Loft Conversion

Loft Conversion – Converting the loft is a great way to add more space to your house. We can help you by unlocking the full potential of your loft. We create the drawings needed for planning and building works.

Real Homes have a number of great pages about loft conversions

Loft Conversion Types

Loft conversions come in different shapes and sizes. However, most fall within the following types:

 

  • Rear dormer
  • Hip to gable
  • Hip to gable with dormer
  • L-shaped
  • Rooflight

Design Parameters for Loft Conversions

The first step is to assess how practically viable the conversion is. Many lofts have low roofs, making it difficult to stand underneath. Other lofts have roof trusses meaning the roof is full of wood strutting. These are difficult to convert without removing the roof covering and structure. The trusses need to come out, instead rafters and purlins must be added. Other roof spaces have complex structural timberwork supported on brick piers. There may also be steel beams or purlins in the wrong place for your conversion.
A loft conversion usually has an impact upon the floor plan below. A new stair has to be wide enough and of a gradient which meets building regulations.
If these things can be overcome, the loft conversion is likely to be feasible. Sometimes a survey and a budget review is all that is needed to get the project on track.

Have a look at some options from Google Images by clicking below

Planning & Permitted Development

While many loft conversions fall under permitted development, you may need Planning, for any number of reasons. The Planning Portal offer guidance in determining whether a planning application is required. We can develop a design within permitted development  or review an existing design to determine where your project sits in relation to Planning.

Visit our Planning page

Click for information about Planning for Loft Conversions on the Planning Portal

Party Wall Notice

Loft Conversions often involve structural work on the party wall. A party wall is a structure you share with your adjoining neighbour. You will need a Party Wall Surveyor to issue a party wall notice to your neighbour to tell them about the work. This informs the neighbour of your project and how it will impact upon them. The neighbour can agree to the contents of the notice. If they do not agree within the timeframe, a party wall award is developed, which states that both parties agree to the changes. Both parties must sign the award before development begins.

Click for party wall information

Features which lift a Loft Conversion

At the top of the staircase we usually add a window. This gives plenty of natural light to your stair and landing. In the bedroom, we like to provide a flat wall for the bed to go onto. This can include boxing out or storage around the chimney. We generally add some acoustic insulation to the party wall. There are normally rooflights in the street-facing part of the roof. We place these within reach so they are easily opened. Otherwise, they should be either fixed or electrically opening. Thought needs to be given to whether these have internal electric blinds. Unwanted light floods into bedrooms through rooflights devoid of blinds.

Storage is an essential part of the loft. Building cupboards into the eaves can be a great way to achieve this. Your builder must detail membranes, insulation and weather seals properly. This eliminates roofspace draughts coming from behind the eaves cupboards. Wardrobe space can be built into the eaves. As the roof slopes, the space can be quite low. It is important to discuss their position with your architect. One of the main features we like to include is a juliet balcony. This allows you to open your door and pull up a chair. You will be at one with the trees and birds at roof level.

Loft Conversion – Technical Design

Even if your project does not require Planning, it will still need to pass building regulations. One factor in a loft conversion is fire safety. The new loft level needs to have safe passage all the way to the final exit. This is achieved by upgrading fire doors, adding compartments and installing a fire detection and alarm system.

Visit our Technical page

Click for information about building regulations

Click for information about LABC

Structural Design

A Structural Engineer will need to make structural calculations. There is a process for the structural work. The architect normally designs the basic parameters of the loft conversion. The architect sends this to the structural engineer to develop the structural design. Once complete, the structural engineer issues the structural design to the architect. The architect reviews it and co-ordinates both designs. This can involve changes to both the architect’s work and the structural engineer’s work. When complete, the co-ordinated designs are ready for issue. Both sets of information are sent to the contractor to build from.

Enquire about a Loft Conversion

Call the office on 0113 318 3078 or 07772 750 855, email enquire@we-draw-buildings.com or send a message via the contact page.