For those who need extra space, loft conversions can create the perfect solution. Space for additional bedrooms, a study, a music room, the kids’ playroom or simply additional storage space. A loft conversion can be a cost-effective way of creating extra space without the need to move to a new property. Although not necessarily adding significant value to your property, a loft conversion will make your property more marketable should you decide to move and need to sell.
Here are six important do’s and don’ts to consider before going ahead with a loft conversion:
1. Do think about what you need and want
Ensure that plenty of thought is given to how the new space will be used and what is actually needed.
- Will the converted loft space be used as a habitable space?
- How will access to the converted space be made?
- What impact will the conversion have on the rest of the property?
- Which services are required – electricity, water, wifi etc.?
- Is a shower room or toilet required?
- Will the new space require heating?
2. Do check Building Regulations
Safety, structural integrity and strength are fundamental factors when considering a loft conversion. An appreciation and understanding of the appropriate building regulations is vital. The specific building regulations that apply deal with:
- The structural integrity and strength of the new floor
- Ensuring the stability of the structure (including the existing roof) is not altered
- Safely designed stairs to the new floor
- Safe escape from fire
- Sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below
3. Do get multiple quotations
Obtain multiple quotes from different building contractors. Request detailed, written quotations for the work that is going to be performed. Reputable, professional contractors should be happy to prepare obligation free quotes if they value having your business. Delays can sometimes be unavoidable – try and get a clear understanding of how long the conversion will take from start to finish.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Discuss your needs and requirements with different contractors. Although this may be the first time you have undertaken a loft conversion, many building contractors and loft conversion specialists will have converted many different properties and structures. Ask the contractor to make suggestions and offer advice to help ensure the best solution for your specific needs is adequately met.
5. Don’t forget to consider the time of year
Seasonal considerations – In fairly simplistically terms, Summer is warm and dry, Winter is cold and wet. Spring and Autumn are somewhere in-between. It is highly likely that the contractors, associated building materials and equipment will need access through the property during the conversion process. Part or parts of the roof will need to be removed to aid the addition of windows or a dormer. Ensure any construction timeframes meet your needs.
6. Don’t leave it all to the contractor
Develop and nurture a good working relationship with your chosen contractor – copious supplies of tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches generally work wonders in this respect. Try and ensure you are available ‘on-site’ such that any design issues, construction matters or completion snags can be discussed and quickly resolved.
Have a project in mind? Call us now on 01473 735317 or contact us.