Posts Tagged ‘loft conversion advice’

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



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