A loft conversion is a cost effective way of adding an additional bedroom to your home with out the extra requirement of external floor space. Alternatively the extra space could be used as a gym, office or toy room for the children.
Although the floor space of a loft is usually quite considerable, it’s worth remembering that the sloping ceiling will limit headroom near the walls. The help reduce this problem and maximize the available space, customers often opt to include dormer windows, however if your loft is big enough then you may only opt for skylights that will fit flush with the existing roof.
Occasionally a loft conversion can be done without the requirement for planning permission if the following criteria are met –
It is also worth considering that all loft conversions will need to meet current building, fire as well as health and safety regulations. These will then need to be checked by the local building control officer, who will ensure they meet the required standard.
Existing Loft Beams
Your loft beams and roof structure will determine the amount of space your conversion will create as well as potentially one of the major cost factors.
In an ideal situation the height of your existing loft ceiling will need to be at least 2.3m in height in order to make the conversion worthwhile. This is because new stronger joists will need to be fitted as well as a new chipboard floor, which will elevate the flooring area and result in less headroom.
The second consideration is the type of roof trusses that are currently fitted. Most modern (approx 1965 onwards) use pre-formed truss rafters to support the roof, which can be easily be converted by any loft conversion company to create a habitual loft space.
Most houses prior to this date will have a rafter style roof which uses larger timber beams attached to the wall. In this case the roof will need significant strengthening, which will increase the cost and complexity of the project.