TOP

Converting Your Loft? 4 Things to Complete Before Beginning

At first, purchasing a property can feel like a dream come true; however, what once felt like a dream can quickly become a nightmare over time. There are various reasons that families outgrow their homes, and sadly many homeowners end up trapped within their once-dream home because they cannot afford the cost of upgrading to a more extensive property.

With the average cost of moving house estimated to be between £6000-£10,000, it’s not surprising that many families opt to renovate their existing property instead of relocating to a new one. Granted, relocating, and renovating both have pros and cons, but for families on a budget renovating is a much more affordable way of upgrading a property without breaking the bank.

Fortunately, homeowners can take advantage of many home improvement opportunities to add more space and value to their property. One of the most popular home improvement choices is a loft conversion, which can add an estimated 20% increase in value to the overall price of your home. If you’re considering converting your loft, here are several things you should do before starting.

Assess Your Existing Loft Space

The first thing you should do when considering a loft conversion is to assess your existing loft space to see whether the project will be viable or not. You’ll need to think about what you want to do with the space, your intended outcomes and how you plan to achieve them. Some of the main aspects that you’ll need to consider to ensure that your project is feasible are as follows:

  • Head Height – Firstly, you’ll have to measure the head height of your loft to ensure that it meets the requirements for loft conversions as outlined by building regulations. Find out if your loft is suitable by measuring from the top of the ceiling joist to the ridge board in the apex. To be ideal for conversion, it needs to measure 2,500mm.
  • Roof Pitch – Once you’ve calculated the head height of your loft, you’ll then have to measure the angle of your roof. It’s also worthwhile remembering that the higher the pitch of your roof, the more the overall head height will be.
  • Floor Space – Next, you’ll have to measure the floor space you’ll have to work with. Generally, it is recommended that the length and width of the room between the walls should be a minimum of 5.5m and 7.5m. The chimney should also be included within these measurements.

Double-Check That The Space Isn’t Already Inhabited

Another thing that you should do before starting any work is to double-check that your existing loft space isn’t already inhabited. Unbeknownst to us, our lofts can become the ideal home for several unexpected, furry visitors ranging from pests such as squirrels or rodents to protected species like bats. Checks should be carried out before starting any work to ensure the safety of such creatures.

Failure to carry out relevant checks before starting work can cause various problems for homeowners. From unexpected delays to further difficulties, if you find bats in your existing loft space, it can cause multiple disruptions to your loft conversion plans due to the legalisation to protect them.

To avoid any complications arising, homeowners are recommended to get a bat survey carried out before submitting their application for planning permission (if necessary). Ecological surveys, like bat surveys, must be carried out by licensed professionals such as batsurveys.co.uk. For more insight, consider browsing their website for the extensive list of environmental surveys they carry out or contact a team member directly to learn how their services could benefit your loft conversion plans. Visit their website to discover more or to get a free quote today.

Determine How You Will Use The Space

Once you have assessed your existing loft space and determined whether it is suitable for conversion or not, you’ll next have to think about how you intend to use it. Loft conversions present homeowners with several different opportunities to use the newly created space and how the use of such would best benefit them.

Suppose that you or your partner work remotely? In that case, you could consider turning it into a home office, so the separation of work and family life is more manageable. Or, if you require more space, you could convert your new space into a living area that doubles as guest accommodation for when friends or family come to stay.

If you opt for the latter option, might you be considering installing a bathroom with shower facilities? Or is it spacious enough to accommodate a bath? If this is the case, ensure that you have enough headroom, as putting bathrooms into loft conversions can be restrictive if not measured correctly.

The beauty of loft conversions is that the possibilities are limitless. Outlining what you intend to do with the new space once converted will make the process easier, and providing that you opt for a feature that will benefit you and your family’s needs, you’ll find that your new addition will make your house much more liveable.

Enlist The Services Of An Experienced Builder

Supposing that you’re not planning to attempt a DIY conversion, the next step in your loft conversion plans should be talking to and enlisting the services of an experienced builder. Generally, it is often recommended for homeowners to enlist the services of a professional as opposed to carrying out the works themselves due to the large amount of work involved and aspects that novice DIY-ers may find challenging.

Contrary to popular belief, a builder is not your only option if you’re looking at enlisting professional help with your building project. There is a wide range of professional services that those on a loft conversion journey can employ, from architects/technicians to building surveyors and loft conversion companies.

Before deciding on which service to enlist, it’s essential that you weigh up the costs and pros/cons of each to determine which service is best for your needs. For example, employing a loft conversion company might mean that they can offer you a package, whereas a builder might be able to provide something similar for less. To ensure that you get the best price possible, ensure that you collect numerous quotes and be honest with your goals so that a realistic fee can be given.