What Is the Process of Building a Roof Light Conversion?

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Things To Check Before Pursuing A Loft Conversion

Roof light conversions are one of the least disruptive types of roof conversion to choose from as they are built within the existing roofline of the property, making them quicker to build and more affordable (as much as 25% cheaper according to Houzz).

Ideally, you will already have a spacious roof and will need a minimum floor to ceiling roof height of around 2.25m at the tallest point. Building regulations require a head height of at least 2m and it is often required to build in a more stable floor, hence the additional height that you will lose.

The other thing you will need to think about is where the stairs will go, often with roof light loft conversions, stairs will need to come out into the middle of the room as this provides the most adequate head height required by building regulations. You also have to factor in where these stairs will lead in from on the floor below; do you have the space to accommodate these?

Another factor you will need to think about is what is permitted in your home. If you live in a conservation area or a heritage building, you may be restricted on changes you can make to your home and need to apply for planning permission from your local council.

Beginning the Process

Once you have done some initial checks to see if a roof light loft conversion is right for you and your home, you will need to find someone to design and build it. You can either hire an architect or engineer to design this to your vision and specifications or you approach a design and build provider who will both design the project and build it. We are happy to provide you with the whole service or work with your chosen architect.

When you approach us about a roof light loft conversion, we’ll speak to you about your needs and requirements to understand some background and book in a free no obligation site survey to look at the loft area and see what is viable from a design and build point of view. From this, we can provide a detailed estimate for the work.

We’ll be able to highlight any potential issues or any suggestions about making the best use of the space there and then.

We aim to provide you with an estimate within a week of the site survey. Within our detailed estimate, we’ll break down the cost of each element and this can be adjusted to meet your requirements, adding or removing elements to your specifications and budget.

If you’re happy to go ahead, we’ll check the estimate against the plans and structural calculations to provide you with a quote that is divided into major milestones of the project, with a percentage of the final cost paid upon each competition, so you only pay for work that has been completed.

Organising The Paperwork and Permissions

From the signing of the contract, it can take around four to five weeks to approve a set of plans, but we will aim to get this done as quickly as possible for you. If any planning permission is required, we are happy to apply and fill in the necessary paperwork on your behalf. In most cases, loft conversions fall under permitted development.

We’re well versed in planning permission and building regulations so will ensure it meets all the standards required by your local council. If you share a wall with a neighbour, you’ll also need to inform them of the work at least two calendar months before with a party wall agreement. We can also assist with this.

Building The Roof Light Loft Conversion

Once we get to work, our team of experienced building contractors will get to work on converting your loft and bringing your vision to life. The average loft conversion takes around eight to ten weeks, but can be more or less depending on the intricacies. A roof light loft conversion is usually less disruptive so may be completed earlier.

The majority of the work is confined to the loft, unless you opt to have the below floor’s ceiling lowered, so we’ll be out of your way for the majority of the work. We’re always respectful of our client’s homes and happy to communicate with you throughout the process. We never work on more than three projects at once, so are always available to provide you with project updates.

Once the project is complete, you’ll be left with a liveable space with heating, insulation, ventilation and power. So whether you want a home office, extra bedroom or a playroom, get in touch today to get your roof light loft conversion moving.

FAQ’s

What building regulations do I need to be aware of?

While in most cases you don’t need planning permission for a loft conversion, you will need to meet building regulations such as adequate head height, reinforced flooring and stair access. The room will also need to be liveable, so be well insulated with heating and electrical access as well as ventilation and safe escape from fire. We’re happy to talk you through these requirements and build them into our design and build.

Can I open the roof light in my conversion?

For a long time, roof lights have been more for natural light and can be too high to be opened easily. However, technology means that rooflights and roof light blinds can be operated remotely so you can make full use of them.

This is ideal for letting in a cool breeze and staring up at the sky during the day or night. The natural light that skylights allow in are perfect for creating a really welcoming and productive space.

Are roof light loft conversions expensive?

Out of the possible loft conversion options, a roof light is usually the most affordable and less disruptive as it uses the existing roofline of the property. Because of this, a roof light loft conversion is usually around 25% cheaper than a dormer or gable.

The average cost of a loft conversion is usually between £30-50k, depending on the level of work that needs to be carried out. Following a site survey, we can provide you with an estimate of the cost for the work required so you can decide if a loft conversion is a viable option for you. It’s also worth noting that according to Nationwide, a loft conversion will add around 20% to the value of your property.

The Top 5 Benefits of Loft Conversions

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Are you thinking of investing in a loft conversion for your home? Many homeowners debate investing in a loft conversion for their home but there are many benefits to doing so. Here we go through the different types of loft conversions available and the benefits of them.

1. Increased Living Space

With many of us spending more time than ever at home in the past year, your home may be feeling smaller – especially if you have had to improvise a home office space or home schooling space or are suddenly feeling like you’re under each others’ feet! Perhaps you even have an additional family member living with you during this time.

A Brighton loft conversion is a great way to expand your living space without the need to move home. With Brighton property at a premium and demand for properties rising by 50% in the last 12 months, expanding your home may be the preferable option.

A loft conversion can be used for a number of different rooms, be that an extra bedroom, office, play area or quiet space to relax. Depending on the space available, you may even be able to create two rooms.

2. Added Value To Your Home

With Brighton house prices on the rise and demand for properties high, a Brighton loft conversion is the key to increasing the value of your home and making a great profit on your home. A loft conversion can add as much as 20% to the value of your home – paying for the loft conversion and more, making the investment worth it.

Home buyers are looking for plenty of space in their homes, the lockdown saw a rise in people looking for homes with more space as demand for home offices grew. With working from home likely to remain popular after this, this will be on the wish list for many home buyers.

3. No Planning Permission

In the vast majority of cases, a loft conversion will not need planning permission as it will fall under permitted development. Therefore it is a much simpler way of expanding your home without needing to go through the process of applying to the council and waiting for approval from the planning meeting.

Should you need to apply for planning permission, for example, if you live in a protected area or heritage building, we can take care of the whole process for you.

4. Variety Of Loft Conversion Options Available

When it comes to a loft conversion, there a variety of different loft conversions available, so you can choose the type of design that suits your needs. In some cases, the type of loft conversion you can have will depend on the type of home you have such as terraced, semi-detached or detached, but we are happy to help and advise you.

From a roof light conversion, which is ideal for large loft spaces to the popular dormer loft conversion, or a hip to gable conversion – there is an option to suit most homes to create the necessary living space.

5. Energy Efficiency

Investing in a loft conversion won’t bring added demand to your energy bills either. As loft conversions usually make use of large roof windows and as they are high up, they usually benefit from great natural light all year round.

While completing your loft conversion, we will ensure it is a liveable space by providing adequate insulation to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer. We can fit in heating options, but being at the top of the house, the loft conversion should also benefit from the warmth from the rest of the house.

With the loft suitably insulated and converted into a liveable space, you whole home will benefit from better loft insulation and less heat being lost this way.

FAQ’s

How much is a loft conversion?

The price of your loft conversion will depend on the size and scale of the project, but the average cost usually lies between £30-50k. We can provide you with a more accurate quote following an initial site survey of the loft space and a discussion with you about your plans for the space. While it can seem quite an investment, the money you make from the increase in property value will cover the initial investment.

We can prepare an itemised quote for you and from there, we can add or remove certain elements to meet your budget and demands. Call us now to book an initial site survey.

What building regulations do I need to consider?

With most loft conversions, you will not need planning permission, but it will need to meet certain building regulations. These building regulations are in place to ensure it is a safe and habitable living space.

It is required that there is a staircase to the loft conversion and suitable headroom at the top of these stairs, so you will need to think about where these stairs would work with the below floor. The loft conversion will need to have sufficient headroom so that the occupier can stand comfortably and there will need to be sound and thermal insulation as well as an electric supply, ventilation and light. It is also important there is a safe escape route in the event of a fire.

How long does a loft conversion take?

The time it takes to complete a loft conversion will depend on different factors, such as the type of loft conversion that is taking place – for example a roof light conversion requires much less construction than a dormer or hip to gable conversion. Other elements such as size, refurbishment work and the facilities required will also impact on the length of time it takes.

We never take on more than three projects at a time, so you can feel confident you will always be our priority and be able to contact us for any questions during the building process. We’ll provide regular project updates and keep you updated on a target completion date.

Loft Conversions: Creating an Expansion of Space Within Your Home

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We are spending more time in our homes now than ever before. The pandemic has drastically changed life as we know it and as many continue to work from home, there is an increasing desire for more space. A survey by Rightmove in 2020 showed that renters and buyers are searching for bigger homes with a suitable workspace.

In fact, a recent home improvement survey by Santander suggested that the average Briton spent £1000 on home improvements to make their property more inviting and comfortable, including 60,000 extension and conversion applications submitted by UK homeowners in the first 13 weeks of lockdown.

So what if you could expand your home without moving to a new house? You might love everything else about your home but require a dedicated home office to work in or a study for the children. Perhaps you’ve always desired a spare bedroom, dressing room or studio?

A loft conversion is a fantastic way to expand your home by using space you already have. There are many different loft conversions to choose from and in most cases, there will be a loft conversion that suits your style of home.

A Brighton loft conversion is the ideal way to create an extra living space, without the longwinded process of moving. As house prices continue to soar in Brighton and demand to be ‘close to the coast’ rises, a loft conversion is a sound investment and if you do choose to move down the line, a loft conversion can add between 10-20% to the value of your home.

Loft Conversion Styles

There are a range of different loft conversions to choose from, however some are only suitable for a detached or a semi-detached home. Here is a quick overview of the most popular types of loft conversion.

Roof Light Conversion

This type of loft conversion relies on already having a large loft space with a suitable head height that meets building regulations. In this case, skylights are added to the roof, allowing natural light to flow in and around your new space. Flooring of your choice along with a handcraft staircase matching the style of your existing stairs are installed, along with any storage solutions you may require.

Other additions will be made such as installing smooth wall space, insulation, heating and electricity supply to make the space liveable and functional.

Dormer Loft Conversion

A dormer loft conversion is one of the more popular types of Brighton loft conversion as it suits most types of home. It adds space to the loft by building an extension that expands outwards from the slope of the roof. This is usually installed to the rear of your property but can be added to the side or front subject to planning permission.

Hip To Gable Loft Conversion

Another popular choice for those that have a semi-detached or detached home, is a hip to gable loft conversion. It works by extending the sloping roof to the side of the property to create a vertical gable wall which the roof can extend over. This helps create both increased floor and headspace.

Because of this, it is a popular choice as it fits smoothly with the rest of your home and is a fairly subtle way of extending your property.

What Should I Consider Before A Loft Conversion?

If you are considering a loft conversion, the first step is to think about the type of home you have and the space available to you; be it at the front, rear or side. You should think about how much headspace is available in your loft and if it is a traditional or trussed roof as it may require rafters being moved and alternative roof support.

You’ll also have to think about how your loft space will fit within the building regulations, which require safely designed stairs and entry to the loft space with sufficient headspace. Is there suitable space to install a staircase?

Luckily, at The Brighton Loft Company, we will help you through every step of the way and give you our expert help and advice. We even take care of planning permission and building regulations for you. If you’d like to explore investing in a loft conversion, get in touch and we’ll be happy to begin your journey. We never take on more than three projects at a time, so we can give you our full attention, focus on your project and be available whenever you need us.

FAQ’s

What building regulations are there for a loft conversion?

While most loft conversions fall under permitted development and do not require planning permission, they do need to meet certain building regulations. This is to ensure that the loft conversion is a safe and habitable living space and are fairly standard requirements.

These building regulations require certain needs to be met, such as sufficient headroom for standing, including at the entry staircase. Likewise, this staircase to the loft conversion must be safely designed and provide easy access. There are other elements to consider, such as sound and thermal insulation, electric supply, ventilation and light as well as key safety requirements such as safe escape from fire and structural stability.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The average price of a loft conversion is usually between £30-50k, this will vary depending on the type of loft conversion you opt for and the amount of work involved.

We can provide you with a clear, itemised quote once we visit your property to conduct an initial site survey of the loft space and understand your plans for the space and what you would like done.

Once we have drawn up a quote for you, we are happy to add and remove elements to fit your budget and desires. Each payment is made in instalments, so you only ever pay for work that has already been completed.

What are the benefits of a loft conversion?

A loft conversion is an easy way to extend the space in your home and create additional living areas without losing your garden or moving to a new house. You may love your home, but the space is no longer functional and that’s where a loft conversion can help and create an additional storey to give your family space and room to enjoy.

Best of all, should you choose to move home down the line, your loft conversion can add up to 10-20% to the value of your home, which in turn pays for your initial investment. With space and particularly office space at a premium at the moment, it’s the perfect way to transform your home.

How Do The Types of Loft Conversions Differ?

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So you’ve decided you want a loft conversion? But did you know there are many different types of loft conversions to choose from? The one you choose is likely to depend on the type of home you have and your budget available. Some loft conversions for example, might only be suitable for detached or semi-detached homes.

Luckily, there is usually a loft conversion option available for most types of home and a loft conversion specialist such as The Brighton Loft Company can work with you to determine this and find a solution that meets your needs and suits your property!

Different types of loft conversions use different methods of adapting the loft space to make it liveable and extend space if necessary. Building regulations have to be taken into consideration when it comes to a loft conversion, so while you may feel a space is currently adequate you need to account for headroom, access and changes to make the space liveable and safe.

Here are the main types of loft conversion you will see in the UK:

Roof Light Conversion

A roof light conversion is one of the most affordable and least disruptive options of loft conversion, but it relies on having a large loft space with suitable headroom already. If this is the case, rather than making changes to extend the roof, the loft is converted to make it a liveable space. Skylights are added into the roof structure to allow for natural light to enter the space as well as suitable flooring and a staircase to provide safe entrance to the loft space.

Other changes or additions will be made, such as providing suitable walls and insulation, heating and electricity supply to make it habitable. As the roof is not adapted aside from the installation of sky lights, there will be a pitched ceiling, but as long as there is adequate head space this can be a suitable living space, additional bedroom or home office.

Dormer Loft Conversion

If it is necessary or desired to extend headroom or floor space, then a dormer loft conversion is one of the most popular options and suits most types of home. A dormer loft conversion will usually involve an extension to the rear of the property, but can be added to the front or the side of the home with the adequate planning permission.

A dormer loft conversion adds space by providing an extension that protrudes from the slope of the roof. This can be single, or extend across the width of the roof to maximise the space for the loft conversion.

Because this type of loft conversion can extend from any side of the roof, usually the rear, it is suitable for all types of home such as terraced, semi-detached and detached.

Hip To Gable Loft Conversion

A hip to gable loft conversion is where the sloping hip roof is extended at the side of the property to help create a vertical gable wall, which the roof can be extended over to create increased floor and headspace.

It is a popular choice because of this and its ability to help maximise space and complement the rest of the home without being too obvious. This helps to create a spacious living space that can work as a spare bedroom and bathroom, self-contained living space, office, studio or whatever you desire!

Because this type of loft conversion extends from the side, it is only suitable for semi-detached or detached homes or end of terrace houses if permissions allow. However, if your property allows, it is one of the most effective ways of adapting your loft space.

FAQ’s

What type of loft conversion is right for me?

The right loft conversion for you will depend on your property such as if it is terraced, semi-detached or detached as well as the headroom and floorspace available. Different types of homes will suit different types of loft conversions. Other factors will come into play such as what you intend to use the space for, your budget and the planning permissions for your area. The Brighton Loft Company are happy to view your space and discuss your plans for your loft conversion and suggest the best route of action as well as seeking and overseeing the adequate planning permissions and building regulations.

What building regulations do loft conversions need to adhere to?

While in the majority of cases, you may not need planning permission for your loft conversion, there are building regulations that need to be adhered to for your loft conversion to ensure it is safe and provides a habitable space.

These building regulations include things such as ensuring there is sufficient headspace, sound insulation, thermal insulation, electrical supply, safe escape from fire, structural strength and safely designed stairs and entry to the loft space. Throughout our process with you, we will advise and oversee the project to ensure these requirements are adhered to.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The price of a loft conversion will vary depending on the scale of work, level of refurbishment needed and building work to be done. However, the average price is usually between £30-50k depending on the different types of loft conversion. While this can be quite the investment, it can help to add value to your property price and is a much desired feature. It also helps to extend your living space and can often mean avoiding the need to move home if you need more space.

The Ultimate Loft Conversion Guide

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If you are considering investing in a loft conversion for your home, it can be baffling to know where to begin. There are so many options to consider and the right style for you will depend on the type of home you have and the intended use of the loft conversion.

The first thing you need to confirm is if your loft is suitable for a conversion, this is something you can easily work out yourself by measuring what the maximum height of the loft is. To meet building regulations, the minimum height should be 2.2m to allow sufficient space for someone to stand comfortably.

The next thing that will need to be considered is what type of roof you have and if it has roof trusses or rafters. This will usually depend on the age of your home, but you will be able to identify rafters as they run along the edge of the roof with a triangular hollow space, whereas trusses are support that run through the cross section.

Either type of roof can be converted, but it is easier with rafters rather than trusses, as trusses will require the replacement of structural support and result in a more complicated conversion.

The other thing to consider initially is if there is enough space on the floor below to install a staircase to lead to the loft conversion. Will it impact your home to lose that space and how would it fit into the overall layout? Thinking about this issues before moving forward with your loft conversion are a good way to consider if a loft conversion is for you.

The Different Types Of Loft Conversion

If you have decided that the space is suitable to continue with a loft conversion, the next thing you will need to do is work with the loft conversion company to work out what type of loft conversion is for you.

Again, this will usually be influenced by the size and style of your home, but the three most popular types of loft conversion are roof light, dormer and hip to gable.

Roof Light Conversion

If you have a large loft with suitable headroom and want to transform it into a living space, a roof light conversion is an easy and cheap way to do this. To make it a habitable area, skylights are added into the roof structure to allow natural light to flow through as well as suitable flooring and a staircase. It’s one of the most affordable, quickest and least disruptive types of loft conversion.

Dormer Loft Conversion

If you need to extend headroom or floor space, a dormer loft conversion is a good way to achieve this and can be added to most types of home. Added to the rear of the property in most cases, they provide an extension protruding from the slop of the roof. These can either be single or extend across the width of the roof to maximise space. The dormer can be added to the front or side of the property in some cases, but this may require planning permission.

Hip To Gable Loft Conversion

If you have a semi-detached or detached home, a hip to gable loft extension may be for you. In this type of loft conversion, the sloping hip roof is extended at the side of the property to create a vertical gable wall, which the roof is extended over to create additional floor and headspace. Again this is a popular choice and is a way to maximise space and compliment the rest of your home.

Choosing Your Loft Conversion Company

When selecting a loft conversion company to go with, you should take a look at their past work and the services they offer. At The Brighton Loft Company, we never take on more than three clients at one time, so we can focus our full attention on each project and keep our clients updated with progress.

We also take care of building regulations and planning permission for you, so you never have to worry about a thing.

Call us now to work with a loft conversion company that provides excellent customer service, expert advice and first class workmanship.

FAQ’s

What building regulations are there for loft conversions?

When embarking on a loft conversion, it is important to be aware of the building regulations in place. For loft conversions these include providing adequate structural strength for the floor, strong stability of the structure, a safe escape from fire, safely designed stairs to the new floor, sufficient headspace, adequate sound insulation, thermal insulation and electrical supply as well as ventilation and lighting.

As your loft conversion company, Brighton Loft Company will advise the best solutions for providing these requirements. In most cases you will not need planning permission for your loft conversion unless you live in a conservation area or a heritage building but we are happy to sort any required planning permission for you.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The average price of a loft conversion is between £30-50k, but this will depend on the type and size of your loft conversion as well as the amount of work that needs to be done. When you contact us about installing a loft conversion, we will conduct an initial site survey of the space and talk to you about the type of conversation you would like and what you wish to use the space for. From there, we will put a quote together for you and are happy to adjust this to add or remove any elements to fit your budget and requirements.

How long does a loft conversion take to complete?

The length of time it will take us to complete your loft conversion will depend on a variety of factors such as the size and layout and if we are extending or adding elements to the loft area. Following our survey of the site and plans being drawn up, we’ll aim to provide you with a realistic competition date and will advise if this changes for any reason.

The average time it takes to complete a loft conversion is between eight and ten weeks. We aim to provide as little disruption as possible to you and your neighbours during this time.