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Let's look at our top ten tips that will help you plan and achieve a great new room in the roof, to expand your living space and to add value to your home.
So, in more or less chronological order:
Before doing anything you need to ensure that your loft can be converted into a brand new room(s).
Most properties in the UK will be suitable for conversion but, just like anything else in life, some are easier to do than others.
It really depends on what is up there to start with and how the roof was constructed.
Older houses are much easier to convert then those constructed after the mid-1960s as the roofs tend to have a deeper pitch and are free from internal trusses. Conversely, brand new houses, built since the turn of the new century, are often built with lofts that are already conversion ready.
2) Make A Plan
As loft conversion tips go that sounds pretty obvious but it isn't just the boy scouts who need to be prepared. Putting together a good plan will ensure that when you convert the loft it will be a successful, stress free and easy project.
Essential components of your plan must include a realistic budget. What you can afford to spend and what you can achieve with the money. You also need to be realistic about you can achieve.
A loft conversion can add value to your home and will be completed quite quickly - if done correctly. Let the experts help. We have all seen programmes on TV about cowboy builders and the devastation they leave in their wake. Don't be a victim. One of the most obvious but valuable of loft conversion tips is to use a reputable and experienced building company and always insist on seeing references and previous work.
I imagine many of us share an antipathy towards our local councils. They are filled with pompous, self important local politicians who charge us an arm and a leg for providing rubbish services. But, climbing off my soapbox for a moment, they can often be a great source of good advice.
Your councils Building Control Office will usually be only to happy to offer loft conversion tips, help and support and I have to say that every time I have dealt with my local BCO they have been first class.
If you have any issues or questions don't be afraid to pick up the phone. Of course there is a limit to the help they can give but they are especially helpful in the initial planning stages.
Although a professional architect can seem a big expense there are several reasons why you consider using one. The first is obvious.
A good architect will be able to turn your vision into plans on paper but he can also be used to project manage and may have a good building company that he works regularly with to save you the hassle of finding a builder.
It is only natural that we worry about all the form filling and hoops that we perceive we need to jump through to get our loft conversion plans approved. Don't stress it. Yes, there is red tape involved but most of it is actually there to help you and guide you through the building process.
7) Follow The Golden Rule
Following on from number 6 and one of the loft conversion tips that is often bypassed - don't be tempted to ignore the building regulations and build your loft conversion without official approval.
This is a recipe for disaster and could cost you thousands upon thousands of pounds not to mention making your house impossible to sell.
A loft conversion is a fantastic opportunity to plan a new room, or suite of rooms, from scratch utilising your own ideas and creativity. To create your ideal space whether it is a new bedroom, living room or hobby room.
But, one of the best loft conversion tips we can give, is to have as many and as large windows as you can to let the natural light flood into the new room.
Conserving energy isn't good only for the environment, it is also good for your wallet. We all know that conserving energy and using environmentally friendly materials is important but using them correctly will also add even more value to your loft conversion and property as a whole.
Probably one of the most important of all loft conversion tips. It is so important to get more than one quote from builders for the work you need doing.
Get quotes from at least three builders and make sure the quote includes all the work you need doing as well as a schedule of payments. Remember, the cheapest quote isn't always the best.
Bonus Tip Have A Look Around This Site
Just thought I would throw this one in. There are hundreds of pages on this website and I'm sure what ever you need to know about converting your loft is on here. Have a look around or use the search page to help you find what you need.
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft