This week we will go through what is involved in a standard loft conversion for a standard 3 bedroom British household.
Generally loft conversions will form either an additional bedroom or a replacement (larger) bedroom for a family that is typically growing in size and do not or cannot afford to move home. The great news is that loft conversions generally add value to your home! With many experts and forums stating that an average of £20,000 is added to the value of a property through completing a loft conversion!
Now if this hasn't yet convinced you that your gut feeling to go through with your loft conversion then lets try and look at this another way... When you bought your property, you paid for the big open storage and dust collecting pit that is your attic/loft. You still paid for this space when you bought your home... So why does it just collect dust and store items that would normally have been dumped years ago!
In short, a loft conversion can A. Add value to your home B. Utilise an area that you are paying for but do not use and C. Give you the additional/larger bedroom that you so desperately need!
But how can you tell if a loft conversion is possible? Start with the ridge height... This is the dimension from the top of your existing ceiling joists to the underside of the top beam in your loft (you cant miss it, its in the centre of the pitched roof). If this dimension is less that 2.3 meters, then it could be difficult to complete your loft conversion, especially if you are planning a dormer on any side of the roof. All is not lost if this dimension is a bit shallow, an option could be to lower the ceilings at ground/first floor, this will allow you to evenly split the heights accross two floors.
The next sign could be your 'spine' wall, this is the load bearing wall which generally speaking runs from left to right accross your property. The intention when undertaking a loft conversion is to continue loading roof and new floor loads onto this wall, however, when many of the older properties where built, they did not account loadings for a future loft conversion. Many Local Council's can help with this, they would generally keep archive drawings from when the property was originally constructed and could ultimately help with the details needed to confirm these new loads. Again, all is not lost in any regard! If your spine wall does not have substantial foundations then you have two options, 1. add a deeper foundation below the spine wall or 2. construct your loft conversion above the existing ceiling using larger steel beams.
Please remember that if your property is within a Conservation Area or is a Listed Building, then you may be required to submit a Planning Application for your proposed works, you will also require Building Control Permission for any proposed works to your loft!
Either way, a loft conversion is available 98% of the time! If you have any queries regarding a loft conversion, whether it's regarding the structure or the internal layout/decoration please contact us today for a free consultation and free quotation!