Posts Tagged ‘Loft Conversions’

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,



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 porthcawl


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.


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


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


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



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