Posts Tagged ‘loft conversion’

Electrical Access in the Loft

electrics loft conversionRegardless of the type of room you are creating with a loft conversion, there will be a need for electrical access. This will ensure you have power points for plugs and lighting. Even if you are not converting in the loft into a habitable space, electricity always comes in useful.

The wires

Installing electricity into a loft should be done in the early stages of a loft conversion; the good thing about the wires is that they are thin and extremely flexible; this means that they can be easily manipulated and placed into position. This makes the job much easier than plumbing which often involves the use of hard plastic and copper pipes. Feeding wires into the loft from floors below should not pose too many problems, other than the possibility of drilling through floorboards, which is often more messy than it is difficult. The biggest task will be hiding the multitude of differently coloured wires needed for different purposes – this can be done during a first fix.

Hiding the wires

The only signs of electricity in a completed loft conversion will be the sockets, light switch and light fitting, all of the wires will be well hidden behind the plasterboard and insulation on the walls and ceiling. Hiding the wires is done during the first fix.

First fixing is carried out prior to any insulating and plasterboarding being carried out. Wires will need to be well protected, this will involve tacking them along the inside of wall and roof joists and as tightly as possible to brick walls.

It will be important for the builders carrying out the plasterboard work to know that wires need to be brought through the plasterboard, and where they need to be pulled through. This will be very important for ensuring light fittings and sockets are in the correct place.

Once the plasterboard and plastering is complete, all wires will be hidden will be away from view. After this a second fix can be carried out, fixing the light fittings, switches and plug sockets in the correct places.

Using an electrician

When compared with the building work and plumbing that goes into a loft conversion, fitting an electricity supply is a fairly easy job. That being said, it should not be attempted by anyone that is inexperienced in the field. It is recommended that you use a professional electrician for any electrical work that needs doing. This will ensure that a job is done efficiently and correctly.

Loft Conversion: Practical Considerations

Loft Conversion Advice

Realising the potential of your loft

If you are looking for some extra space in the home, why not consider a loft conversion? It is much more cost effective and less stressful than moving home, is cheaper and better for space than building a ground extension and, best of all, it can add significant value to your home – up to 25% on the original value. When planning a loft, there are some practical considerations that you should take into account.

Space

The space that you have available will go a long way to determining the type of loft conversion you can have. If you loft has vast amounts of space, then you may be able to choose a Velux conversion, this will involve no changes to the roof and is by far the cheapest of any loft job. If however there is a lack of space, you are going to need to create some. This will probably mean a dormer conversion is needed. This will give you the required space but will be a much more expensive job to complete.

A general rule of thumb with lofts is that if the space from floor to the tallest part of the ceiling measures 230cm, you will have the required height needed for a conversion.

Access

Access will also be important. If the loft is being turned into a “habitable room”, for example, a bedroom, bathroom or playroom, it must have a permanent staircase. You will need to think about the space you are going to be losing below when installing a staircase; therefore it can be wise to use stairs that are less wide than those on lower floors. A staircase must also provide 210cm of headroom.

Safety

Safety is of paramount importance for obvious reasons. Fire regulations should be at the top of the list in any plans; this will mean purchasing materials that comply with building regulations in terms of fire resistance. Smoke alarms, escape access and sprinkler systems will also be required. Existing doors in a two storey home will also need to be replaced for fire resistant alternatives.

Loft Conversion Fire Safety

Loft conversions are not difficult projects to complete and they can add significant value to any home. A converted attic can be used for many purposes: extra bedroom, bathroom, study, play area, home office or a guest room. Whatever your intended use for the loft, safety must always be the primary concern, fire safety in particular.

Before proceeding with any loft conversion work, whether carried out by you or a professional company, it is essential that you seek advice from the local council to ensure you are adhering to building regulations. On many occasions, loft conversions can be completed without the need for planning permission, but it is always recommended that you contact your local authority. They will also be able to provide you with help and advice on loft fire safety.

Flooring

The floorboards used in a loft conversion must not only be strong enough to support loading from furniture, bathroom fittings and the like, they must also provide at least 30 minutes of fire resistance. This will give enough time for occupants to escape in the event of the fire.

Plasterboard

Plasterboard is used to cover all roof joists and any stud walls that have been erected. It is important that fire resistant plasterboard is used. These boards are generally pink in colour; Gyproc Fireline, GTEC Lafarge Fire Board and Knauf Fireshield are all recommended choices.

Windows

It is always recommended that an escape window is installed in the roof of the house; this will provide a route out of the property in the event of a fire. Velux manufacture large escape windows designed specifically for loft conversions. An escape window should always be easy to get to and be located at eaves level, this will aided in rescue from outside.

Doors

Whether you have an escape window installed in the loft or not, fire doors are essential. All doors should provide 20 minutes fire resistance and be of at least FD20 grade. FD30 doors are also available should you want extra security. Intumescent strips which are fitted to the door and on the inside of the door frame are also essential in preventing smoke from filling a room.

Smoke Detectors

Probably the most obvious piece of equipment in fire safety, smoke detectors are essential to meet building regulations. Rooms that are above ground level carry an increased risk of fire and a properly fitted smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death.

Do not overlook loft conversion fire safety. If unsure – contact us today for free advice to ensure the safety of all.

Project Managing a Loft Conversion

It may not seem obvious but a loft conversion needs project managing. It should not come to you as a surprise but many loft conversion specialists, sub-contract part of the loft conversion build to specialist tradesmen i.e. plumber, plasterer, carpenter, architect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and shows that the loft conversion company overseeing your job is taking all aspects into consideration and using master craftsmen to apply their skilled trade. However, what is key that your loft conversion is a success is that the project is managed effectively. This point is particularly true so that you as a customer are not charged for wasted days and the right job is completed at the right charge in the right amount of time with the perfect finish.

I have seen many times that customers sometimes think they can manage a loft conversion on their own and hire individuals from recommendations they have gathered over the years. This is not as easy as it sounds… firstly, the group of  individuals need to work collectively as a team, they need to have good communication, rapport and be flexible at times as each loft conversion brings its own challenges. They need to be given clear direction and have pre-agreed budgets/time lines. A loft conversion built poorly will cost more in the long run as well as in the short term as other companies are hesitant in “picking up other peoples mess”

Tools which can be used to project manage a loft conversion inc. excel spreadsheets, a white board – first of all one must note down key milestones and the resources completing the job. If you are thinking of completing  a loft conversion on your own, think carefully – this will not only take a lot of skill, know how on planning/build reg process but also a lot of your time. It is only you who can decide whether you have the knowledge, appetite and skill to take on this enormous responsibility where ultimately you are building a room to spend much valued time.

Loft Conversion Cost

Loft Conversion Cost by our resident expert Mark Smith.

The cost of a loft conversion will depend on a number of factors :

– The scope of the loft conversion – en suite, 2 bedrooms, roof space
– The type of loft conversion
– The quality of the material used
– The profit margin of your loft conversion specialist

You may have seen as you browse the web – loft conversion companies advertising your loft converted from £15,000. This I can say in the MAJORITY of cases is not achievable realistically a loft conversion will cost approx. £24,000. In London – £29,000 (purely on the basis of supply/demand) as well as Londoners earning much more on average nationally. This fact is true in Feb 2012 from my experience.

When choosing a company to convert your loft – you should always get 3 quotations as a minimum. DO NOT choose the cheapest as the DEFAULT otherwise you may be burdened with hidden extras. Always look to build the TOTAL COST – ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a contract and payment schedule in place.

Its not always a case of the old adage “you get what you pay for” – make sure you research your loft conversion company and at least visit a site in person. DO NOT take photos of previous work as granted – ask to speak to a customer and try make sure you are not hoodwinked into speaking to a family member or close associate. You ideally want someone independent. Contact the FMB and ask if there have been any complaints filled against the conversion company

Finally, a loft conversion will cost you a significant sum of money and it never hurts to ask the loft conversion company for a last price or a loan (this may work out alot cheaper then taking a loan from a bank) At the end of the day – the company wants your business and will do their very best to give you a cracking deal. Its surprising, how few people ask for a last price… it could save you money and make you money through this wise investment in your home.

Did you know…. The cost of your loft conversion could vary by as much as 15% if completed in winter. It is feasible to complete a loft conversion in Winter as long as you are willing to put up with the cold weather.

The “Hidden” Room | Loft Conversion

Answer :  Loft Conversion

Now you may have wondered where this “hidden” room is… For many it can be seen as the “MASTER BEDROOM”. It is not surprising over the years how many people have said to me they never knew they could make such a big room out of the space in their loft. For many lofts are used to store old school books, cds/vinyls, kids toys, old carpet, files and folders. It is where people have their most treasured memories. It is the most undervalued room in the house.

Some people put off having loft conversions completed because of just thinking and thinking and thinking of the sheer size of the job and upheaval it may cause. Some consider making the improvement when they want to move! This is a great move as it does add value but why not have it done sooner and enjoy the room itself.  A loft  in most occasions can be converted in most cases within 5 weeks. The vast majority, 98% carry on living in their home whilst the conversion is being completed. It is an exciting time for all in the family for those considering a loft conversion. In 2012, the UK housing market has somewhat stalled – London keeps attracting young professionals and families looking to build a nest egg and seems also to be loft conversion capital. Many loft conversion companies are concentrating on London, loft conversions london are in high demand … strong housing demand, resilient house prices and London pay packets mean loft conversions are definitely to be considered.

So if your still wondering where is this room? Its called ‘the loft’ – go on convert lofts and we’ll no longer have a housing shortage. You can even then have the “in laws” staying over (well OK lets not push it!)

Dormer Loft Conversions

A dormer is the most common type of loft conversion seen in the UK. It can be described as being basically a “box” on your roof or more correctly put as being “a structural element of a building that protrudes from the plane of a sloping roof surface” (courtesy of Wikipedia) Dormer loft conversions if built correctly can be done suited to the character of the property and take on the “feel” of the original house. Many loft converts have said they feel their best room is in the dormer conversion – many taking on having a bedroom / en-suite complete.

There are many types of dormer conversions that can be taken on, below I have tried to summarise the “dormer shopping list” available to those considering this type of loft conversion:

  • Gable fronted dormer: similar to a “dog kennel” I would say this is probably in most peoples eyes they “most common” loft conversion they can relate to.
  • Hipped roof dormer: the roof slopes back from front of structure to a point farther back, or, a dormer with a hip roof.
  • Flat roof dormer: the roof of the dormer is flat.
  • Shed dormer: A dormer (window) whose eave line is parallel to the main roof eave line. Shed dormers can provide more attic space and head room than gable dormers, but cannot be the same pitch as the main roof and may therefore require different roof sheeting. Often used in gable-roofed homes, a shed dormer has a single-planed roof, pitched at a shallower angle than the main roof.
  • Eyebrow or eyelid dormer “A low dormer on the slope of a roof. It has no sides, the roofing being carried over it in a wavy line.” The bottom of an eyebrow dormer is flat and the top is curved. This type of conversion is more popular for house in the suburbs and I saw fair few when on holiday recently in the US and Spain.
  • Link Dormer A large dormer that houses a chimney or joins one part of a roof to another.

Browse our gallery for a array of dormer loft conversions and discuss with your loft conversion specialist –

It is imperative that you research your loft conversion company diligently – take referrals and go see a completed loft. Loft conversions are not cheap and improperly constructed dormers are prone to leaks and give rise to expensive repairs.

Loft Conversions London | Convertlofts.com

Loft Conversions LondonLoft Conversions London are becoming increasingly popular.  London has some of the highest house prices in the UK and is still definitely a world “hot property spot” Many people love visiting London purely for the continual buzz it generates whether it be the royals, the west end, the city, the nightlife, olympics 2012

Loft Conversions London

A loft conversion in London makes a sound investment – they not only add significant value to the property but also give that much needed space for a growing family or an extra room “To Let”  The rental market in London is RED HOT. Loft Conversions add extra space and with this it brings not only the opportunity to add value to your home but bring in income as well as become a landlord. A loft conversion is cost effective and has tangible returns – you can read countless articles on why converting your loft makes a sound investment

London is primed with property which can be converted… whether it be a top floor flat, a old terrace house, a bungalow, a detached house. Mansards and Dormers are types of loft conversions which will maximise the space in your roof. One should seriously consider converting their loft as money in the bank is being eaten away by inflation and bringing little return. It would be seen as being much more beneficial to invest in a loft conversion – one can then reap the benefits immediately. A growing family, extra income – a conversion in 2012 should be given due consideration.

Did you knowA conversion will also help insulate the top of your house and stop heat escaping. Winter may have just finished but with rising energy costs – a conversion will help keep energy bills down and your home feel snug.

Remember when choosing a company to convert your loft – to choose carefully. Read our previous post on this for some wise words.

London Dormer Loft Conversion

Why Convert Loft?

The most obvious reason to convert your loft is to have an additional room.  Generally, the loft is an unused space in the house which for most house owners serves no purpose then a bit of storage space.

Do you feel you have out grown your current house?  Is your family expanding?  Or would you like the extra space for when visitors come?  The list really is endless on why to have a loft conversion.  A loft conversion will give you no doubt additional usable space.

Modern Loft Conversion

Loft conversion adds value.

Not only will a loft conversion provide you and your family valuable living space, be it a study, bedroom or bathroom.  A loft conversion will also increase the value of your property, generally, it will add roughly 20% to your house value.  This could be a far better solution then having to go through the hassle moving homes.

Methods of Loft Conversions

The most popular types of conversions are:

Whichever method you decide converting your loft is becoming more and more popular option for home owners in the UK. So why convert loft? Its because it makes sense (money and space wise)

 

Choosing a Company to Convert your Loft | Loft Conversion

Loft Conversion - Home Cinema

Loft conversions are not as simple a building process; they require expert planning knowledge and expert building skills. To have your loft converted right, you actually need a loft conversion specialist with experience in loft conversions.

An experienced loft conversion company will have years of experience and will be able to provide you with detailed information on the various designs available, if your empty space is right for a loft conversion, if there are any building requirements, the cost, and the amount of time it will take to complete the loft conversion.

Not every roof and empty space in a home can be converted. If you do not have the correct height in your empty space, you cannot have a loft conversion. On the other hand, the majority of lofts can be converted without any problem.

An expert loft conversion specialist will be able to show you the different types of loft conversions that will work in your loft area and from here you will be able to design your loft and create the type of room you desire with that empty space.

The most common type’s lofts you can choose from with a Loft conversion specialist are rooflight, dormer, en-suite, and Mansard. To learn which is perfect for your home and give you the extra space you need, contact a Loft conversion specialist.

Trying to do a loft conversion on your own is certainly not a great idea and using a builder that has never done a loft conversion or the occasional one, is not a wonderful idea. In order to build the conversion properly and to meet any building requirements, you will need a specialist with experience.

By using an experienced loft conversion company you can feel assured that you are in good hands. The reason is a professional loft conversion company has been doing this for years and knows the entire process, which allows them to complete the project in a timely manner.

Not only can a professional create a beautiful room with your loft conversion, but they will also be able to provide you with information regarding if the area is suitable for a bathroom or even a couple of windows. The best part of all is that you will have a professional help you design the loft conversion you desire instead of just using a blue print, making it unique and personal. If you do not use a professional, you may be missing these extras that might just help make the room more functional as well as comfortable.

With a loft conversion, you may be able to have that spare bedroom, game room, or office space with its own bathroom and window or skylight. Just by contacting a loft conversion expert, you will be able to design and receive expert advice to create a loft conversion of your dreams.