Planning a loft conversion can be an excellent way to add more space and value to your home. A well-planned conversion can provide you with an extra bedroom, bathroom, study, or living area. However, before embarking on this exciting project, there are several important factors to consider.
At Steen, we’re local loft conversion specialists, and we can provide you with all the expert advice you need to ensure a successful conversion. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what to consider when planning a loft conversion in Aberdeen.
Is a Loft Conversion Possible?
The first step in planning a loft conversion is to establish whether your loft can actually be converted. Many houses don’t require planning permission for a loft conversion, but it’s important to make sure this is the case for your property before you proceed. If your house is in an area of conservation or your roof space isn’t tall enough, there may be complications.
Take a look at other similar houses nearby to you to see if they have loft conversions. If they do, that’s a positive sign. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every property is unique, and your loft may not be suitable for conversion even if your neighbor’s loft has been converted.
Measure the Head Height
The head height of your loft will need to be approximately 2.6m for it to be suitable for a conversion. You can measure this yourself with a tape measure. Simply work out the distance from the floor to the ceiling at the highest part of the space. If it’s 2.6m or taller, it should be high enough to convert. We need this space available to ensure that we have a finished ceiling height of at least 2m.
Check Your Roof Type
When considering a loft conversion, you’ll need to think about your home’s roof type. It will have either rafters or trusses, depending on what year it was built. Rafters run along the roof’s edge, leaving most of the space below them hollow. In comparison, trusses are supports that run through the middle of the loft, taking up lots of room.
Converting a loft that has a trussed roof is possible, but the trusses must be replaced, and this requires significant structural work. This can be costly for the homeowner. It’s essential to work with an experienced builder who has experience working with trussed roofs.
Think About the Floor Below
Don’t forget to consider the floor below when planning a loft conversion in Aberdeen. Consider where the staircase will go and how much space it will take up. Keep in mind that there are building regulations that must be adhered to when installing a staircase to your loft, even if planning permission isn’t required. These state that a fixed staircase is required to provide safe access to the room.
The staircase shouldn’t have a steepness of more than 42 degrees, and all stair risers must be equal. You should also consider that a handrail must be provided if there’s a drop of over 600mm. Most loft conversions require a handrail.
Types of Loft Conversion
here are several types of loft conversions to choose from, each with its unique benefits and challenges. The most popular types of loft conversions in the UK are dormer, roof light, hip to gable, and mansard. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of loft conversions.
Dormer Loft Conversion
A dormer loft conversion involves extending the roof vertically from the sloping side of the roof. This creates additional headroom and floor space in the loft. Dormer loft conversions are popular because they can add significant space and natural light to the room.
There are several different types of dormer loft conversions to choose from, including flat roof dormers, hipped roof dorm
ers, and gabled dormers. Flat roof dormers are the most popular type of dormer conversion. They have a flat roof and a box-like structure that protrudes from the slope of the roof. This type of conversion provides the most additional space and is the most cost-effective.
Hipped roof dormers are similar to flat roof dormers, but the roof is sloped on all sides. This type of conversion is a good option for homes with hipped roofs. Gabled dormers have a peaked roof and are often used in properties with gabled roofs. They provide additional headroom and natural light but can be more expensive than flat roof or hipped roof dormers.
Roof Light Loft Conversion
A roof light loft conversion is also known as a Velux loft conversion. It involves installing roof windows into the existing roof structure to provide natural light and ventilation. This type of conversion is less expensive than other types and is a good option for properties where the headroom is limited.
Roof light loft conversions are quicker to install than other types of conversions, and they don’t usually require planning permission. However, they provide less additional space than other types of loft conversions and can be less aesthetically pleasing.
Hip to Gable Loft Conversion
A hip to gable loft conversion involves extending the roof so that it is vertical at the end of the property, where the roof slopes inwards (the hip). This creates additional headroom and floor space in the loft. This type of conversion is most suitable for homes with hipped roofs.
Hip to gable loft conversions can provide more additional space than other types of conversions, but they can be more expensive. This type of conversion requires a lot of structural work and may require planning permission.
Mansard Loft Conversion
A mansard loft conversion is the most complex and expensive type of conversion. It involves altering the slope of the roof so that it is almost vertical. This creates additional headroom and floor space in the loft. Mansard conversions are often used in properties in conservation areas where it is not possible to alter the roofline.
Mansard loft conversions provide the most additional space and can add significant value to your property. However, they require a lot of structural work and are the most expensive type of conversion. Mansard conversions also usually require planning permission.
Choosing the Right Type of Conversion
Choosing the right type of conversion for your property will depend on several factors, including the type and age of the house, your budget, and your needs. It’s important to work with an experienced builder who can advise you on the best type of conversion for your property.
At Steen, we specialize in loft conversions in Aberdeen, and we can help you choose the right type of conversion for your home. We’ll work closely with you to understand your needs and budget and provide you with expert advice to ensure a successful conversion.
Benefits of a Loft Conversion
- Increased Living Space
One of the most significant benefits of a loft conversion is that it provides you with additional living space. This can be used as a bedroom, bathroom, study, or living area. A loft conversion can be an excellent way to accommodate a growing family or to create a space for guests to stay.
- Increased Property Value
A loft conversion can add significant value to your property. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Nationwide Building Society, a loft conversion can add up to 20% to the value of your home.
- No Need to Move
If you’re running out of space in your home, a loft conversion can provide you with the additional space you need without having to move. Moving can be a stressful and expensive process, and a loft conversion can be a cost-effective way to create the space you need while avoiding the hassle of moving.
- Improved Energy Efficiency
A loft conversion can also help to improve the energy efficiency of your home. By adding insulation to the roof and walls, you can reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills. This can be particularly beneficial in older homes that may not have adequate insulation.
- Increased Natural Light
A well-designed loft conversion can provide you with plenty of natural light, which can make the space feel brighter and more spacious. This can be achieved through the use of roof windows, dormers, or other types of glazing.
Choosing a Builder for Your Loft Conversion
Choosing the right builder for your loft conversion is essential for ensuring a successful project. Here are some tips to help you choose the right builder:
- Check Their Experience
When choosing a builder for your loft conversion, it’s important to check their experience. Look for a builder who has experience working on similar projects and who has a good track record of delivering high-quality work.
- Check Their Credentials
Make sure the builder you choose is fully licensed and insured. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the work will be carried out to a high standard and that you will be protected in case of any accidents or damage.
- Check Their References
Ask the builder for references from previous clients and check online reviews. This will give you an idea of their reputation and the quality of their work.
- Get a Detailed Quote
Make sure you get a detailed quote from the builder that includes all the costs associated with the project. This will help you to avoid any unexpected costs or delays.
- Choose a Local Builder
Choosing a local builder can be beneficial as they will be familiar with the local building standards and regulations. They will also be easier to contact if you need to discuss any issues or make changes to the project.
At Steen, we are local loft conversion specialists in Aberdeen, and we have a wealth of experience in delivering high-quality loft conversions. We can provide you with all the expert advice you need to ensure a successful project, and we offer a comprehensive service from design through to completion.
Planning a loft conversion can be an exciting project that can provide you with the additional space and value you need in your home. However, it’s important to consider all the factors before embarking on the project, including whether your loft is suitable for conversion, the type of conversion you want, and choosing the right builder.
At Steen, we are local loft conversion specialists in Aberdeen, and we can provide you with all the expert advice and support you need to ensure a successful project. Contact us today to discuss your dream loft conversion.
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