Planning a Loft Conversion

Planning a Loft Conversion may sound a daunting task, however with the right planning and advice your loft conversion and be done in a matter of weeks. In this guide we will give your some advice on what to think about when planning a loft conversion

First steps in Planning a Loft Conversion

There are two basic types of loft conversion:

  • a dormer conversion – building an extension that protrudes from the roof.
  • a Velux conversion – putting in windows that are flush with the roof.

As you might expect, the latter costs considerably less.

Approvals for Planning a Loft Conversion

Your plans will need to comply with building regulations. If you opt for the Dormer conversion option or the property needs extensive structural alteration then you will also need planning permission from the local council.

These days, the yellow pages are full of loft conversion companies with oodles of experience, so once you’ve chosen (based on asking around and checking out the works etc) you will most likely find that your chosen company will draw up all necessary plans and carry out the work. See our article about choosing and working with contractors.

It would be rare to need the services of an architect or structural engineer unless your plans are particularly unusual.

When to have your loft converted

Try and get the work done in the summer. Loft conversions can be structurally complete in six weeks, sometimes less. Once the structure is watertight it becomes less important how long the finishes take to perfect. The danger of doing a conversion in the autumn is that wet and windy weather can play havoc with your timings.

Think about how you intend to use the room. Work out where your desired furniture will go when it is complete. Try and position the windows, radiators and power sockets around your needs for the space rather than shoe-horning yourself into the space afterwards.

Loft Conversion Tips

Check that your central heating system is robust enough to cope with extra radiators. A new boiler may be expensive to buy and install (around £2,500) but it is far better to bite the bullet and get all the expensive, disruptive jobs done together than have to go back and address the corners you tied to cut at a later date.

There is no such thing as a “ball-park figure” for a loft conversion. They can cost as little as £20,000. They can also regularly cost £50,000. Some grander projects can cost double that. When Planning a Loft Conversion you make sure all the elements that you want included in the planning stage.

Photo Credit

Madeline Thomas

Madeline Thomas

A journalist for over a decade, Madeline has written internal publications for one of the big four banks and edited a pan-European series of websites for retail investors. She has contributed to the Money Observer and Telegraph's best of brokers section. She also appeared as a weekly pundit on CNBC Europe. Following three years writing for Reuters' UK website she left in 2006 to freelance. Since then, Madeline has written for the Mirror, Observer and Independent on Sunday as well as specialist trade papers, US magazines and various websites. Madeline specialises in writing about money, consumer issues and savvy women's copy with an original twist.

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