If your house is in desperate need of more space or you’d love an extra bedroom, then extending into the loft can be the ideal solution. But before you start knocking through walls, there are several things to consider before getting started with a loft conversion in London. This guide will give you everything you need from the regulations you must meet to the best loft conversion ideas to help you get inspired.
Where to Begin?
You probably have plenty of ideas about what to do with your loft space. But before undertaking a loft conversion, you need to assess whether one is viable in the space you have!
The most important things to know are:
- Internal height – this needs to be 2.5m from ridge part to joist in the apex.
- Roof pitch – the higher the pitch the more head room you will have.
- Footprint – ideally, this should be 5.5m wide and 7.5m front to back.
You also need to consider if your loft will allow for conversion. Traditional frames are best for converting but the rafters may need to be strengthened. However, trussed roofs will require more work to make them structurally sound.
If your loft has a water tank in it, you may also need to consider moving the tank to accommodate the conversion.
Biggest mistakes to avoid
Loft conversions come with many potential problems. Before you even get started, here are the biggest ones to avoid:
- Forgetting about the stairs – finding staircase solution to a loft conversion can be tricky if there is limited space on your landing. There are also regulations to abide by so make sure you know these.
- Forgetting about plumbing – this might need to be extended upon if you want to heat the room.
- Assuming insulation is adequate – you may need to upgrade your insulation to make sure that at least the minimum standards are met before work can begin.
Types of Loft Conversions
When you begin planning your loft conversion, you’ll need to decide which type is best for your house. Here are the different loft conversions available:
Dormer loft conversion
This is the most possible type of conversion. It creates a box shape from the slope of the existing roof which allows for windows. This leaves straight walls and ceilings, good light and ventilation, giving a light, airy space in an otherwise cramped attic.
In addition, it usually falls under permitted development, is suitable for most homes and is relatively cheap. The downside is that they are not always the best to look at and can make your roof look a little clunky.
Mansard loft conversion
Popular in terraced houses, these make use of the shared wall by raising the roof on that side and only having a slope on one side. This conversion is considered better looking, gives more headroom than other conversions and allows more light into the loft.
But, this type of loft conversion will usually need planning permission, can take longer to complete and can be more expensive than other conversions.
If you have ideas for a bedroom loft conversion, this is usually the best option.
Hip to gable loft conversion
This is best for end of terrace or detached homes. It works by straightening a sloping wall and can make a huge difference to the living space. It blends in with the existing home, can be combined with other extensions and is suitable for all homes including bungalows.
It is not, however, suitable for mid-terrace homes is more expensive than dormer conversions. Plus, it can make the house unbalanced if next door doesn’t have one.
Roof light loft conversion
This type of conversion doesn’t alter the space at all. Instead, windows are added and the floor reinforced. It’s much cheaper than full conversions, more likely to be approved and will get you plenty of storage if you use the eaves creatively.
The downside is It does require a minimum head room in the centre, doesn’t give any extra space or may still require planning permission.
How Much Does a Loft Conversion Cost?
The cheapest and most straightforward loft conversion will be a room in roof conversion and will start around £15,000.
A dormer will cost upwards of £20,000 but if you want to add an ensuite it will typically be £35-£40,000.
If you have to alter the roof structure it will cost upwards of £40,000.
These are just guideline figures, prices vary hugely depending on the work needed and level of finish you want. However, you’ll be able to get a quote for your project to get an idea of the cost for you.
Conversion Regulations and Permissions
You don’t always need permission to have a loft conversion, but designs will need to adhere to certain parameters. If your property is listed or in a conservation area, then you may well need planning permission.
You will also need a planning permission to extend the height of the roof or the shape of the roof.
If you’re stressed about the planning permission, you have two main options to help you deal with the legal side:
Option 1: Hire an Architect or Designer
An architect or designer will deal with all the planning of the conversion and will be able to liaise with the planning permission authorities. They will also know exactly what is feasible and what isn’t when planning loft conversion layout ideas.
Option 2: Hire a Build Company
What you’ll get from a design and build company is an all-inclusive package that will deal with all the planning permission and regulations that can come with a loft extension. They’ll also be able to take on the entire project which can save you a lot of stress.
Choosing Who to Hire For Your Conversion
When it comes to choosing the right professionals to take on your loft conversion, it can feel a little overwhelming. With so many companies out there, it’s hard to know who to trust and the best people for the job.
Here at Master Build Team, we make it our mission to help make the entire process of a loft conversion effortless and stress-free for you. With extensive experience in loft conversions, we know exactly what we’re doing and will walk you through every step of the process.
Get Inspired: A Few Amazing Loft Conversions
If you’re raring to get started with your own loft conversion, here are some beautiful ideas to get you started.
Minimalist but Cosy
If you love a minimalistic, Scandinavian feel, you’ll love this loft conversion.
This light and spacious loft is the stuff of dreams.
Functional and Organised
Make the most of every square inch of space with a wall of bookcases.
Bright and Architectural
Make a feature of your conversion with an architectural window that lets the light flood in.
A cosy Library
Need ideas for a small loft? Turn it into a cosy library you’ll never want to leave.