Why should I convert my loft?

There’s so many good reasons to convert up, not least because you could increase the value of your home by a whopping 30% by doing so.

You might need to increase your living space to accommodate a growing family, but are not necessarily able to afford to buy in the same school catchment area, as is the case with many London clients who have invested in our conversions.

With the number of homes being converted to adapt to multigenerational living increasing thanks to rising house prices – currently around 125,000 a year, but expected to go up – a loft conversion is a fantastically cost-effective answer to expanding your living space.

Of the 1.5 million people working from home in the UK, many are choosing to escape the old, cluttered spare room by investing in a bright and airy loft office or studio. Make your workspace a haven for creativity!

Can my loft be converted?

In most cases, yes. However, if you live in a conservation area, if you live in a flat, or if your roof isn’t high enough, you may need to seek planning permission. We can advise you, if unsure.

To see if your roof is high enough, simply get a tape measure and run it from floor to ceiling at the tallest part of the roof. If it’s 2.2m or more, you are over the first hurdle.

You also need to establish what type of roof you have. In other words, does it have trusses or rafters? Rafters run along the edge of the roof, with the triangular space below hollow, while trusses are supports that run through the loft’s cross section. Extra structural support will be needed to support trusses, which can push the cost up, but we can advise and give you a competitive quote to help you realise your dream.

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What are the main types of loft conversion?

Factors including the type and age of your home, as well as your budget, will have a major influence on which type of loft conversion you go for. There are four main types and, if you choose and a survey gives the thumbs up, some of these types can be combined.

Four main types:

  • Roof light – cheapest and least disruptive with no changes to shape of roof
  • Dormer – extension that protrudes from slope of roof, flat-roof dormers being the most popular for adding extra headroom and floor space (typically, most dormers can be built across the full width of the rear of a house under Permitted Development where, subject to criteria, planning isn’t required). A flat-roof dormer can be:
      • rear
      • side (if your house has the highest point of the roof slope running along the middle from front to back)
      • L-shaped (if your house also has a rear addition)

     

    A dormer fascia is vertical and the sides (or cheeks), as well as the fascia, are tiled.

  • Hip-to-gable – extends sloping ‘hip’ roof at side of property to create a vertical ‘gable’ wall for more loft space. For detached and semi-detached houses only. These can be combined with a dormer or a mansard.
  • Mansard – runs along length of house roof and alters angle, making it almost vertical. Most expensive, but will give you masses of extra space. You can choose from:
      • rear
      • L-shaped (if your house also has a rear addition)

     

    What gives the mansard its character is that the fascia is at a 70 degree slope and the cheeks are, typically, built up in brickwork. Full width or L-shape mansards are, typically, granted planning permission in some areas where full width dormers aren’t permissible.

    If you live in a terraced house that has a ‘London’ or ‘butterfly’ roof profile, some local authorities will also grant full planning permission for:

      • front and rear (or double)

     

    mansards. A butterfly roof restricts you from any other conversion type. Keep in mind that permission may only be granted for this type of loft if there is already a precedent for these in your area.

Please give us a call if you need any of this explained in more detail.


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Will I be quoted for additional extras?

It’s absolutely crucial to check whether additional extras such as lighting and fixtures and fittings are included in the quotes you receive. Often, potential clients receive quotes from other companies which appear cheaper at first glance, but do not include all the additional extras you desire e.g. dimmer switches, LED lights, USB points, shaver sockets, aerial points etc.

Our philosophy is to give you a realistic quote for the building work, but also one that covers off all the details to provide a much more accurate idea of what your loft conversion will cost you from the word go.

Of course, there may be tweaks and alterations as we go along, but we think it’s only fair you are armed with a full quote that represents your budget and aspirations as closely as possible when you are making your initial decision. This way, we can also buy the best products at trade cost for you.

One word of advice is to make sure you have factored into your budget additional and potential upfront costs such as a central heating and water mains upgrade (if required), a new fuseboard (if required), Party Wall surveyors’ fees (if required), and Building Control and relevant planning application fees.

Other important costs to factor in would be sanitary ware for the bathroom, carpets and flooring, joinery and wardrobes, bathroom tiling, decoration, curtains or blinds. Satellite or aerial realignment might be needed at the start and finish of the job, depending on scaffolding.

Please give us a call if you need us to explain further.


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How do I prepare for my loft conversion?

One of the first things you need to do is discuss the building work with your neighbours and ask them to sign party wall notice forms. It’s always good to advise your neighbours you are having building work out of courtesy, anyway.

Think about what you’d like in your new loft space BEFORE you meet the Make Room Lofts team. This will help ensure there are no delays with any red tape.

Once you’ve confirmed your loft conversion with us, choose your bathroom and sanitary ware and ensure it is delivered in time. We can help you with discounted products through our suppliers, if desired.

When your loft conversion is imminent, clear everything out of your loft, as well as any pictures, mirrors and other loose objects from your hallway, landing and stairs, and move existing furniture. Prior to works, we are more than happy to help with any clearance to make life that bit easier. Just speak to our team.

While we can protect your stair carpets, depending on circumstances, our clients tend to replace them as one of their own finishing touches.

In addition, don’t forget to ensure there is enough parking for builders and fitters, and that you have any necessary parking permits.

This list of preparations incorporates the basics, but is not exhaustive. Please give us a call if you have any further queries or concerns.


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What areas do you cover?

We are the loft conversion specialists for North London and the surrounding areas, including:

  • Bushey WD23,
  • Chiswick W4,
  • Crouch End N8,
  • Ealing W5,
  • Edgware HA8,
  • Elstree and Borehamwood WD6,
  • Finchley N3,
  • East Finchley N2,
  • Fulham SW6,
  • Hackney E8,
  • Hammersmith W6,
  • High Barnet EN5,
  • Highgate N6,
  • Islington N1,
  • Kensal Green NW10,
  • Mill Hill NW7,
  • Muswell Hill N10,
  • Queens Park NW6,
  • Radlett WD7,
  • Shepherd’s Bush W12,
  • Stanmore HA7,
  • Stoke Newington N16,
  • Totteridge N20,
  • Winchmore Hill N21 and
  • Woodside Park N12

Please give us a call if you live in London and would like to check if we cover your area.


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