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Things to Look-Out for when it Comes to Converting a Loft

A loft conversion can be a fantastic investment in your home, adding thousands of pounds to the property in the long run as well as supplying more liveable space in the short term.


However, if you’re approaching the decision to get a loft conversion done for your home, then you need to be aware of the requirements and costs of such a project. M J Pryce Building Contractors are well away of the difficulties, legal obligations and the overall effort it takes to see one completed. With this blog we’ll explain what you’ll encounter and how to overcome it.


Loft Conversion Trouble-Shooting


Here are the most likely obstacles and instances you as a home owner will face during the project, along with advice on how to avoid them totally;


Open-Planning for your Home


From 2006 onwards there was a change in Building Regulation that makes it possible to have a loft conversion even in homes where the ground-level floor is open-plan - meaning there’s only a single exit from the property and it could be blocked in the event of a blaze. The requirement placed upon home owners now is to have a domestic sprinkler system installed for safety - eliminating need for an enclosed fire-escape route from the loft itself.


This of course saves you the cost of upgrading the entire property to have fire doors, but a sprinkler system will cost, all-told, £2000-£3000 pounds to be installed. However, the savings you make long-term and the flexibility that you get compared to solid walls and fire doors being in place can’t be under-estimated. Also - as an additional bit of info - homes with four or more stories above ground level are not required to have a secondary escape staircase.


Issues with Headroom


If you lack the space to stand in an loft, you need the thinnest insulation materials to conserve all the space you can. You could look into the use of multi-layer reflective foil materials for insulation, but you’ll first have to double-check with your local authority building control department to see if its okay. You can also snag some extra headroom where it’s needed - above stairs or a WC by position a roof-light. These typical provide you 15cm of additional clearance.


Obstructive Header Tank


Your Header Tank for central heating or your cold water supply are able to be relocated elsewhere inside the loft or removed completely by changing to an unvented plumbing system. This would require that you live in an area where local water pressure is at least 1.5 bar, as these unvented systems use mains pressure to operate rather than gravity. This also can provide you with much more powerful showers as well.


Obstructive Neighbours


Should you live in a terraced or semi-detached home, your neighbours won’t be able to stop you from converting your own loft space, even if you need to go across their property for access. You’ll have to supply them notice in the form of the Party Wall Act (England & Wales), however. To learn more, search communitiesdotgovdotuk.


For a Building Contractor who can handle intensive Loft Conversions - Contact M J Pryce Today!


Restrictions on Lease-Holders


Should reside in a flat, you’ll need to get planning permission for a loft conversion as there is no PD rights given to flats or maisonettes. You will also need to be informed of who owns the left itself if your home is leased. Only if your property has access to that space will be able to discuss with the freeholder about the purchase of the space so you can convert it.


Lack of a Soil Pipe for a Bathroom


If you want to addition a WC into your new loft conversion but there is no appropriately located, pre-existing soil stack, you’ll need one added or, if too expensive, you can install a pumped macerator system instead to substitute.


Do you need to apply for planning permission?


The conversion of a loft does not usually need permissions but increasing the volume of your roof does constitute and extension and so consent from an authority may be necessary. Good news on this is that since October 2008 in England, homeowners can add a significant extension to their loft space without needing to apply for planning permission due to the Permitted Development Rights. This applies even if your have already extended your property already - as long as you haven’t completely used all your PD rights.


Bear these things in mind, and you should be well on your way to get that loft conversion underway and completed within 12-months.


For house extensions and loft conversions solutions from a builder contractors firm trusted for 25 years to provide the highest standard of service - contact M J Pryce today on 01483 301194, email us via or fill out our contact sheet and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Click here for more detail.