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Loft Conversions 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Starting Your Project

Home Business Magazine Online

Thinking of having your loft converted? You’re in great company. Loft conversions are transforming the lives of homeowners across the UK, providing a bright, beautiful and functional space to be used in endless ways, and that can enhance the financial value of the home by tens of thousands (around 20% of the home’s value on average).

Of course, loft conversions do cost a substantial amount of money up front — they are an investment. They can cost anything from £15,000 – £25,000, all the way up to £80,000 and more depending on the kind of conversion you have had, any extras you have added like ensuites or kitchens, and the specific structural factors relating to your property.

The returns you get in exchange for this financial output are phenomenal. Before you get to that point, there’s a lot you need to be aware of before you start your project. A project so substantial has to be planned properly.

In this 101, we have all you need to know before the work begins, so you get the best possible results. Have the most stress-free experience whilst the loft construction company gets the work done. Let’s take a closer look:

Structural Integrity

When you have a loft converted, there is often a need for a structural engineer to be involved in the planning. This is because extra weight is being added to the home, and even just a small increase can change the structural integrity of the house. It was built with a certain design based on it being used in the way that it was designed. When you change that design and intended use, new calculations need to be made to check the foundations and other weight-bearing parts can handle that change. If not, adaptations can be made, including underpinning, which can add quite a lot more to the overall cost and disruption of the project, so has to be considered very early on.

Before anything is done, though, first the structural engineer, and potentially a building control officer will need to be involved to ensure the planned changes are safe and legal.

Head Height

Head height can be quite restrictive in some lofts. According to Building Regulations you should have at least 2.2 metres from the floor to stand, but more is advised for optimum comfort. There are ways to add more height, including lowering the ceilings of the top floor of your home, and considering options like dormer conversions and mansard conversions which add extra head height. Knowing your options is important because your initial plans for a simple skylight conversion may not be possible. Conversions that add more head height and room will cost more and take longer, so knowing what those options are and the associated implications early on gives you the best capacity for planning ahead.

The Legalities

The legalities of a loft construction are often very simple, but they still need to be considered a priority so that the work is all done above board. Building Regulations, 3rd Party Wall Agreements, loft conversion Planning Permission and legal issues related to conservation and Listed Buildings can all come into play. By using a trusted loft construction company, you can benefit from a lot of guidance with the paperwork, making sure you have all the permissions and legalities in line before any work begins.

No Need for a Project Manager

Most great loft construction companies will have a site manager who will give you regular updates on the work and keep you informed on the progress. All elements of the build are coordinated well, so you don’t need to manage the build yourself or hire a project manager. It’s important to know this so you save yourself the stress and cost of hiring a PM for this particular home improvement.

Building Work Impact on Home Life

Loft conversions are not as impactful on your home life as extensions — nowhere near. The work is completed at the top of the house, and so you can usually enjoy your kitchen, living room and other ground floor rooms with ease. We spend about three years of our life cooking, and when the cooking space is taken away temporarily because of building works, the impact on family life can be huge.

The preservation of daily living is such a great aspect of having a loft conversion rather than an extension, but it is important to understand that there will be some impact on your home life. Sometimes the ceilings of your highest floor have to be lowered to allow for more headspace in the loft room itself, which can mean those rooms are out of bounds for a short time.

The noise of work being done will impact higher levels of the house, too, so if you have a home office up there, or a nursery, you may need to rework the way the house is used for a short time. Lastly, the construction work can impact parking, entry access, and the noise and work may impact your neighbours.

A great loft construction company will be more than happy to discuss the way that your home and neighbourhood may be impacted by the work, and how you should prepare for that far in advance of the work being done.

The Details of Design

There are some exciting opportunities to elevate your loft beyond a standard design. It’s great to think about these options before you make a concrete plan for a build, as it ensures the results will be as specific to your taste and needs as possible. Windows, kitchens and kitchenettes, ensuites, balconies — there is a lot to think about. Will you be using the space as an Airbnb rental? Do you have specific views you want to access from the loft space? There are lots of things to think about as you plan your conversion.

A professional loft conversion company can help you recognise the true potential in your loft space and let you know different options that you have.

Keeping It Fire Safe

Many people don’t realise how impactful fire safety is on a loft build. There are some detailed regulations and recommendations relating to windows, stairs, insulation materials, plaster and more. They have to be done correctly to ensure that your home is completely safe with this new functional space added. A good loft construction company will be able to help with the fire safety considerations and will ensure that the regulations are a top priority when designing your conversion.

The Importance of a Great Loft Construction Company

A fantastic loft construction company is the key to all of the above and more to being as easy as possible when you’re planning your conversion. Legalities, design, disruption, cost, management — expect everything to be an open conversion when you choose the best loft construction company in your area. They will be able to bring all their experience, skills and customer service to the process so that you feel assured that your plans are legal, safe and will result in the stunning, functional conversion you have always dreamed of.

Consider speaking to Clapham Construction Service today to get more information about the loft conversion possibilities for your home. With over 20 years of experience and a highly experienced team, they may have everything you need for the thorough and easy planning and installation of your perfect loft space.

The post Loft Conversions 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Starting Your Project appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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