At Evis Build, we undertake all manner of loft conversions in Surrey, Kent and London. Our professional builders will work hard to make sure your loft conversion is completed to exactly the specification you require and provide you with more internal space as well as add value onto your home’s sale price should you decide to move.
Key points to consider about loft conversions – Surrey, Kent or London
Although we can help design your proposed loft conversion in Surrey, Kent or London and work through the finer details before we start your building work, there are a couple of points we think you should consider before you give us a call.
You will need a staircase to access your new roof space which could negatively impact your floor plan below. Depending on the layout of your home, it may be possible to utilise excess space in the landing or hallway below your loft, otherwise the new staircase may need to take space away from an existing room.
Whether or not your existing roof is suitable for conversion into a loft space depends upon its internal height, width and type.
The minimum height for an unconverted roof space should be in the region of 2.4 metres from the ceiling below to the rafters at the roof. This will usually allow sufficient room to install support for the new floor and fit insulation between the existing rafters at the roof, whilst leaving a minimum of 2.0 metres headroom in the middle of the finished space. However, the width between your external walls and any internal load-bearing walls will significantly affect the size of floor support which will be required and the headroom which will remain from the finished floor level.
In scenarios where your existing roof is too low to create a usable volume of space and/or is generally in a poor state of repair, completely replacing your roof with a larger roof is a viable option. However, should your proposed roof be significantly higher than those of your neighbours, your local planning authority may object to this idea. Finally, the cost of replacing an existing roof in its entirety, together with constructing a temporary roof to keep the building weather tight during construction, is not small and as such this option should only be considered where other methods of extending your home are not viable.
Where your existing roof is hipped and large, converting the hips to gable ends can often be a cost effective way of creating additional space. By effectively widening your roof in this manner, you may be able to fit additional rooms than if you kept your roof hipped. However, where all of your neighbours have hipped roofs, your local planning authority may not like to see one gable amongst what are primarily hipped roofs.
Finally, the type of roof you have will form the basis of how financially viable your loft conversion is. There are two primary types of roof structures. Houses built before the 1960′s tend to feature traditional rafter and purlin roof structures which are easier to convert due to the relatively clear space within the middle of the loft. Whereas houses built after the 1960′s usually have trussed rafter roof structures which tend to have a lower pitch with more struts. These types of roofs are generally more complicated to convert as timbers will need to be re-arranged and new structural elements added.
Windows and dormers
The type of windows that would suit your loft conversion in Surrey, Kent or London usually depends on whether your existing roof has sufficient headroom towards the sides. Where a roof is large enough to provide adequate headroom across a majority of its area, the simplest option is to install roof windows (e.g. Velux). These are available in a large array of sizes and can be installed in clusters if required. There are also models which open up into balcony formation.
To provide additional headroom, a dormer is usually a good solution. Whilst a modest dormer can look aesthetically pleasing and even enhance the appearance of your roof, a large dormer which covers most of you roof area can end up looking like a large box and be out of character with your existing home. Furthermore, many local planning authorities tend to prefer pitched roofs on dormers. However, where the existing roof is not particularly high, this may be impractical and for some types of property, a modest-sized flat roofed dormer may be less dominant on the existing roof.
Local authority involvement with loft conversions in Surrey, Kent or London
Once you have made some decisions about your loft conversion in Surrey, Kent or London, you may want to know whether you need planning permission for your loft conversion.