Whether you need Building Regulations approval
Yes, you will. Each loft conversion must have Building Regulations approval even if planning permission is not required. A surveyor will inspect the work at various stages of construction, issue you with a certificate when the project is completed, and a final inspection takes place. With houses semi-detached or terraced, your neighbours will need to be informed of your plans if the proposed work falls into the area of the Party Wall Act.
Do I have a suitable attic?
Things to consider when you want to convert include sufficient head height, type of structure and the roof pitch and whether there are obstacles such as chimneys or water tanks. An inspection will identify whether the roof you have has the right conditions and dimensions for conversion.
Building codes do not make specifications for the acceptable height of the ceiling in the room, but the stairs have 2m regulatory requirements. When measuring the attic space to head height, measure from the bottom of the timber ridge to the top of the joists in the ceiling. It must be greater than 2.2 metres.
Check how much headroom there will be with the architect or designer. Often people have less than they thought as it was not always clear to see in the plan. The greater the angle of pitch, the more central headroom there is likely to be. Consider Construction Companies Bishops Stortford like ashmereconstruction.co.uk/ for your loft conversion work.
The roof structure
There are two main types – section truss and framed. Framed roofs are typically found on the old pre-1960 houses where the rafters and beams are built on the site and assembled into the property. This is the easiest type of roof construction for conversion as it is easily opened by strengthening the rafters. The factory produced rolls that came after the 1960s were thinner and cheaper. They get their power from having a diagonal bracing wood attached. Because there is no loadbearing structure below, the conversion would require adding extra structural support.
The roof frame can be made more powerful by incorporating a steel beam between the load-bearing walls and steel beams in the ridge.
How much does it cost?
Loft conversion fees depend on the type of roof structure you currently have, the amount of space available and if changes need to be made to the lower floors to combine stairs. The most basic rooms will start around £ 15,000 and will include strengthening floors, skylights, ladders, electrical work, lighting and additional insulation. Fire doors and smoke alarms are also required to comply with building regulations.
An extension of the attic roof is another option and includes amendments and installation of roof windows. This is useful for adding a high head height and can provide more options for positioning of the stairs. It will cost more but does give you more options, more space and will increase the resale value of your property.