Archive for the ‘Loft Conversions’ Category

Loft Conversion- How To Keep Within The Law

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Loft Conversion – How To Keep Within The Law

loft conversion

A loft conversion can act as a useful way to add extra living space to your house.

Not only can it provide much extra living space such as an additional bedroom, work office or bathroom, but when done right, a loft conversion can also add value to your property too. This is good news if you go on to sell your property in the future.

Question is, how do you keep within the law when it comes to converting a loft.

Here are a few tips on how to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to your loft conversion.

Loft Conversion- Do You Need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is not usually needed when converting an attic or loft.However if you alter or extend the roof space then planning permission is usually required.

A loft conversion doesn’t usually need planning permission as it is considered to be permitted development .This applies providing that it falls within certain criteria including;

  • Terraced houses : A volume allowance of 40 cubic meters additional roof space is allowed
  • Detached and semi detached houses: A Volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space is permitted
  • The extension cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • The materials used need to be in keeping with the existing house
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are allowed
  • Side facing windows need to be obscure glazed;any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas
  • Roof extensions, except for hip to gable ones, need to be set back as far as possible, at least 20cm from the original eaves
  • The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall to the original house

 Loft Conversion- Building Regulations

Despite not always needing planning permission, loft conversions always require approval under  Building Regulations . Therefore, it’s advisable to adopt a full plans approach and to have a full scheme approved before appointing a builder. This will help on 2 counts;

1. It will help to take the risk out of the work

2. It will  enable your builder to be able to provide a more accurate quote for the work as opposed to a more vague estimate.

It’s also worth noting that if you are planning a loft conversion for a semi detached or terraced property, then you will need to notify your neighbours of your intentions as it will probably fall under the Party Wall Act 1996 

Loft Conversion- Moving Forwards

Without a doubt, having a loft conversion can provide a straightforward way of gaining extra living space (and adding value) to your home.  Keeping within the law with your loft conversion doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If in doubt simply contact your Local Authority Building Control who will be able to advise you on any building control conditions that will affect your loft conversion.

Alternatively ,if you are considering a loft conversion in South Wales and would like us to take care of it all for you ,contact us here and we’ll happily get straight back to you to arrange your FREE quote.

Finally if you found our post on “Loft Conversion- How To Keep Within The Law” useful, then please post a comment in the comment box below.

Good luck with your loft conversion,

Roy

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Cardiff’s Leading Loft Conversion Company

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Why Not Take A Look At Cardiff’s Leading Loft Conversion Company Portfolio

Derwood Homes specializes in Loft and Attic Conversions and is proud to be Cardiff’s leading Loft Conversion Company.

We are always proAttic Conversion By Derwood Homesud to show people photo’s of our loft and attic conversions and projects whilst at the same time provide them with as much FREE advice not only to illustrate how dedicated we are towards providing a first class quality service but to also help people decide whether a loft conversion is the right choice for them.

We are also proud of the fact that as Cardiff’s leading Loft Conversion Company we are a team of highly skill professionals and not sub contractors hired by other loft conversion companies which is one reason why we have been so busy this year converting lofts in and around Cardiff into extra living space.

We offer a comprehensive and extremely flexible service to our customers from the initial design stage up to completion.

Why are people in Cardiff converting their Lofts in Cardiff?

Well… The amount of growing families looking to convert their loft in Cardiff is rising for a number of reasons.

We are finding that one major factor is because people can’t afford to move home so they are looking for a short term, cost effective solution to create extra space but at the same time increase the value of their home for New Loft conversionwhen they do in the future.

Another reason why we are Cardiff’s leading Loft Conversion Company and so popular is because people now realize that converting a loft or their attic offers them a huge opportunity to increase the living space for their growing family without taking up any of the valuable space in their garden.

That is why we are always keen to design a loft conversion scheme to suit the property, our client’s life style and Budget.

Take a look at our Portfolio to see for your self the types of loft conversions we have constructed for people in and around Cardiff.

Our living habits are changing…. Families are growing so having a good size garden has become more important than it was 10 years or so ago which is why loft conversions are so popular.

That said though lots of properties have good size gardens so building a new extension is another great way to increase the size of your home. We are also finding that the demand for a new extension or an Orangery is on the increase.

When you consider that the average cost to move house is between £9000 and £15000.00 when you take into consideration, legal fees, removal fees and even stamp duty it can make sense to convert your loft instead.

Types of Loft Conversions

On average any existing loft or attic can be converted into extra living space.

Some require more structural alterations than others some require the construction of a ‘dormer’ whilst others can simply have ‘Velux’ Style windows installed to allow light to enter into the loft conversion.

how to convert your loft into extra roomThe average size house in Cardiff and most other properties within South Wales can comfortably have it’s loft converted to accommodate a new bedroom and ensuite bathroom which is ideal for most average growing families.

Some of the loft conversions we have carried for our customers in Cardiff have resulted in the construction of two new bedrooms and an ensuite.

Some of the lofts that we have converted for extra living space for children to play in or to create a Study, home office or a relaxing den.

Ideas to consider for a Loft Conversion in Cardiff

Some lofts have lovely brick chimney features, which we very often refurbish and turn into a great focal point within the new loft conversion. It gives that extra character to the newly converted loft and a ‘wow’ factor.

Then of course if budget permits you can add a balcony when converting your loft to enjoy the views and sunshine when we are fortunate enough to have some!

Our advice is … If you want to create some extra living space to your home then a loft conversion is a great way to do so…

Whether you live in Cardiff, Swansea, Barry, Bridgend, Porthcawl, Caerphilly, Penarth or anywhere else in South Wales then as one of Cardiff’s Leading Loft Conversion Companies, we would be delighted to help you do just that.

For further FREE advice or a FREE quote Get In Touch 

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Why Having A Loft Conversion Is A Smart Move

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Loft Conversion Versus Moving

As the current economic climate stands, having a loft conversion is fast becoming the new house move. With houses struggling to sell and many of us needing to extend our living space for a variety of reasons, having a loft conversion can provide more living space at a fraction of the cost of moving.

loft conversion ideas

The great thing about having a loft conversion is that not only will it increase the size if your home but it will actually add value to your property at the same time with the potential of adding anywhere in the region of between £15,000 – £35,000.

If you decide to have a loft conversion, the next tricky part is deciding where to start. There are a number of points to consider before getting started including the following;

Head height: Generally, if you can easily touch the roof from your loft’s floor then it may be a little too small for converting.  As a rule of thumb the height from the floor to ceiling needs to be a minimum of 2.1 m.

However do not despair if your loft doesn’t conform with the required head height as there are ways to overcome this issue including raising the roof or lowering the ceiling in the room below. Obviously this would increase the cost of your loft conversion, but it is still worthwhile to consult a reputable builder to provide you with a free quote and to advise you on the current building laws, before ruling it out altogether.

Loft Conversion Advice – when do you need planning

The good news is that you do not always need planning permission for loft conversions as most buildings have a limit of ‘permitted development’. This includes routine maintenance of buildings or certain small developments of buildings. You are then given automatic planning permission if your conversion falls within this category. However it is important to remember that the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 allows local authorities to create their own definitions of what they categorise as ‘permitted development’, so it is advisable to check with your local authority before making any plans for your loft conversion.

However, if you are going to change the outside of the building or the use of the land or building, you will need to apply for planning permission.

You may also need to apply for planning permission in any of the following instances too:

You want to make the roof higher as part of your conversion

You want to make the roof higher as part of your conversion

Your house is a listed building or in a conservation area

You plan to build a dormer overlooking a neighbour’s house

Your house has already been extended

How long will planning take?

Usually a decision will be made within 8 weeks. However if it is going to take longer the planning department will usually notify you of this in writing.

You will also need to ensure that you comply with building regulations too. Again a reputable builder will be able to offer you advice on this issue too.

Do not go ahead with any work for your loft conversion until you are sure that you have fully complied with building regulations.

Loft Conversion Extras

Once you have decided to go ahead with your loft conversion, what other “bits and bobs” do you need to take into account;

 

Staircase design

Staircases play an important part within loft conversions. To ensure adequate fire safety, you will need to have a conventional flight of stairs to your loft conversion. Retractable ladders or stairs are not normally allowed but you can opt for paddle stairs for loft conversions in the event that there is not enough space for conventional stairs.

Insulation for your loft conversion

There are a wide variety of insulation methods available including fibre-glass, Rockwool and PIL. Take time to research the best option for your own particular loft conversion.loft conversion porthcawl

Ventilation

Windows are a key source of ventilation and natural light, especially within loft conversions. There are plenty of options available for windows within your loft conversion including velux windows.

You will also need ensure that you have a window (450mm or wider), that could act as an escape route, if your stairway, for whatever reason, does not provide a safe escape route.

Extra points

Other issues that will need to be taken into account within your loft conversion costs are;

Is your boiler large enough to accommodate extra radiators?

Are you having a bathroom installed? If so will your current system be able to handle the pressure of the hot and cold water up to an extra floor.

Where will the additional electrical sockets be placed?

Will everything that you need fit into your new loft conversion?  Items such as a double bed, wardrobe, desk or bookcase.

It’s amazing how a loft, that most of us simply use to dump old boxes or other unwanted items, can be transformed into some valuable extra living space without incurring the additional cost and stress of moving.

We hope that the tips and advice will have given you plenty of loft conversion ideas ..

If you found this blog useful and are planning a loft conversion in Cardiff, Bridgend, Cowbridge, Porthcawl or indeed anywhere in South Wales, and would life a free quote from a loft conversion specialist,simply get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to provide you with a free quotation. Check out some of our loft conversions in the video below.

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Benefits of Loft Conversion in Bridgend / Porthcawl

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

There has never been a better time to plan a loft conversion. Whether you need the extra space, long for another room or are looking to add value to your property, house loft conversions and bungalow loft conversions,are becoming more popular by the day.

Benefits Of A Loft Conversion-Creating Extra Space

There are countless benefits to having a loft conversion; the most obvious being the extra space it can create. Perhaps you’re planning to start a family and needing that extra bedroom, looking for a play or games room for the little ones or in need of a home office.

loft conversions ideas

 

In Porthcawl over 44% of properties are three-bedroomed houses and space can run out in the blink of a home delivery – especially with a growing brood or even a home business in tow. Whatever the reason, carrying out a loft conversion in situations like these will provide you with the much needed extra living space that need for a fraction of the cost of moving.

We all love the idea of owning bigger houses but in this economic climate this can be a pipe dream for most. With the average house prices in Porthcawl at £285,206 and our pockets being considerably lighter than they were a decade ago, this can look a little ambitious. Adding the extra room with a loft conversion, will not only provide the needed space but will also add value to your property.  Therefore, having a loft conversion makes more sense economically if you need the room but aren’t looking to buy a new home.

 Benefit Of A Loft Conversion- Adding Value To Your Property

When the day comes that you are looking to move property, a loft that has been converted is extremely attractive to buyers and has the potential to add somewhere in the ballpark of £15,000 – £35,000 on to your house’s value. However, houses which are on sale in Porthcawl are generally on the market for an average of 240 days, which can be a long time – especially if the need for space is urgent.

Whereas loft conversions in Porthcawl generally take (from start to finish) approximately 1-3 months which is a great saving of your time.  That means spending more time with your loved ones, making the best use of your new room and not worrying about selling or purchasing a new property.

There is so much potential for loft conversions, not least, adding a balcony or windows to fully appreciate beautiful views.

In practical terms, planning permission isn’t usually required, but when it is, it’s reportedly a very straight forward process.

Benefits Of A Loft Conversion-Getting It Right

Here are some key questions that you should consider before you decide whether or not a loft conversions is for you:

 Request a quote from a loft conversion expert who can advise whether or not your roof is suitable for this modification

– Double check if you need planning permission to build a loft conversion on your home by contacting Bridgend County Borough Council on (01656) 643177

– Find a great architect to work with; they play an important part in ensuring that your loft conversion goes smoothly.

– Create a realistic budget for the work and make sure you are aware of all the costs upfront

– Consider how you’d look to insulate your new room and make sure it complies with building regulations

– What kind of staircase would suit both your room and the rest of your home along with ensuring that you meet with fire safety regulations and making sure that it can  be easily used by children (if applicable)

– Schedule the work at a time that you and your family will be comfortable with.  Building a loft conversion can be disruptive at times and can take up to a couple of months so make sure that both you and the company agree on a time-frame to carry out the project.

Bungalow Loft conversionThere are various benefits to having a loft conversion in Bridgend / Porthcawl especially for anyone interested in expanding their living space or adding significant value to their property.

Having a loft conversion is definitely a realistic, practical and utterly worthwhile option.

If you’re planning a loft conversion in Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly,  Porthcawl or the South Wales area and would like us to advise you on the best approach to take, simply contact us and we will be happy to arrange to provide you with a FREE quotation.

Yours Truly

Derwood Homes

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How To Convert Your Loft Into Some Extra Living Space

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Are you looking for ideas on how to convert your loft into extra living space?

Well, converting your loft into extra living space may be easier than you think…

Over the last few months, enquiries from people seeking advice on how to convert your loft into some extra living space has increased for a number of reasons.

ways to convert your loft into extra living space

One of the main reasons appears to be because family sizes are increasing due to the fact that grown up children are finding it difficult to get onto the property ladder and are having to live with their parents for longer and or because some families are now having to accommodate other family members moving back in with them.

Some families are even having to take in lodgers to help pay the bills as living costs continue to rise.

How to convert your loft into some extra living space – Plan Wisely and Carefully

Converting your loft into extra living space is a great way and opportunity to create some of that much sort after extra living space. It can also help to increase the value of your property.

That said… it is important to remember from the very outset that you need to carefully think about and plan exactly what it is that you are seeking to achieve by converting your loft into some extra living space.

The reason is quite simple.

Time and time again we get involved in loft conversion projects around Cardiff, Caerphilly, Penarth, Barry and Bridgend whereby the customer has for whatever reason been ill advised on what a loft conversion costs and what work is really involved when converting a loft into extra living space.

That is why it is important to ensure that you design a loft conversion based around the budget and the structural needs of your property rather than accepting an ‘off the cuff’ quote or without some careful forward planning.

how to convert your loft into some extra living space

Converting your loft into extra living space with out having a thorough structural survey done is a recipe for disaster. From our experience the reason people don’t take this wise course of action is in an attempt to save money on seeking survey costs design services. By doing so can and does generally end up costing people a lot of money than if they had done so in the beginning.

How to Convert Your Loft into Some Extra Living Space ……. Correctly

Whatever you do, don’t try and save money by not having a structural survey carried out or by not having a loft conversion expert design and offer his services. Many older properties need carefully upgrading works to be able to accommodate converting your loft.

There is no point in cutting corners and starting work on converting your loft only to find once you do that areas of your home need extra work to deal with the additional load a loft conversion adds.

How To Convert Your Loft To Create Some Extra Living Space – Get It Wrong Can Cost You Dearly

Just imagine how you would feel if you started converting your loft only to find that you couldn’t afford to carry out other works that you over looked purely because you did not carry out a survey or seek the advice from an attic conversion specialist.

ideas for converting your loftBuilding and fire regulations have recently been upgraded … not to make things more difficult for people to have an attic conversion but to simply ensure that whatever work you have done on your home is done correctly.

Below are some recent examples of loft conversions that we have carried out for clients in and around the Cardiff Districts as well as Caerphilly, Penarth, Barry, The Vale of Glamorgan, Porthcawl, Pontypridd and Bridgend.

You will be amazed at what a small space can be converted into with a little imagination and careful planning.

How To Convert Your Loft To Create Some Extra Living Space – Do It Right

If you’re looking for a highly reputable building company for ways on how to convert your loft into some extra living space or even to convert a small attic into some modern extra living space then here at Derwood Homes and Loft Conversions we would be more than happy to offer you some honest first class advice.

We will provide you with a free quote, carry out a structural survey and design a modern loft conversion to suit your budget and needs. 

Simply Contact Us at any time if you would like to know How To Convert Your Loft Into Some Extra Living Space

Yours Truly
DERWOOD HOMES

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Top 10 Loft Conversion Tips

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Top Loft Conversion Tips To Help You Convert Your Loft Space

Loft conversions are a great way to add extra living space to your home so here are some great Loft Conversion Tips to help you make the right decisions on how to go about it.

 Attic conversions are not always as straight forward as you may think.

loft conversion tips

Why? Well, for starters it might mean having to obtain planning permission, or the staircase that you have to install could take up two much of the room you already hve or because altering the roof structure may not be ‘in-keeping’ with your neighbours house and result in planning permission being refused.

As you can see it is important for you to make the right decisions when it comes to deciding why you need a loft conversion and whether the cost for an attic conversion is something that is going to give and add real value to your home.

A loft conversion can be a lot less stressful than building a brand new extension in order to add value and space to your property, but nevertheless you still need to be prepared for some disruption.

Below are ten top loft conversion tips for you to sleep on !

Loft Conversion Tip # 1

When Considering any type of loft conversion there are bound to be some implications and of course you will need to consider the impact they could have on your daily life.

Simple little things like extra noise above the existing bedrooms, whether adding another bathroom in to the loft will help ease the morning rush or whether creating a home office in the loft would help create a nice and quiet environment would be a good idea. Be realistic at what you are trying to achieve and you will find your loft conversion will be a smooth and very pleasant experience that will add real value to your home!

Loft Conversion Tip #2

Although you may have your own ideas of how you would like your loft conversion to look, make sure that you seek some real professional advice when it comes to designing your new loft conversion. It’s always great to see people having their own ideas, but there are a lot of structural and planning regulations that have to be complied with when designing a loft conversion and in particular to help keep costs down.

That is why it is a good idea to find a loft conversion specialist or ideally a company that specialises in loft conversions rather than a landscape gardener or a friend who has done a DIY attic conversion of his own!

Loft Conversion Tip # 3

When looking for a reputable loft conversion expert or reputable loft conversion company, make an effort to view some of the their previous loft conversion projects that they have carried out or by calling some of their previous customers to get their views on the service and quality of workmanship that they gave or read their testimonials.

Reputable attic conversion companies love to show off their work. So take advantage of this opportunity and go and see their work. By doing so will also help you develop a comfortable working relationship with them. 

top loft conversion tips

Loft Conversion Tip # 4

Another tip is to find a loft conversion company that will carry out a thorough structural survey of your property. Ideally the person should be a qualified structural engineer because loft conversions add a considerable amount of weight to a house so the design and conversion process needs to be in accordance with current structural and building regulations.

This is another reason why so many DIY loft conversions are being condemned when it comes to selling properties.

A good survey of your loft space will also determine whether your own plans and ideas can be implemented safely and in a way that will get you the results you want.

Loft Conversion Tip # 5

Before we mention any more attic conversion tips this one relates to your house insurance. If you don’t carry out building works on your home that comply with building and fire regulations your house insurance will be VOID. So beware!

There are even some horror stories whereby people have been killed when sleeping in a DIY loft conversion because no fire precautions were installed leading to man slaughter charges  ! So you see safety must come first.

tips for converting yor loft

Loft Conversion Tip # 6

It can be attempting to appoint the cheapest loft conversion company that you find, but trust us when we say ‘be careful’. The oldest trick in the book is for a company to offer you a cheap price for an attic conversion just so that they can get their foot in the door.

Then … boom, bang, whollop they start adding extra costs which before you know it add up to them being more expensive than all of the other loft conversion companies that you initially spoke at the outset. Estabilshing how much a loft conversion will cost before you commence with any work is very will prevent any shocks during the conversion process that you might not have considered.

As with any building work, building regulations and policies have and will continue to change so finding a good, reputable and experienced loft conversion company should be your number one goal. If you can’t afford it then save up until you can. It will be worth it in the long run.

Loft Conversion Tip # 7

Careful budgeting is always a good idea so ensure that you know exactly what the total cost will be to convert your attic and whether it falls within your budget. We all want the best and to have everything included in the price but the reality is it’s not always possible within your budget.  A good loft conversion company will ask you what your budget is and try to design a scheme that is achievable within that budget.

Don’t be afraid to tell them what your budget is in the same way you tell a car sales man or an Estate Agent what your budget is when your looking a buy a car or a house. Remember, sticking within a budget will get you a loft conversion that you can afford but there are limits.

Loft Conversion Tip # 8

Don’t expect any loft conversion company to be able to convert your loft and provide you with everything you want if you can’t afford it. It’s no good being disappointed it you can’t afford a Ferrari but have to make do with a Mini !

There are a lot of other cost implications to consider when converting a loft. For example, if you would like a dormer window constructed this costs a lot more than having velux windows. Your central heating and hot water boiler may also need to be upgrade if you want to install some extra radiators or an ensuite bathroom into your loft conversion… So you see the cost can soon increase. It’s no good blaming a company for being too expensive if your expectations are in real terms to high

Loft Conversion Tip # 9

Some loft conversions make need you to enter into a ‘party wall agreement’. This is something that is very often overlooked and could result in your loft conversion dream being shattered.

 But don’t panic, ‘a party wall’ agreement is relatively easy to sort out and something any good attic conversion company can do for you. So be sure to ask them the question.

Basically, if converting your attic means having to carry out work on a ‘party wall’ in other words the wall that separates you and your neighbours property you have to obtain your neighbours permission. The same applies if you have to go onto your neighbours roof to enable you to carry out work on your own roof.

You have to obtain their permission. Addressing these issues at the beginning will make your loft conversion a smooth and happy experience rather than upsetting anyone.

loft conversion tips and advice

Loft Conversion Tip #10

Ok so you are now ready to convert you loft. The next tip is to be prepare so that your chosen loft conversion specialist can get started. Very often our lofts are crammed with the things that we have accumulated over the years. Have you any idea where you are going to put everything?

Don’t expect your builder to move things for you without being charged. Make sure that you clear the whole area so that the loft conversion company have a clear and safe environment to work in. You may want to consider hiring some short-term storage space. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your contractors, they’ll be glad to help and give you as much advice as possible.

Top 10 Loft conversions Tips

Finding and creating a good open and honest working relationship with a reputable loft conversion specialist is the key towards designing and converting your loft within a specified budget whilst at the same time bearing in mind the above loft conversion tips.

The end result will be that you create the extra living space you want at a price you can afford.

I hope the above is useful and will help you plan you loft conversion smoothly and efficiently.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for further advice

Kind Regards
ROY DERRICK

 

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How Much Do Loft Conversions Cost

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Want To Know How Much Loft Conversions Cost?

Ask any expert how much do Loft conversions cost and they should advise you that it varies from project to project and generally depends on a number important aspects.
It’s a question I 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 to convert a loft has been reduced?
Unfortunately not. Although some of the planning laws for loft conversions have been amended, the cost of building materials has 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. Determining how much loft conversions cost also depends on the type of materials that have to be used to create a new 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 do not require planning permission.  Determining how much loft conversions cost 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 require 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 tell 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 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. 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 do loft conversions cost?
The cost generally depends on the type and size of your property. The average cost for a loft conversion in a three or four bedroom house costs 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 at the outset.

Using a builder or a 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 extra sleeping space such as a bedroom 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 claim 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 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 the 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

Kind Regards
ROY

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Top Tips To Consider When Having A loft Conversion

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Having A loft Conversion

Having a loft conversion does require careful planning well in advance. Appointing a reputable loft conversion builder or specialist is usually a safe way of ensuring that you comply with all of the new building and fire regulations whilst doing so. Planning a loft conversion

Below are some tips to consider when having your loft or attic converted

1.  Is Your Loft Suitable To Be Converted Into Extra Living Space

Before getting too excited over the thought of having a loft conversion there are some basic things you can check to see if converting your attic doesn’t require raising the height of your existing roof, because this will save you a considerable amount of money, as well as the fact that some planning authorities will not permit it. For example, if the height between the existing floor joists / timbers in your loft and the underside of the roof ridge is approximately 2.4m then it is a good possibility that your loft can be converted without the need to raise the height of your existing roof.

Loft conversion experts such as Derwood Homes and Developments would carry out these checks for you but another major consideration is whether your house was built before 1960. The reason is simply because older roof structures tend to require more structural work to convert them rather the newer type attic trussed roof structure use more commonly today.   Good reputable loft conversion companies will carry out the basic checks for free.

2.  Call in the Professionals Converting an old loft or attic

Most loft conversions require substantial structural work to be carried out. This type of work is not really suitable for the average DIY householder to carry out. Attic conversions generally need steel beams to be installed, the existing floor and roof timbers to be upgraded and adequate fire and insulation materials to be installed. Building regulations must be adhered too at all times. The stair case and internal doors generally need to be upgraded or replaced as well as the central heating boiler if any existing tanks have to be removed from the existing attic space. Health and safety in the home is now more important than ever before and should it be ignored resulting in an accident or even death then the household can be held liable. So Don’t Take Risks !

3. Complying With Building Regulations

If you don’t comply with current building regulations then your house insurance will be void and should you later decide to sell your home then you may be faced with a situation where you can’t.  So you see, it is a wise to call in an expect.

Not all loft conversions require planning permission, but they all definitely have to comply with building regulations. As the works get under way each stage will have to be inspconverting a loft using steel beamsected and at the end certified by a fully qualified person.  A certificate is then issued stating that the work was carried out in compliance with current regulations which is also registered with your local authority building control department. It is this department that solicitors now have to liaise with when to check that any work carried out on a property has been correctly inspected and registered when buying or selling a property. So there is no escaping the importance of complying with current building regulations.

4.  Appointing An Architect

An architect, Engineer or surveyor will be required in order to determine the extra loads that having a loft conversion and creating extra living space will place on your home and of course to make sure that your property is still structurally sounds to sustain such a property improvement.  My advice is to appoint a builder, loft conversion specialist or an engineer who can provide a complete service so that you don’t have to appoint different people to carry out different aspects of the work. Keeping it all under the responsibility of one company avoids communication issues and who is responsible for what and when. This in itself is a major factor why so many people in South Wales, Cardiff, Bridgend and the surrounding area appoint Derwood Homes and Developments to convert their lofts as they offer a complete no fuss package.

5.  How Much Will A Loft, Attic Conversion Cost

There is no point of dreaming of a loft conversion if you haven’t even considered or established how much it is likely to cost.  Loft and attic conversions will add value to your property, but they can sometimes cost more to construct than the extra value they will add so this is something you may wish to consider if you are likely to sell your property within a few years after your loft has been converted into extra living space.  When budgeting for your loft conversion don’t forget the costs for items such as the planning or building regulation fees and inspections, architect fees, carpets, light fittings, bathroom suites, tiling ( if you are also adding an ensuite ) etc. All these items can add up to thousands!

6.  Work Out All Of The Costs Before You Start

Make sure that you obtain a written and itemised breakdown of what work is included from your chosen loft conversion company. There have been many instances whereby we as a company have how to convert a lofttaken over projects because a previous loft conversion company has won a contract on price alone only for the customer to find that the price they were given didn’t include insulation, fire doors, a stair case etc. hence the relationship they had with the company broke down. Ask questions to ensure you get it right !

7.  Loft conversion benefits

Most heat in our homes is lost through the existing loft and roof. Having your loft convert will eliminate this. In fact you should find that the rest of your home will become warmer once your loft has been converted due to the savings made from preventing heat from going through the roof. Attic and loft conversions tend to create extremely comfortable rooms. The heat loss is very small indeed due to new building regulations coming into force that in turn increased the amount of insulation that now has to be installed. Statistics have shown have fuel bills are reduced after a loft has been property converted into extra living space.

8.  Know what to expect throughout the work

Any type of building work that you have done within your home can be disruptive and for some people a little stressful no matter how good your builders are. There is bound to be some noise and of course dust but one good tip is to try and establish how the work will be carried out and how long it will take. A fair proportion of the work can be done from the outside in thus eliminating the need for your builders to enter your home from the start. A good loft conversion builder will try his or her utmost to carry out as much work with minimum disruption to you. Nine times out of ten we ourselves enter the property from the scaffolding we erect into the loft rather than through the house to carry out most of the necessary structural work that is required. Only when we have to cut into the ceiling to install the new stair case do we then have to start entering the property to complete the project. However, it is worth remembering that no two projects are the same.

9.  Establish How long the work will take

To enable you to plan ahead try to establish from your chosen loft conversion specialist how long the work will take once it has started.  Generally it takes anything from six weeks onwards depending on the size and technical aspect of the project. It is always a good idea to let your neighbours know that you are having work done so they to can be prepared for the extra vehicles, skips and deliveries that will be in the street. A good builder will always do his best to keep his customer happy and put in a good days works each and every day.  Don’t put up with a builder turning up as and when he feels like,

types of loft conversions10.  And Finally

There are times when unforeseen circumstances can arise. These may be linked to bad weather conditions, existing poor workmanship that the builder may come across as he is carrying out his work that in turn may need to be repaired or even sickness. A good builder will always do his best to keep his customer happy. Having a loft conversion can certainally add value to your home and create a nice little getaway or snug for your and your family to enjoy.

Everyone deserves a first class service and  professional workmanship.

For Free Advice or A Free Quote Contact Derwood Homes and Developments  HERE TODAY

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Loft Conversions And The Extra Living Space They Create

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I just love loft conversions

2013 is well and truly upon us and people are already calling us about converting their loft into some extra living space. With the cost of moving house being so expensive loft conversions offer a great alternative towards creating that much needed living space you and your family if room in the garden is limited to enable you build a new house extension.

Loft conversions are one of my favorite rooms because they are often the most unusual and most exciting room of any house if done properly.

Our home is what we make of it, the way it feels, its function and the amount of space it has depends on how it is designed and laid out.  Think about it… most rooms in our homes are generally boxed like, whereas when you enter into a loft conversion it can have some exciting and unusual roof angles and slopes all of which create character.

A loft conversion can have as many roof lights or dormer windows as you like with views overlooking the surrounding roof tops and spectacular scenery all the reason why it makes them so unique.

I don’t know about you, but being up there in sky being able to look out at the sun and stars feels special, like a little hideaway or refuge away from the rest of the house or the screaming kids.

Loft conversions are a great way to add more space, bring more light into your house and if you can afford to do so give you a new roof that will last for many years to come.

If you are thinking about creating some extra living space in 2013 for your home, don’t rule the idea of having a loft conversion as you may well be pleasantly surprised at what can be created in the dark old, creeping looking attic space.

There are quite a few regulations that need to be complied with but don’t worry about those because a good builder will be able to take care of them for you. You can find some of the important do’s and don’t for loft conversions here.

If you would like to learn more about loft conversions and how they could add value and extra living space to your home you might find this article helpful.

Learn more about loft conversions here

Kind Regards
ROY

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The Benefits of Having A Loft Attic Conversion

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Having A Loft Conversion Can Add Substantial Value To Your Property

The most obvious benefit of having a loft conversion is that you will add that much sort after extra living space for you and your family to enjoy.

Having a loft conversion means you can add extra bedrooms, a hobby or play room, a quite study or home office or even a place where you can simply chill out and view the stars.Converting a loft in compliance with Regulations
Another benefit of having aloft conversion is the ability to add another bathroom or en suite which is a great solution to overcoming the early morning bathroom queues.

From our experience we have found that having a loft conversion is now one of the most cost effective ways to add extra space to your home. not only that, having a loft conversion can add an extra 20% value to your property.  Wow !

People are generally amazed at the extra room that is created by having an attic conversion. Attic conversion costs do vary but average between £15,000 to £38,000.00.

Some cost even more, but the thing to remember is that when converting your loft the work must comply with new building and fire regulations otherwise your house insurance will be void.  Having your loft convert can mean that a lot of structural work has to be carried out but you can be sure that it will be worth it in the long run.

Adding Value to Your Existing Property

The value of your property will increase no matter what extra living space you build. Converting your loft to create extra living space can even enable you to rent the room out to a lodger to generate some additional income or to enable you to move your in laws in so you can look after them. There are many benefits for having your loft convert but be sure to seek some expert advise so you can work out the conversion costs. The benefits of having a loft converted for some people out-way the increase in value it can add to a property in particular their lifestyle.

The Extra Benefits of Having A Loft / Attic Conversionthe benefits of having a loft conversion

House extensions, garage conversions and even basement conversions are on the increase due to the rising costs of moving home. Another benefit of having your loft convert over a new house extension is of course the fact that you don’t use up any garden space. It can offer a more secluded area of your home and even provide you with the option of having a balcony to sit out on.

Planning permission is not always needed to convert your loft but does depend of the size and type of alterations that you may be thinking of having done to the existing roof structure and what the visual impact may be when viewed from the street you live in.

Derwood Homes and Developments thoroughly enjoy constructing modern loft conversions for people all over South Wales which is why our reputation is growing.

If you would like some free friendly advice or a Free Quote,

Simply Get In Touch

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