It might be difficult to get started on a loft conversion or expansion if you have never done one before. As a result, we’ve created a guide to assist you.
Aside from moving, a loft extension or conversion is likely to be one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your home. However, knowing that you’re working with a competent firm that prioritises your requirements will set your mind at ease. We’ve been assisting our clients in making extra space out of their current houses in Glasgow and Edinburgh for over three decades.
You’ll need to think about a few things even before you start designing your new loft conversion. First and foremost, is the area large enough? It must be between 2.2m and 2.4m in height, or between 2.4m and 2.6m if it is a new roof with trusses. Check for any chimneys or elevators in the area. Other factors to consider are whether the roof is finished and, most crucially, the benefits of the conversion.
There are many different sorts of lofts to select from, just as there are many different sorts of houses. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a normal two-up-two-down, a Glasgow Victorian house, or anything else. The most common type of loft conversion is a dormer loft conversion, which means the roof isn’t rebuilt or removed; instead, you’re simply building onto the existing roof site.
DORMER WITH FULL WIDTH
This type of loft conversion entails adding a loft conversion that spans the entire width of your roof. Maybe you want a private room separate from the rest of the house. If you want to add a lovely new master bedroom suite to your loft area, or even a magnificent living area to enjoy, this layout is a great choice. This loft conversion will provide you with plenty of living space.
GABLE TO HIP
This is where the hips, or the roof’s sloping edges, are converted to form a gable wall for this style of loft conversion. If you’re searching for extra headroom in your house, this is a great option. It also means you’ll have a lot more living space. If you need a new bedroom, study, playroom, or extra living space, this is the place for you.
These are only appropriate for certain types of dwellings, such as Victorian residences and corner terraced houses. This is where the extension to the back of your house is built. This form of loft conversion will provide you with the greatest space, as it allows you to add different rooms to your house. A bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, for example.
If you’re worried about headroom, a garage is a great alternative to consider. You’ll have to take one side of your roof off, which will be expensive. The roof slope will be at least 72 degrees after the mansard conversion. Although you will require planning approval for this layout, you will undoubtedly benefit from the additional space provided by your new loft area.
Loft Conversion with a Single Dormer
DORMER FOR A SINGLE PERSON
Even though they were first seen in the 16th century, these forms of loft conversions have grown increasingly common in current construction. You’ll get two distinct advantages by adding a single dormer to your loft: greater room and a lot more light. If your house is in a conservation area, you’ll almost certainly get planning approval if you build in the same style as the existing house.
ARE YOU READY TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR DREAM LOFT CONVERSION?
GET A PRICE QUOTE
OPTIONS FOR THE ROOF
If you’re thinking about doing a loft conversion or addition, keep in mind that the roof structure will have to change significantly to offer you the area you want. This also implies that the roof’s floor will need to be reinforced in order to support the weight of the new structure.
Trusses for the roof
Purlins and rafters were utilised in the original roof design to provide structural support, but this does not affect a loft conversion. If the struts and purlins are removed, however, the support for your roof will be lost. In their place, contemporary construction of wooden or steel supports is frequently utilised, ensuring that the roof structure does not droop.
If your home was built during the 1970s, it was most likely constructed with trussed rafters, which are very difficult to install. Prior to beginning the loft conversion procedure, it will be necessary to get guidance from a structural engineer. The trusses are frequently removed and replaced with rafters made of manufactured wood or steel. As a result, you’ll have more living space in your loft.
THINKING ABOUT COSTS
We don’t have a defined price for our loft conversions because no two loft expansions are alike. We will provide you with a quote depending on everything that is required. However, keep reading for an estimate of what you might anticipate paying. When evaluating your new loft construction, keep in mind that it will increase the value of your home by up to 20%, depending on the size of your loft.
A BREAKDOWN OF THE COSTS
There are several considerations to be made. These factors include the size of your present loft, the type of property you own, the location of the property, and the number of rooms. We’ll have to see whether you’ll need any building permits. Following the construction of the building, we’ll need to consider what you’ll need in terms of plumbing, electrics, and finishing touches such as fixtures and fittings.
PRICES IN GUIDELINES
Interior of a Dormer Loft Conversion DORMER LOFT CONVERSION
This project would cost between £32,000 and £38,000, based on a similar project in Cockfosters.
Interior of an L-shaped loft conversion L-SHAPED LOFT CONVERSION
This project would cost between £44,000 and £51,000, based on a similar project on Thorold Road.
Interior of a Mansard Loft Conversion
CONVERSION OF A MANSARD LOFT
This project would cost between £40,000 and £47,000, based on a similar project in East Barnet.
Here are some estimates for loft conversions in Glasgow to give you a ballpark figure. These will differ based on the type of project and the expenses associated with roof modifications:
£40,000 + VAT for a bungalow conversion
£32K + VAT for an end-of-terrace loft conversion
£2000 + VAT for an extra bedroom
£30K + VAT for a mid-terrace loft conversion
£36K + VAT for a semi-detached loft conversion
£30K + VAT for a truss loft conversion
£30K + VAT for a three-story loft conversion
SERVICES OF A PROFESSIONAL NATURE
Here are some examples of our loft conversion planning prices:
£800 is budgeted for technical sketches.
£500 (plus £500 for a structural engineer) for a building inspection.
£400-£1400 for design plans
£500-£1800 for structural design by an engineer
£60-£110 for a party wall consultation and draught blueprints
£1500-2500 for project management
£172 for permitted development
Scaffold rent, erection, and removal costs range from £1000 to £3000.
EACH AND EVERY FS
Following the structural construction, the four Fs must be considered: fittings, finishing details, fixtures, and furnishings. When it comes to the ultimate cost of your loft conversion, everything will be determined by your budget and willingness to spend it. You may also opt to do part of the work yourself to save money. Here’s a breakdown of some of the potential costs:
The bathroom, including sanitary items, ranges in price from £3000 to £6000.
£800-£2500+ for doors and windows
£1500-£3000 (electrics, lighting, wiring, etc.)
£1000-£1800 for external electricity for a separate addition.
Flooring materials cost more than £25 per square metre.
Furniture costs between £1500 and £3000.
£75-£150 per hour for an interior designer
£3000-£4500+ for a metal exterior stairwell
Plastering costs between £450 and £1000.
£1200-£2500 for plumbing
Internal stairwell and access: £750-£2000
£3500 for tiles and guttering
4 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A LOFT CONVERSION COMPANY
It might be a difficult decision to make when deciding on a loft conversion. The most crucial decision you’ll have to make is who will construct your ideal loft conversion or loft extension. What do you do when there are so many different firms to pick from? Although we’d be delighted if you chose us, we’ve compiled a list of crucial considerations to keep in mind when selecting a provider.
LOOK AT THEIR REVIEWS.
Recommendations are crucial, but there are a plethora of websites that can provide you with reviews – but you must verify that they are genuine. Ratings and reviews may be found on websites like Trust a Trader, Rated People, and TrustPilot. Supplier websites may also include ‘Trust Boxes.’ You can also look for reviews on Google Reviews and Facebook, but it can be difficult to tell if they are genuine or not.
VERIFY THE ACCREDITATIONS
Any renovation done on your property is a significant investment. It’s also critical to make sure the company you hire is accredited and a member of a professional organization dedicated to providing excellent service.The Federation of Master Builders, which has been advocating excellent building standards for 75 years, comes highly recommended. The Guild of Master Builders is a great place to find respectable builders that are dedicated to quality.
CHECK OUT YOUR PREVIOUS WORK
You may have ideas about how you want your new loft space to appear while you’re planning it. You’ll undoubtedly want your loft conversion to be unique, which is why you’ll need to choose a contractor that can turn your thoughts into reality. Looking over their prior projects is a terrific method to get fresh ideas and assess how good they are at what they do.
SET UP A MEETING
It’s critical that you schedule a meeting with your preferred provider before making your final selection. Take advantage of the chance to discuss your goals for your new living place. Find out what thoughts they have and see whether they are compatible with yours. Your initial consultation should be complimentary, and any loft conversions that need money are not suggested.
Here are some things to think about in order to get the most out of your first consultation:
What is included in your fee?
How long will it take to complete the process?
Is it possible for me to utilise my own design or a design firm?
What happens to the money I put down?
Do you have any experience with asbestos?
Will I need to get planning clearance for my home?
Could you assist with locating the last fixtures and fittings?
Personal recommendations are also important, so don’t forget to ask around about other people’s experiences with your selected supplier.
GETTING READY FOR THE BUILD
Once you’ve decided to go through with your loft conversion, there are a number of things you’ll need to undertake in advance. Here are some frequently asked questions:
ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO COLLABORATE WITH OUR ARCHITECT?
Some of our clients have already hired their own architect; if this is the case for you, check with your loft extension firm to see whether they’re okay with it. Most businesses will be pleased to collaborate with your architect, but some may choose to hire all of their own experts in-house. This might be due to their personal style or the fact that they like to work with specific architects.
WHAT EFFECT WILL THE BUILD HAVE ON MY HOME?
This is a critical question. The scaffolding will be constructed around the side of your house at first, with security in mind. Roofing work should take around two months to complete. The roof will next be joined to your home, followed by the stairs, which we will handcraft over the course of a few days. The final fits and fixtures will take approximately two weeks, and we will make every attempt to minimise any inconvenience.
DO I NEED TO INFORM MY NEIGHBORS?
Notifying your neighbours about your loft conversion plans is both courteous and highly encouraged. There are very few troubles that we encounter. It is unlikely that you will be barred from completing your loft conversion if you follow all of the necessary laws and regulations. This is usually the sole cause of contention if you have a party wall that affects both yours and your neighbours’ homes.
WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?
If you’re considering a loft conversion but aren’t sure how to pay for it, we recommend contacting your bank or building society. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with advice on how to effectively raise the funds. Improving your home may be a great way to turn your house into a financial investment, but you must first ensure that your financial situation is healthy before you consider taking out a loan.
CAN I SAVE MONEY BY DOING SOME OF THE WORK MYSELF?
Some loft conversion businesses will just do the structural work, leaving you to finish the remainder of the project yourself. Although this appears to be a less cost alternative, it can quickly add up owing to the necessity to hire electricians, plumbers, decorators, and other specialists. You should also be informed that the loft conversion firm will not be held liable for any work that is not finished by them.
PERMISSION FOR PLANNING
If you’re not sure if you’ll require planning approval, think about the size of the expansion you want to build. You’ll require planning approval if your conversion is more than 40 cubic metres (if you live in a terraced house) or 50 cubic metres (for any other property type). Even if you have approved development rights, you should check to see whether there have been any past expansions.
Planning Permission is not required if:
Your extension will not obstruct your view.
A balcony, elevated platform, or veranda will not be added.
The addition will be no more than a few inches longer than the present roof slope plane.
The loft conversion’s roof is still taller than the old roof.
Your property isn’t in a designated conservation area or an area of exceptional natural beauty.
The expansion extends more than 20cm beyond the original eaves (excluding hip to gable)
REGULATIONS FOR BUILDINGS
The permission of the construction rules is required. This is usually done through a process known as a “full plans application.” This entails your loft conversion company/designer preparing precise designs, filling out an application, and paying the required money. It’s critical that the procedure is followed to the letter, or your fee will be forfeited and your job will be delayed. Before beginning construction, you should expect to wait between 2-3 weeks for a response.
WALLS FOR PARTIES
You must offer at least two months’ notice if you own a semi-detached or terraced home. If you want to start sooner, you’ll need to get your neighbor’s permission. • Underpinning for the party wall is necessary • Flashing from the wall to the lower roof abutment is necessary • Demolition or rebuilding is necessary • Removal of a bearing of beam by cutting into a wall or the installation of a damp wall course is necessary
DETAILS ON PARTY WALLS
It is not unlawful to begin work prior to receiving party wall notification; but, if you do not, your neighbours may seek a court order to stop your construction, which may cost you a lot of money. It’s a good idea to put your agreement in writing. You will need to confirm notice on the visible section of the building if your neighbouring property is unoccupied, but you will not need to inform your local government.
ISSUES WITH THE PARTY WALL
If you and your neighbour have a disagreement over a party wall, you’ll need to locate a “agreed surveyor” to organise a “award.” It will outline the work that has been agreed upon and when it will be completed. It will be created by two distinct surveyors and finalised by a third if necessary. It will also specify whether any further safeguards are necessary to protect the overlapping property. The surveyor will be in touch to keep track on the situation.
STAIRCASE PLANNING THAT IS SAFE
Building laws demand that you consider an escape route in the event of a fire when planning a loft addition. This necessitates the installation of smoke detectors and fire doors on each storey. Fire protection may also be required in your walls and flooring. Fire-resistant doors, specialised dividers, and sprinkler systems will also help open-plan rooms. You’ll need to plan a ‘escape window,’ which must be at least 1.1m above ground level and feature escape hinges.
ARE YOU CONSIDERING A THREE-STOREY BUILDING?
The addition of three stories necessitates additional safety precautions. Any smoke detection equipment must be powered by the mains — just in case the batteries die. You’ll also want to make sure the stairs are fire-resistant because they’ll be the major escape route. Your surveyor will need to work with building codes to come up with a safe solution, which might involve a fire escape and/or sprinkler system.
BATHROOMS THAT ARE OUTSTANDING
A luxurious bathroom is one of the highlights of a loft conversion, but you’ll need to determine if it’s a practical choice. Make sure the house is sturdy enough to support the weight of the sanitary ware, new tiles, and any porcelain you want. To protect your home against floods, you’ll probably require a new brick wall, which will be covered by plastering or ornamentation.
When it comes to plumbing, loft expansions may be challenging, which is why skilled design, planning, and installation are required. You may be able to use existing systems, but you may need to instal a new drainage system to comply with plumbing and construction codes. Due to low pressure, this may need the purchase of a new boiler. Your present boiler will need to be checked to see whether it has enough pressure, which your loft company will do.
If you live in a densely populated region, your new loft space may need to be a haven of peace. Soundproofing the room may be accomplished by using acoustic mineral wool between the existing wall and the stud wall, as well as wooden battens between the ceiling and the floor. Soundproofing should be roughly 4 inches thick, with all seams sealed with silicon gel. Secondary glazing or specialty windows will undoubtedly assist.
COSTS OF SOUNDPROOFING
Soundproofing doors and windows can result in a decrease of up to 50 decibels. This will be determined by the amount of soundproofing you require. Secondary glazing is the most common choice, however it has a limited sill area and is not widely used. Furthermore, conservation zones may require specialty windows, which your selected loft provider may build. The following are typical costs:
From £300 for secondary glazing
From £530 for soundproof casement windows
French doors that are soundproof start at £2000.
Sash windows that are soundproof start at £750.
THINKING ABOUT INSULATION REQUIREMENTS
Insulation standards have grown quite rigorous, much more so than a decade ago. In fact, many modern loft conversions and additions would fail today’s insulation assessments. According to building standards, you’ll need one of the following:
Spray foam with a thickness of 125mm.
270mm layer of wool or fibre insulation 175mm rigid board insulation This results in a u-value of 0.18W/m2 (or less).
IMPROVING THE INSULATION OF YOUR LOFT
There are a number of ways to insulate your loft to keep the heat in while lowering greenhouse gas emissions, saving you money and eliminating wasted energy. Adding stiff boards and thermal wool insulation to stud walls, wool insulation interwoven into the joists, and installing insulation between the roof and ceiling are just a few examples. Your loft business should be able to provide you with recommendations for the finest solution for your home.
THINK ABOUT VENTILATION OPTIONS
Another important factor to consider is that your loft is well aired to avoid condensation problems. If your ceiling has a ventilated void, make sure it’s properly sealed using 50mm deep vented voids to cover the gap between the insulation and the underlay. If your home doesn’t have a void, you’ll need a vapour control layer, which is a 500 gauge polyethene sheet that keeps warm damp air out.
AREAS OF VENTILATION
Bathrooms and toilets are the most difficult to heat since they are regularly used. A mechanical extraction fan with a capacity of 6 litres per second will be beneficial to your home. Similarly, any living room should include a window that can be opened to the equivalent of one-twentieth of the space. To avoid condensation, it’s also a good idea to add either night or trickle vents.
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