupy is gradually diminished. Normally, single or multiple storey home extension is done to alleviate this problem. As they’d require an increase in the house’s land area however, Bristol’s cramped urban environment won’t allow this.

Fortunately, there is loft conversion. Bristol homeowners can choose this as an alternative to more impractical home extension methods. For those who do not know, loft conversion means turning your dark, dusty attic into a more useful part of the house. How is this achieved? Here are the basic steps.

1. See if your attic is up for conversion.

Before kick-starting your loft conversion, Bristol authorities require you to have your attic evaluated by the local building control officer, so as to find out if you can safely and legally renovate your attic. If lucky, the BCO can give you some advice so you can upgrade it to standards, or maybe relax a few rules whenever necessary. Be advised that you need to pay at least twice, one for every inspection and another for the completion certificate.

2. Draft a loft design.

You should already have your future loft room’s dimensions after the assessment. Using whatever measurements you’ve come up with, draft a design for your loft. You may want to hire an architect for this if you lack the ability to do so.

3. Gather the necessary loft materials.

Once you have the design, purchase the supplies needed for your loft conversion. The essential ones should be wood, plaster, steel joists, nails and screws. You can easily find these in building supplies stores which are mostly located in Bristol’s city center. Make sure you only purchase what’s needed without going above the budget.

4. Employ the right home extension professionals.

You can’t of course renovate the loft on your own. You’ll need the help of professionals, some of which are required by the law. For this, you might want to hand-pick freelancing specialists and construction workers, or hire one of the firms offering loft conversion Bristol has plenty of.

5. Work on your loft.

Once you have the plans, supplies and the necessary personnel, you may now go on and renovate your loft. You should start by reinforcing the floors with steel joists, then work from the lowest point up. Remember to take time to ensure a high quality output, but do not delay too much. Once done, you may furnish your loft and work on the layout as you see fit.

As you can see, loft conversion takes less work than the usual home extension projects you’d find in more spacious settlements. It may not come any cheaper, but if you live in cities like Bristol, you’ll find it the most convenient way to gain extra living space.

Loft Conversion Roof Types: Truss, Hip, and Gable

Extending the house was often the best solution at the time when the building’s floor space is no longer sufficient for its inhabitants. There is not a single manner through which home extension can be done, and perhaps the most popular one is loft conversion. This home extension method is preferred by many, from the architects themselves to common homeowners.

What Is Loft Conversion and Why Many Opt for It

A loft conversion can be summed up as a method used to extend one’s home by transforming the attic into a habitable loft room. This home extension method realizes the attic’s potential as a significant addition to one’s living space, giving use to the normally neglected space between the roof and the ceiling.

A loft conversion doesn’t always come cheaper or, occasionally, more practical than other ways to enlarge one’s residence, yet it remains popular for several good reasons. First, it does not require extra lot space to be possible and is applicable to almost every house with a roof. Second is that it is built right into the house, and thus usually requires no new construction. Third is that it is very versatile – a loft can be anything that’s possible in the converted space.

Roof Types and the Feasibility of Conversion

As mentioned, a loft conversion is not always practical. Its feasibility depends on various factors, the most important of which is the type of roof in the house. There are currently three loft conversion roof types that determine not only the project’s practicality, but also the types of conversion that can possibly be made. Such are as follows:

1. Truss
The truss is defined by its W-shaped vertical supports. This type of roofing became widespread some time during the mid-60s and is a common feature of modern residential buildings. Having a trussed roof simply means that loft conversion is impossible until you decide to replace it with any other conversion-friendly alternatives, particularly any roof with rafter supports. This is due to the fact that trusses can’t be cleared without sacrificing the roof’s structural integrity.

2. Hipped
The hipped roofing is characterized by sloping roof surfaces on all sides. Featuring rafter supports, this is one of the most loft conversion-friendly roof types. This is because rafters are generally steep and have supports that can be modified without being detrimental to the roof’s structure. A loft built into a hipped roof can be small however, and as such, the canopy is often converted into the more space-efficient gable roof.

3. Gable
Gable-type roofing refers to roof conversion roof types supported by vertical walls called gables on two or more sides. It can provide more headroom and thus floor space than converted hipped canopies. There are three types of gables, all defined by the pitch style. Those with a uniform pitch is plainly known as gables, those with varying pitches are called salt boxes, and those with one part steeper than the rest of the roof are known as gambrels.

It is important to learn about what roof type crowns your home before moving on to the conversion process. This knowledge is important in figuring out whether your loft conversion project is feasible or not.

Efficient Methods to Get Loft Conversion Quotes

Home extension is the renovation of one’s home in such a way that extra space is gained. Many homeowners have this done to their homes for varying reasons. There are those who opt for this simply because it is needed. There are those who simply wanted more space in their homes. Lastly, there are people who carry out home extension because, well, why not?

Home extension is quite a broad subject, and there are plenty of means to have it done. Of course, there are those who’d think that the only way to achieve this is by extending the house on one side. These folks are wrong as this is not always true. Home extension doesn’t always mean covering more land as it can be done simply by giving use to certain overlooked parts of the house. Such is what loft conversion does.

Loft Conversion Explained

A loft conversion is just one of the many ways to extend one’s home. It simply is a process wherein the attic is converted into a functional and liveable loft. The loft can be a living space, storage, or even an entire house. Indeed, a loft conversion can let you give whatever use you deem necessary to that otherwise dark and dusty attic space.

Loft conversion is often preferred over more traditional means to extend the home. This is because loft conversion takes a lot less time and effort than something like single storey extensions to complete. The reason for this is that because this method doesn’t require fresh construction, as you only need to renovate the attic space. This can be done a lot more easily with the help of loft conversion companies. The price for these companies’ services varies, and this is one of the most important things to know if you were to set a proper budget.

Getting Quotes from Loft Conversion Firms

Getting loft conversion quotes isn’t easy when you’re simply looking up in online and print sources. As most lofts are custom built, it is best to make contact with your prospective companies. Here are a few reliable media through which you can do so:

1. Internet directories
Web directories allow you to search for conversion firms in or around your area. The search results from these directories contain some useful information under the company’s name. Among such info are loft conversion quotes for generic homes.

2. Phone
Getting quotes via phone is one of the most efficient alternatives to searching online resources. You can get the information you need and more in real time, plus you can communicate the exact specifications of the attic you wish to convert. You can find a conversion company’s phone number via its website or the yellow pages.

3. Email
The efficiency of acquiring loft conversion quotes via email depends upon the company. There are of course, many responsive companies that could get back rather quickly to their clients, making communicating with them via email just as efficient as making inquiries via the telephone.

When finding loft conversion quotes, there truly is no better way than communicating with one of the many conversion firms out there. Such correspondence can get you figures that fit well your home’s specifications, as well as some more helpful information.