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Loft Conversions And Attic Extension Specialist Tips And Advice

Ask any expert how much do Loft conversions cost, and they should advise you that it generally depends on a number important aspects.

It's a question we get asked time and time again, so hopefully the following tips and advice should help to explain what costs are involved and what to expect when considering having a new loft conversion.

Before you commence with any major home improvement project such as having a new loft extension it is advisable to find a company that specialises in loft conversions to discuss your needs and reasons for wanting to convert your loft.

Is It True That The Cost For A Loft Conversion Has Been Reduced?

Unfortunately not. Although some of the planning laws for loft conversions have been amended, building material costs have increased. The easiest way to get the best advice on what it would cost to convert your loft is to find a good builder / loft conversion specialist to help you from the outset.

Determining how much loft conversions cost also depends on the type of materials that have to be used to construct a loft extension and the technical implications to do so.

Is Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion Still Needed?

The Department for Communities and Local Government set out in its Planning Portal www.planningportal.gov.uk that the Government should remove planning permission for certain types of loft conversions. This was implemented although it doesn't mean that all types of loft / attic conversions don't need planning permission. Determining how much a loft conversion costs also depends on whether you need to apply for planning permission or not as this in itself is an expense.

What Types of Loft Conversions Don’t Need Planning Permission?

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that any loft conversion that doesn't exceed 40 cubic metres in volume within a terraced house or 50 cubic meters in a detached / semi detached house does not require planning permission on condition that:

  1. No part of a loft conversion is higher than the highest part of the roof i.e. the existing ridge height.
  2. The materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house
  3. There are no verandas, balconies or railed platforms involved in the loft conversion
  4. There is no extension or protrusion beyond the roof pitch / elevation that fronts onto the public high way. So in other words you cannot construct a dormer on the front of the house but you can install roof windows ( velux type windows). However a dormer can be constructed on the rear or side elevation under further restrictions).

Are There Any Other Planning Restrictions for Attic Conversions?

Yes, if your property is a listed property or is in a conservation area then planning permission may still be required. Also any side facing dormer windows that overlook a neighbour’s property will have to be fitted with obscured glass . If in doubt always seek advice.

What Savings Are Made By Not Having To Apply For Planning Permission?

A planning application may cost as much as £1,200 to design, prepare and submit to the local authority. It also takes about eight weeks so the changes that have now been implemented have helped to reduce the cost to convert your loft and save a lot of time.

Do Loft Conversions Still Have To Comply With Building Regulations?

Yes, all loft conversions must comply with current Building Regulations. If not then you could find yourself in serious trouble when you come to sell your home or with your house insurance company.

Do I Need To Inform My Insurance Company if I Want A Loft Conversion?

Yes, whenever you carry out any major work on your home make sure that you inform your insurance company so that you are covered for any eventualities and that the extra living space that you have created is covered in the event of a fire or other problem.

Are There Any Height Restrictions To Consider When Considering A Loft Conversion?

The steeper the pitch / slope of your roof the better. Houses built before the 1960's were usually constructed from what is referred to as individual rafters. From the 1960's onwards most roofs were built using 'trussed rafters' which are factory built triangular type trusses that have a lot more timbers struts incorporated to support the roof. Converting an attic space constructed after the 1960’s is very often a much more complicated and costly process.

The point of access into a loft generally has to be approx. 2.3 m high. This will then allow the existing roof trusses and floor timbers to be increased in depth to make a loft conversion possible.

New and most recent changes to the building regulations also mean that more insulation has to be installed at the same time. Most existing joists in properties were designed to hold up a ceiling, rather than support a floor, so it means having to install new floor joists and steel supports which in turn raises the floor height, thus reducing the amount of head height within the attic space.

Designing a new loft conversion to establish what loft conversions cost to build should be based around the easiest and the most practical cost effective option rather than an over engineered design. This is why careful consideration should be given from the outset and to appoint a good loft conversion contractor or company to give you the best advice possible.

Where Can I Get Quotes From For A Loft Conversion?

Recommendation is always the best way but you can always search online for a reputable loft conversion specialist such as Derwood Homes. Most good builders should be fully equipped and up to date with current regulations but it is very important to carefully compare all quotes. Check what is and isn't included in the quote… such as bathroom fittings, planning and building control applications, engineers fees, laminate or carpeted flooring, tiling and decoration etc. all of which add to the cost of completing your loft conversion.

How Much Does A Loft Conversion Actually Cost?

The cost of having a loft or attic conversion generally depends on the type and size of your property. The average cost for a loft conversion in a three or four bedroom house is between £20,000 - £40,000. This however really does depend on the design, the condition of the existing roof and the finishing touches and layout that you are seeking.

The bigger the property the more a loft conversion will cost. Having roof windows as opposed to dormers is also a much cheaper option.

Again, it is worth discussing all of these options with your builder. Using a builder or company that can design and construct your new loft conversion for you is generally cheaper than having to find your own architect, designer, engineer and then a builder and is very often a much quicker process. Derwood Loft Conversion Specialists would be pleased to help you.

How long does it take to convert a loft?

This does depend on the size and type of property. However, the main construction work should take about 4 to 5 weeks and then all of the internal finishing works a few more weeks as long as the conversion is straightforward.

Will a Loft Conversion add value to my house?

A loft extension can increase the value of a property by £25,000 to £50,000, but it does depend on the size of the house and the size of the new loft conversion. Sometimes it could add a lot more value providing it creates sleeping space with an en-suite bathroom. Estate agents claim that by adding another bedroom is the single most valuable asset to add to a family home.

Loft conversions are generally easier to construct than building an extension. Leading mortgage lenders also clapenarth-loft-conversionim that a loft conversion is the most cost effective way of increasing a property’s value. In fact the Nationwide building society has stated that converting 300 square feet of loft space in to an additional bedroom with an en-suite could add more than 20% to the asking price of your property when you come to sell whereas the Federation of Master Builders claim it is 15% .

Loft conversions should never look or feel like an add-on to the property because if they do it could de-value your home. One of the main features for any loft conversion is the staircase. Stair cases can vary in design and cost that in turn can have a major impact on loft conversion costs. Loft or attic staircases should be designed and built to look as though they are part of the original staircase rather than a cheap looking 'add on' . If the entrance to any loft extension looks unprofessional or poorly constructed then it will de-value your home.

How much of the a loft conversion work can I do myself to save money?

Things have changed over the years for the DIY’er in particular when it comes to complying with the strict building regulations and the policies that are now in place especially when it concerns structural alterations such as installing new roof trusses, joists and a staircase.

Really speaking this type of work should be left to the experts. There are other types of work that you may wish to do yourself which could save you a lot of money if you fancy having a go such as installing the roof windows, insulating and plaster boarding the walls and ceilings for example, but just be warned that if any work is not in compliance with building regulations not only are you at risk of having to pay someone else to redo the work properly but your house insurance may also be void.

As with any large home improvement project, carrying out the work yourself does mean that the disruption you will encounter by doing the work yourself will last much longer. If you are thinking about taking time off work to do the work yourself then you just need to weigh up the time and cost should you have to use up your holidays or lose any pay as opposed to getting a professional in to do the work for you.

Then of course there is the stress and strain you might put yourself under to consider. If you are capable and willing to do some of the work yourself then it does have an impact on how much loft conversions cost, so food for thought!

What is the cheapest form of access for a loft conversion?

There are a whole variety of loft ladders and pre-made stairs that can be purchased to use as access into your loft. However, most of these will look like add-on’s rather than part of the house. They are cheap but can certainly help to keep the construction costs down. It really does depend on what your budget is and whether you want a loft conversion that looks and feels as though it is part of the house or not.

What is the best type of loft conversion to have?

A master bedroom with an en-suite is definitely the most popular and one that will add the most value to your home. They are more expensive to construct because of the extra costs for the plumbing and the bathroom fixtures and fittings. Studios, studies, home offices are also big favorites as well as children’s playrooms.

Choosing a loft conversion and establishing how much a loft conversion costs really does depend on what you need, whether your family is growing, whether you need to work from home or whether you simply want to create and add something extra living space to your home.

Plan well and seek as much advice as possible before you start any project and the end result should be exactly what you were hoping for. If you would like to find out more on how much loft conversions cost then feel free to contact South Wales Leading Loft Conversion Company Derwood Homes


For some quick tips and advice on what is required to convert your attic space into a new and modern loft conversion, take a look at our free loft conversion guide here.

Quality and professionalism guaranteed. We think you'll like our prices too.

You can Contact Us HERE or  Call 0845 519 4707 or Email roy@derwoodhomes.co.uk

The team at Derwood Homes has more than [INSERT] years' experience in converting lofts and attics into beautiful, functional spaces.

What's more, we offer the whole package - helping you design the loft or attic conversion, applying for any planning and building regulations consent and of course carrying out all structural and cosmetic work. That's why we're recommended builders throughout our main geographical bases of Bridgend, Cardiff, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, Barry, Neath, Porthcawl and Tonypandy.

Our clients say that we're not like other building companies [I MADE THIS UP - COULD WE SAY THIS?]. Because we have a genuine passion for design, we really get stuck into the project. That means we can offer so much more, including advice on the key aspects of house extensions and loft conversions:

  • incorporating new into old
  • timber frames [I'VE ADDED THIS - OK TO PUT IN HERE?]
  • supporting walls
  • new staircases
  • fire regulations
  • Velux windows and Dormer designs
  • issues of light
  • costs and planning
  • installing furniture and fittings into unusual or restricted spaces
  • electrics, plumbing and central heating
  • en-suite bathrooms

If you're looking for loft conversion and attic conversion experts in South Wales, give us a call. Our quotes are free and, because we care about what we do, usually come with some friendly tips about making the most of your roof space.

Quality and professionalism guaranteed. We think you'll like our prices too.