TIPS FOR CONVERSION
● You’ll need at least 2.2m of height, and the pitch of the roof can also affect the quality of the space.
● If the roof isn’t high enough, it may be possible to lower the ceiling in the rooms below, or raise the height of the roof; look at Moduloft, a complete modular roof raise loft system.
● Most loft conversions don’t need permission (up to 50m3 or 40m3 for a terraced house) unless you live in a designated area or the property is listed. See planningportal.co.uk.
● You can either hire an architect or designer to produce drawings, then use builders to do the work, or put the project out to a full-service contractor to manage everything.
● Be prepared to deal with obstacles like chimney breasts and water tanks.
● If you live in an attached home, you will likely need a party wall agreement (consult a party wall surveyor).
● Insulation is a key issue, and there is more than one solution (see page 103 for more) – your designer or local building inspector can advise.
● The floor may need to be acoustically upgraded for soundproofing.
● The conversion must meet fire regulations. This means adding smoke alarms and protecting the stairway with fire-resisting doors and partitions.
● The cost will vary depending on the materials and level of work involved – expect to pay anything from £15,000 to £40,000 – or at least £1,200 per m2.