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Loft Conversions

Loft conversions fall into one of four basic types, which type you decide to use for your loft conversion will depend on many factors such as the design of your Loft conversions fall into one of four basic types, which type you decide to use for your loft conversion will depend on many factors such as the design of your existing roof, your budget, planning restrictions and your own personal preferences and requirements:
  • Velux  
  • Dormer
  • Hip to Gable Loft Conversion
  • Mansard Loft Conversion

Velux and rooflight conversions are the same. Velux are the leading manufacturer of roof windows and with over 60 years experience producing windows the name Velux has become synonymous with this type of conversion. This type of conversion is generally very cost effective. With this type of conversion, we would create a room/rooms within the existing shape of the roof at present using Velux windows for light and ventilation. With this type of conversion, we would not extend or alter the existing shape of the roof at present. Normally, planning permission is not required for this type of conversion. However, a full set of Architect's plans would be necessary along with the designs of a Structural Engineer and subsequent calculations to verify designs. This will be necessary to justify all current building regulations. However, if your property is in a conservation area, there may be restrictions on the design and shape of the Velux windows to be installed.

Dormer's have been referred to in many different ways, Dormer windows, Dormer extensions, roof extensions, attic extensions. A dormer is an extension to the existing roof, allowing for additional floor space and headroom within the loft conversion. Dormers protrude from the roof slope, normally at the rear of the property and can be built in a variety of styles. Internally, a dormer will have a horizontal ceiling and vertical walls compared to the normal diagonal sides of a Velux conversion. In lofts that have limited space or headroom a dormer will provide additional space that can make a conversion feasible.

The size, shape and general design of this or any other Dormer can vary greatly. This type of conversion may also not require planning permission. Householders have what is known as a permitted development allowance (LINK). This permitted development allowance is usually measured in cubic metres. The amount allowed (cubic metres) varies from property to property. Generally, the allowance would be between 50 and 70 cubic metres or 20% of the overall volume of the property. Again, as per roof line conversions, even if planning permission is not required, Architect's plans along with Structural Engineers calculations will be necessary to conform and to comply with the current building regulations.

A mansard roof has two slopes, the lower slope is close to vertical at 72 degrees and the top section of the roof is almost horizontal. A mansard roof has the advantage of maximising the available space within your loft. This is another construction to the rear of your property and has a flat roof, however the back wall slopes inwards at an angle of 72 degrees and windows are housed in small dormers.

Hip to Gable
A hip to gable conversion involves making fairly major changes to the roof. The gable wall is built up to the ridge line and a new section of roof is built to fill in the gap. As a general rule, houses with hip roofs tend to not have enough internal volume for a conversion to be practical so a hip to gable conversion is the best solution. This involves changing the sloping side of your property, the "hipped side", to a flat, gable end, creating a much bigger loft room and often creating space for the staircase.

Permissions And Control
Having your loft converted is always exciting however, it is important that your conversion does not distract you from some very important considerations. Your loft conversion must meet building regulations at a minimum and may in some circumstances require planning permission. These "Regulations" are in place to ensure that any project undertaken is built to a standard that is not only safe and environmentally friendly but is also practical and easily usable. There are literally hundreds of regulations and requirements set out all of which reputable loft conversion companies must know. Any loft conversion will at a minimum be required to meet building regulations and be inspected by the Building Control Surveyor from your local council. Before starting work on a loft conversion you should have a basic understanding of building regulations, planning permission and permitted development. It is essential that your loft conversion meets all of the regulations and permissions that apply. Without them you may find yourself being ordered to remove any alterations and you may have problems if you decide to sell your house at a later date.

In some cases your loft conversion may not need planning permission providing the work meets certain rules. Please note though that if you have bats in your loft, you may need a license and you will need to consult Natural England for advice because bats are a protected species throughout Britain.

Projects that meet the rules are within what's known as 'permitted development'. But if you get it wrong, correcting a mistake can be expensive. The Planning Portal have some visual guides on their website makes this kind of error less likely. Planning Portal Director Chris Kendall said: "The guides make it easier for the public to carry out a range of home improvement projects."

Follow this link to the Planning Portal website to find out more or alternately you can download the guidance you need as a PDF file:
Click here

Contact your local council for more information. To find the website for your local council follow this link: Click here

If you would like a free, no-obligation survey and quotation, please feel free to contact us.

Email: info@starrlofts.co.uk

Freephone: 0800 111 4442

Telephone: 020 8655 2882

Mobile: 07970 489 942

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