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.

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.

What To Consider When Planning A Loft Conversion At Home

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Loft conversions are one of the leading home improvements people consider for their home. They can add as much as 20% to the value of a home and provide a way of extending living space  – perfect for accommodating a growing family without the need to move home.

With more of us working from home than ever, loft conversions in Brighton are increasingly being considered to create a home office area. This is perfect for separating your working and living space and being apart from distractions and disruptions.

Another popular use for a loft conversion is often the addition of an additional bedroom and bathroom, this can make a great guest bedroom or granny annexe to provide accommodation that still provides independence and privacy under your roof.

Whatever your vision for your newly converted loft conversion, there are a few things to consider before you get started. Here is our lowdown on things to consider when planning a loft conversion.

Is Your Loft Suitable For A Conversion?

If you are considering a loft conversion, there are some things you will need to consider. Firstly, you will need to work out if your loft is appropriate for a loft conversion. You can easily do this yourself by measuring the maximum height of the loft area, which must be a minimum of 2.2m to meet building regulations. In most cases you will not need planning permission as they usually fall under permitted development but if you live in a listed building or designated area, it may be required.

Next, you will need to work out the type of roof you have, this will usually depend on the age of the house, but lofts will either have roof trusses or rafters. Rafters run along the edge of the roof leaving a triangular hollow space, while trusses are support that run through the cross section.

It is possible to have a loft conversion with both types, but it is easier with rafters as trusses will need to be replaced with other structural support, making a conversion more complicated.

Next you will also need to consider if you have enough space on the floor below for a staircase to be installed leading to the loft conversion; can you afford to lose space in that area? How would it work into the layout of your home? It is often something overlooked when considering a loft conversion, but well worth considering.

What Type Of Loft Conversion Should You Go For?

Once you have worked out whether your property is appropriate for a loft conversion, you will also need to consider what type of loft conversion you would like. Again, this will depend on how you are considering using the space, whether your home is terraced, semi-detached or detached and the size of your loft space.

The three most common types of loft conversion are roof light, dormer and hip to gable.

Roof Light Conversion – This is the cheapest and least disruptive type of loft conversion and consists of adding skylights for daylight, laying a suitable floor and building in a staircase. This is ideal if you have a large loft already as it will need to provide sufficient living space. With this type of conversion the walls will usually be angled, so sufficient headspace is required.

Dormer Loft Conversion – A dormer loft conversion provides an extension to the loft area protruding from the slope of the roof. They help to add headroom and floor space, making for a more practical and liveable space. They are usually added to the rear of the property but can also be added to the side or front of the property pending planning permission. They can either be single or extend across the full width of the roof to maximise space. Because of the different types of dormer available, there is usually a style that can be added to most types of homes.

Hip To Gable Loft Conversion – A Hip to Gable loft conversion is only suitable for a detached or semi-detached home as it involves extending a sloping hip roof at the side of the property outwards – creating a vertical gable wall. The roof is extended over these gables to create additional floor and headspace.

Building Regulations

While you will not normally need planning permission for a loft conversion, you will need to follow building regulations. These will include ensuring the structural strength of the floor, stability of the structure, safe escape from fire, safely designed stairs to the new floor, adequate height and reasonable sound insulation.

You will also need to consider elements such as thermal insulation, sound insulation, heating, electrical supply, windows, ventilation and lighting. Your loft conversion supplier will be able to help and advise on this and suggest the best solutions.

Choosing A Reliable Loft Conversion Specialist

Finally, before any work can begin, you need to find a reliable supplier of loft conversions in Brighton. At The Brighton Loft Company, we have helped transform hundreds of homes across the Brighton area building a reputation as one of the best loft conversion companies in the area.

We ensure we provide full attention to each and every client, so only ever take on three clients at a time, so we can be available for any of your questions and can provide you with regular progress updates on your conversion. We will even take care of the building regulations and any planning permissions for you.

If our guide has helped you and you would like to find out more or consult us for a free quote for a loft conversion, please get in contact. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and book you in for a consultation.

FAQ’s

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The price of your loft conversion will really depend on the type of conversion you get and the amount of work that needs to be done, but most loft conversion are between £30-50k. We can provide you with a quote following an initial site survey and discussion with you about the type of conversion you are looking for. We are happy to work with you to adjust this to include or remove any elements to fit your budget and need, simply contact us to start your journey.

We only charge you for the work we have done, so you will only receive a bill once each stage of the conversion is complete.

How long does a loft conversion take?

Again, the length of time it takes to complete your loft conversion in Brighton will depend on the size, layout and requirements of the loft conversion. We will provide you with an estimate when we draw up your plans, but the average time is between eight and ten weeks.

As well as reshaping or extending the roof, the floor will need to be fitted, walls insulated, electrics fitted, plumbing installed if necessary and the building of the staircase. We aim to provide as little disruption to your home or neighbours as possible with work primarily confined to the loft space.

Do you have examples of your previous work?

Yes of course, you can take a look at our work from previous projects and see what a transformative effect it can have to a loft space, creating beautiful new living areas and naturally creating additional space. You will see just how smoothly they can complement your home.

In our portfolio, you will see case studies from our previous projects and clients and see first-hand how we worked with them to make their vision a reality. We have provided examples of a variety of different loft conversions in Brighton that we have worked on so you can get an idea of the benefits of each one.

10 Reasons to Choose The Brighton Loft Company

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A personal touch

You will have the undivided attention of our team. It’s a popular trope that builders start a job, but then slowly drift off leaving your project unfinished. We never take on more than we can handle; three teams, three projects. So, your team will be dedicated to your job from start to finish.

The best quality

Quality materials installed by professionals. A loft conversion is a bit like a cake recipe – if the quality of your ingredients isn’t top notch then your cake won’t be either. That’s why you won’t find us installing MDF skirting and architrave or installing cheap doors with B&Q hardware.

We take the time

Your project is likely to take 6, 8 or 10 weeks depending on its scale. We don’t hang around, but neither are our team under pressure to blitz through your project and get on to the next. You can’t rush when you’re working on something as important as someone’s home.

Your own dedicated team

Here at the Brighton Loft company, we’ve known each other for years. Over that time, you form a bond and level of competency that ensures the smooth running of a project. Beware of companies which have “recruiting now” permanently on their vehicles! This suggests a very high staff turnover.

No unexpected fees

Our quotes are comprehensive. Some companies will give you a price for the job which looks good, but does it really tell you what’s included? With our quotes, you can see item by item exactly what you are paying for.

We listen

We take the time to listen to what you need from the space and get it just right. Some companies’ business models are to offer you loft A or loft B, leaving you with a conversion that looks like it has been bolted on as an afterthought. We don’t do that, from our initial chat, all the way through to the planning process and our time on the site, we always take the time to deliver the desired finish you’re looking for.

An end-to-end service

Every element under one roof. We will take care of every aspect of your project from planning to completion. Your site manager will liaise with roofers, window fitters, lead workers, plumbers, electricians, and decorators so that all you have to do is choose the décor.

Fixed prices

We sign a contract with a fixed price. Once a price for your job has been agreed, that’s it! We sign a contract with you guaranteeing the cost of the job. This won’t change unless you change your mind and add some elements, or in the unfortunate event that we find some issues that need taking care of.

Less waste

Less waste. ALL of the waste that’s collected from our sites is sorted for recycling. So wherever possible, we avoid using landfill.

Complimentary roof survey

A full, free roof survey is undertaken with every job. The aim of this is to identify any underlying problems with your roof, chimney, or firewalls, which may need addressing. We’ll give you a full breakdown of anything that needs attention.