Need Loft Conversions In Newtown? Great Dorset Builder Alternative
A loft conversion is a process by which empty space in an attic is transformed into an entirely functioning room. The room can then be used as an office, gym, bedroom or storeroom. Benefits of loft conversions in Newtown are:
Increase the size of the home cheaply: By converting empty space into a functional room, homeowners can increase the size of their homes by up to 30% at affordable rates. This is in comparison to relocating or paying for a full extension.
Value addition: Loft conversions typically increase property value by 15 – 20%. This is handy particularly should homeowners decide to sell their property.
Loft Space Conversion Feasibility
Before any loft conversion project can be carried out, the loft space must be carefully investigated by professional Newtown home builder to know the dimensions of space and determine feasibility. Ultimately, the suitability will be determined by:
Head Height: The minimum requirement is 2.2 meters. This measurement is taken right from the top of the ceiling joist to the bottom of the ridge.
Pitch Angle: This is the angle of deviation from measured from the horizontal. A greater pitch angle increases head height.
Structure Type: Traditional frame roofs (pre-1960) are the most suitable for loft conversions. This is because ceiling joists, rafters and support beams are sized and assembled on the construction site. This means that there is more input into the structure hence more room as the beams can be quickly strengthened by only adding supports that can open up more space. Modern roofs are truss section type. These are factory made and generally use slender pieces of wood. They have braced diagonal timber to add structural strength but lack support structures below the roof space. If they are to be opened up, they require more structural input in the form of steel beams at the ridge and between load-bearing walls. This requires a lot of knowledge, skill and equipment which will limit DIY loft conversions in Dorset.
Four Main Types of Loft Conversion
Dormer Conversion: This is a box-shaped structure that extends from the side or back of the roof. It is sometimes known as a box or kennel conversion.
Roof Window Conversion: As the name suggests, it is a “window” that is “cut” into the roof, and a frame is then fitted with the “window” after reinforcement of the remaining rafters. Flashings are then added before remodelling the surrounding roof tiles. It is the most common, easiest and cheapest loft conversion.
Mansard Conversion: This is an entire overhaul of the roof slope to approximately 72o. It requires a significant input of building and structural work in order to achieve this kind of conversion. It is the most expensive.
Hip-to-Gable Conversion: This involves converting the sloping (hip) side of the roof into a flat edge to create extra room. It is also quite pricey.
Newtown Loft Conversion Cost
It should be noted that prices vary according to geographical location and any “extras” included on the conversions. The following is a general price guide for the UK.
Dormer Conversion: £19000 – £27000
Mansard Conversion: £33000 – £35000
Hip-to-Gable Conversion: £30000 – £32000
Planning Permission for Converting a Loft
It is important for any homeowner in Newtown, Dorset to confirm with their respective Local Planning Authority before carrying out any loft conversions with regards to planning permissions. In most countries, loft conversions are classified as permitted developments but it doesn’t apply to people residing in or around the following areas:
• National parks
• World Heritage sites
• Conservation areas
• Listed buildings
Furthermore, there are other requirements that must be met in order for loft conversions to fall under permitted developments. These are:
• A maximum extension of 40 cubic meters is allowed for terraced houses and 50 cubic meters for semi-detached houses.
• No extension should exceed the roof height
• Loft conversions shouldn’t include raised platforms, balconies or verandas
• All materials used for roof extensions should be similar to the ones used for constructing the original property
• Roof extensions should set back a minimum of 20cm from the roof eaves
• Roof extensions for homes facing highways should not be beyond the principal elevation plane of the existing roof slope
• All installed side windows should be placed at a minimum height of 1.7 meters and must be “obscure-glazed”.
• Any roof extension cannot overhang the exterior wall face of the original house.
It is strongly recommended that any homeowner needing to perform a loft conversion may be required to read a “technical guide” prepared by their respective government so as to enable them understand how permitted development rules apply to their individual circumstances. An example is in the case of protected species. If a protected species of animal lives in a building that is to be converted, special permits may be required. Professional loft converters are generally conversant with planning permissions.
Building Regulations for Roof Space Conversion
If the loft or roof space is to be converted into a functional room, it has to meet building regulations as laid down by the local Newtown authorities. Most requirements laid down in building regulations are there to ensure that:
• All necessary building and construction criteria are met.
• All laws relating to environment, health and safety are strictly adhered to.
In general, loft conversions have to meet the following requirements:
Fire Safety: The installation of proper smoke detectors and alarms along with an escape route must be done.
Ventilation: Loft conversions have to be adequately ventilated by installing adequate windows and air vents
Electrical Safety: All electrical installations must be by a qualified and certified electrician
Plumbing: If a homeowner wants to include an en suite bathroom, all piping and plumbing related activities have to be done by a certified plumber
Structural Safety: The stability of the structure (including existing roof) is not under any danger. The new floor has to be structurally strong.
Sound Insulation: There should be adequate sound insulation between the loft and rooms below.
Heat Insulation: The loft has to be adequately insulated to minimise energy loss.
When it comes to loft conversions or roof extensions in Newtown, a lot of things have to be taken into considerations. It’s not just a matter of starting and finishing the project. You have to look at all the factors very careful. This is the only way you can avoid any unnecessary future expenses. So be sure to take a second look when it comes to loft space conversion.