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Loft Conversions / Extensions

Loft Conversions / Extensions

Loft conversions and loft extensions can provide a very economical solution to obtaining the extra space you may require. Often loft conversion plans or loft extension plans are in the form of a bedroom with en-suite. If you are lacking in space around the property to extend, it can be more beneficial to use up the space within your existing loft space.

There are several types of loft extensions and loft conversions available, however some of the most common types are:

Loft conversion

This consists of maintaining the existing space within the loft and providing a more suitable means of access. Conversion of the existing loft space provides the most cost effective method of utilising the available space without the extra costs of extending e.g. dormer or hip to gable extensions.

A loft conversion of the loft usually includes the upgrading of thermal elements and removal of existing roof structures which are to be replaced by a new structure. Roof lights such as Velux or similar are usually incorporated to give you the natural light.

Hip to gable loft extension plans

A hip to gable loft extension is used to make use of the footprint of the loft which was previously unusable because of the pitched roof. Please see illustration below of a hip to gable loft extension. Hip to gable loft extensions can also be combined with a dormer type loft conversion to further increase the usable floor space of the existing loft.

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Dormer Loft Extension Plans

Not unlike a loft conversion, a dormer loft extension utilises the existing floor space of the loft but with the increased headroom supplied by creating the dormer loft extension.

There are several types of dormer however the most common loft dormer extensions are: Box dormer (flat roof) Hip/ Gable dormer (pitched roof). A Box dormer generally provides the most space, whereas a hip/ gable dormer is usually smaller in size and is used primarily on properties to match the vernacular.

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Before commencing your loft conversion or extension plans, here are some points worth considering before you start:

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Most loft conversions/ extensions can be designed and built within permitted development rules.

However, some properties have their permitted development rights removed which would require a standard householder planning application.

As a rule of thumb, you are entitled to increase the volume of the roof by 40m³ if a terraced property or 50m³ is detached or semi-detached.

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Building Control

Building control is separate to planning in that planning focuses primarily on the aesthetics and impact upon the neighbour, where building controls primary function is to ensure the works comply to current regulations such as structure, fire, thermal insulation, services and others.

Building control is not so much of a black and white procedure like planning, however it is vital that the works comply with current standards to obtain the completion certificate from the building control department.

With respect to loft conversions/ extensions, the main issues to consider are: amount of available headroom into loft (minimum of 2m), fire escape, structure, thermal.