Loft Conversions

Are you wanting to develop that loft space in your house? Do you need a professional to produce loft conversion plans for you?

Are you looking to convert your loft space into a new room or two? In most cases this is a simple conversion and indeed may not even need planning permission but qualify for ‘permitted development’ which is a pre-agreed permission by the government providing the conversion falls within certain criteria. I can advise if your conversion falls within that. If it doesn’t, not to worry, it just means planning permission will need to be applied for, which I can take care of for you.

In either case you will always need building regulation approval. Architectural Technicians like myself are experts in building regulations and producing construction drawings.

Can your loft be converted?

In most cases it comes down to two main questions – Existing roof design and Headroom.

Type of Structure: Two main structures are used for roof construction — namely traditional framed type and truss section type.

Pre 1960s, The traditional framed type is typically found in pre-1960s houses where the rafters and ceiling joists, together with supporting timbers, are cut to size on site and assembled. The loft space is usually quite open and i remember having my train set in a loft like this as a child!.

This type of structure has more structural input, so is often the most suitable type for conversion. The space can be easily, and relatively inexpensively, opened up by strengthening the rafters and adding supports as specified by a structural engineer.

Post 1960s, the most popular form of construction used factory-made truss roof sections. These will have timbers running diagonally from top to bottom through the roof space. These utilize thinner – and therefore cheaper timbers – but have structural integrity by the addition of the diagonal timbers. They allow a house roof to be erected and felted in a day, which is a big advantage to the original builder. However, this will normally involve the insertion of steel beams between load bearing walls for the new floor joists to hang on and the rafter section to be supported on — together with a steel beam at the ridge.

Head Height: If able, take a measurement from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist; the useable part of the roof should be greater than 2.2m.

So how much does it all cost?

Loft conversions can range from £10K to £35K+ depending on how big the space is and what you want to do. My fee quote are usually between £450 & £700 and its common that a structural engineer input is needed. The engineers I use typically charge around £200 and I can liasie with the engineer on your behalf.

The Process

  1. It starts by asking me for a quote to draw up your plans etc. Once that is accepted I will call to your house and measure up. We usually have a chat about your ideas and I can offer advice or some suggestions you may not have considered. I will then start drawing the existing and proposed plans up. Initially these are simple so we can run through all the options, move doors and walls around etc until you are happy with the layout and look. This is all included so not worries about escalating costs. There is even an option to simply stop at this point, with no further fees or expense.
  2. Once you are happy with a layout I will put together the planning package and submit the application for you if it is needed. I will continue to liaise with the planners until the decision comes through, usually around 8 weeks.
  3. We also need to produce the building regulation drawings, which your builder will also use to construct the loft conversion. These drawings are technical and carry a lot of information on things like insulation, drainage, ventilation, structure and fire precautions. Once complete I will submit for Building Regulation approval for you. This takes around 5 weeks so most clients like to submit at the same time as planning permission so both permissions are approved at the same time.
  4. You can also use this time to obtain quotes from builders and get them booked in to start work.

As mentioned, for a professional like myself it’s a simple and straightforward process and I’m here to ensure that the experience is the same for you.

Lets get started!

It starts with asking me for a free no obligation quote, however with a 90% acceptance rate on the quotes I offer, like the 35+ other home owners so far n 2015, things can start moving forward for you very soon!

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