Expanding your home’s space is a great alternative to moving house, especially if your family is growing fast! Loft conversions are an effective way of turning relatively useless space into an extra room or two. Here are some top tips to ensure that your loft conversion goes as smoothly as possible:
Any big changes to your property should not be taken lightly – it is your home after all. Check your home insurance to see what they do and don’t cover for major works such as loft conversions before any building work begins. It is always better to be prepared in the event of unforeseen accidents than not, so know where you stand before you start.
Do you need planning permission?
Loft conversions are normally considered permitted developments which means that you do not need to apply for planning permission. Even so, there are still exceptions to this such as if your home is within a conservation area or a listed building.
How much of your loft can you convert?
A volume allowance determines how much additional space you can create with your planned conversion. The allowance depends on the type of property you own. Terraced houses have an allowance of 40 cubic metres of additional roof space while semi-detached and detached properties have a 50 cubic metre allowance. This includes any previous roof space additions so you’ll need to take this into account if your home has previously had any kind of loft conversion added already.
Ensure your conversion is legal
While it isn’t usually necessary to apply for planning permission it is compulsory for your changes to meet required building regulations such as sufficient strength of the structural floor, stability of the structure, adequate fire escapes and safely designed stairs. It is better to know that your property meets the requirements as the work is carried out in order to prevent any additional time, cost and hassle afterwards, so it is recommended to contact your local Building Control while still in the planning.
It is always best to do your homework before embarking on a project of this size. If in doubt at all or for further information make sure you seek expert advice.