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.
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.