Posts Tagged ‘Loft Conversions’

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.

Convert Your Loft: DIY, Local Builder or Specialist Firm?

Loft Conversion - Decision MakingDeciding to convert your loft from a dark and empty space into a spacious living area can add an extra dimension to the home, giving you the extra real estate you need and adding significant value to the property.  When you make the decision to convert your loft – whatever the intended purpose of the extra space – you will have three options: do it yourself, have a local builder carry out the work, or call in a specialist firm. All three have benefits.

Do it Yourself

The DIY option is a very popular one and it is by far the cheapest in terms of outlay – largely because of the money saved on labour. However, while converting the loft into a home office or children’s play area can be pretty straight-forward, the job should still be carried out by someone that is a competent DIYer. If you intend to use the space to create a bathroom, the recommendation would be to hire someone more qualified. You should also be aware that a bad DIY job can cost more to put right than it would to hire a professional. Although, if are on a particularly strict budget, DIY is most likely the best choice.

Local Builder

A local builder should be able to carry out all the work required to convert a loft and they are often available at discounted rates. Hiring a builder will speed up the job considerably in comparison to the DIY option and will ensure the conversion is carried out correctly. However, you should always be aware of the “cowboy” builder. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rogue traders out there, a significant number of whom claim to specialise in loft conversions. Before hiring any builder, make sure to check their credentials. Word-of-mouth is always a good way to find a legitimate building firm. Also read previous customer reviews online.

Specialist Company

There are many companies in the UK that specialise solely in loft conversions, providing everything from the initial drafts right through to the clean-up. Specialist firms are experienced in various types of conversions and can generally provide a turn-around of 6-8 weeks. Of the three options, this one is likely to prove the most expensive and there is also the “cowboy” element to look out for, but if a complete, no-nonsense job from start to finish is what you require, a specialist loft conversion firm is the recommended choice.

Loft Conversions: Making the Most of your Home

Loft Conversion Study

For many people, the loft is simply that empty space at the top of the house used to store old boxes or hide away old school books, CDs, childhood toy and of course Christmas decorations for another year. However, with living space increasingly at a premium, the loft could prove to be much more than a dumping ground.

Loft conversions can transform what was once a dark and empty void into a luxury living space. Regardless of the size of your attic, a loft conversion can have it looking spacious. For tight lofts, a dormer extension can add the necessary space, while larger areas can benefit from a roof light conversion. When you consider the options that a converted loft can give – especially to a family – you realise just how wasted the space is in its current un-converted state.

Think about living as a family of four in a small three bedroom property. What happens when you are expecting baby number three? Sure, when the kids are young sharing a bedroom will not be a problem; the newest addition to the family can take bedroom number three. But as any parent with older children will know – kids sharing a room is a disaster! As kids grow up they begin to value privacy and have a need for their own space. A loft conversion can give this much needed extra bedroom. And it doesn’t have to be for the kids; include an ensuite and make it the master bedroom, or if you are a small family and have regular guests, a converted loft can serve as the perfect guest room.

A loft doesn’t have to be a bedroom; it can be anything you need it to be. Perhaps you are starting a business working from home and need some office space, or maybe just a place to study in peace. A small attic could also be the ideal location for an extra bathroom. A large family fighting over one bathroom is never a good thing!

Whatever your space problems, a loft conversion can be the perfect, cost-effective solution. Please have a look at our loft conversion gallery for some inspiration as to how you may wish to covert your loft

Loft Conversions in the Current Housing Climate

Loft Conversions – involves converting your attic into a habitable living space. In the current climate, UK house prices are somewhat stagnant and I am including London in this statement. Those wanting to get on to the housing ladder need to have a significant deposit (atleast 25%) to obtain a decent mortgage interest rate. Landlords are the new capitalists and demanding high rents given the shortage in supply. It seems for many to be a losing battle whilst lives are literally put “on hold” and pumping more dead money into other peoples pockets.

The recent recession has created a baby boom – it is now blossoming and many families are out growing their current homes. Moving house on average cost atleast £8,000 taking into account estate agent fees, days off work, removal, storage costs, solicitors, bank charges not to forget the added stress as you go through the housing transactional process. This is why a loft conversion is strongly being considered by many especially those in London, who have built local ties and a feeling of community. It avoids the upheaval and there is no longer the requirement to detach oneself from the many happy memories they have built from their home. Kids are able to keep and build bonds with their friends.

A loft can be converted from as little as £24,000 and the process can take only 4 weeks.

The weather and impact on Loft Conversion Build

A loft conversion build in the rain should not be a issue – those in the trade are use to drizzle, rain, sleet and snow given the past few seasons. Loft Conversions are versatile and so is the build process and reason why the majority of the construction work can continue in the rain.

It is only when the roof tiles come off then is it highly advisable, a loft conversion company should stand down if it is raining, sleeting or snowing otherwise you would risks damage to your roof structure . If it starts raining later in the construction process  it is not a big issue as heavy tarpaulin is used to protect your roof from the weather. The loft conversion process of removing roof tiles and protecting your roof usually takes about 5-6 hrs therefore it is advisable to always keep an eye on the forecast before your loft conversion company arrives.

Work which can be completed whilst it is not the best of weather can range from

– plumbing
– plastering
– electrics
– skirting, carpentery

It is only the “first fix” in loft conversion speak where one should be concern with the adverse weather conditions otherwise the majority of loft conversion specialists will continue to build that dream and convert your loft. Any questions, please feel free to post a comment

Why “Conversions” is the Buzz word of 2012

Conversions will be definitely the buzz word of 2012 – we’re only into March but I am making a bold statement here. You heard it here first and this is why….

Loft Conversions – make sense. They add value and allow families to grow and allow opportunities to be realised (a working from home room) As working patterns alter with the way people do business – a conversion will allow people to start realising potential of jobs and lives will be changed.

Conversions is also a buzz word from a online business perspective. Everyone is looking to convert whether it be – convert a click on a website to a sale, convert a lead into a contract, convert a speculative job application to a career, convert a like to a love, convert a blog post to a chapter, convert a dream into reality. Conversions will bring smiles to peoples faces, they will start helping people realise the rewards in life.

Loft Conversions should be considered asap as more people begin to realise the name of the game is to convert lofts… that’s it for tonight as I need an early night but thought I’d just put this thought in people mind as they begin to think what will they convert in 2012.

 

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.

Mansard Loft Conversion

What is a Mansard Loft Conversion?

So you may have heard a loft conversion specialist mention that you should consider a mansard conversion. Mansard loft conversions are popular in urban areas where older properties pre 1950s are prominent. London is a city where you will see alot of mansard conversions – they bring the added benefit of maximising the space in your loft and the ability to make use of all roof space. Generally when one considers a mansard conversion they opt for a flat room due to it being the most cost effective. We have found this type of loft conversion would be the preferred option from a planning perspective in sensitive areas and where original framework of the property is suited therefore keep in character with the property.

The conversion typically has a flat horizontal roof, with the back wall sloping inwards at an angle of 72 degrees. The majority of mansard loft conversions will require planning permission as you will be making a notable change to roof structure. Click on the mansard loft conversions below for a closer inspection.

Did you know…. Mansard Loft Conversions were named after a 17th-century French architect – Francois Mansart