Thinking of doing a loft conversion? Here are some loft conversion tips and potential pitfalls to avoid.
According to the Home Owners Alliance a loft conversion can add up to 20% to the value of a property. We all know how stressful moving house can be. Then there are the problems associated with being stuck in a property chain. Utilising the loft can provide much needed extra space for a growing family while avoiding a chaotic move.
Make Sure Your Loft Is Suitable
So a loft conversion can add thousands to the value of your home – Great! First, you need to make sure your loft is suitable. The most common things to check are:
- Headroom – Is the headroom there? There needs to be a height of 2.2m from the ceiling joists to the ridge. Your local building control office may have slightly different information on this.
- Trussed or rafters (cut) roof – If your roof is made using rafters then it is much more ideal when converting a loft. Trusses have internal webs which hinder the internal space. Removing trusses and webs requires specialist knowledge and skill to ensure the roof remains sound.
- Floor Area – there should be a minimum acceptable floor area to be able to create quality habitable rooms. A designer or architect will be able to help with this.
- Pitch and obstacles – Your builder / architect will be able to advise on any issues with the roof pitch or obstacles such as services or chimney stacks.
It is never recommended to D.I.Y on a loft conversion. There are so many considerations such as electrics, plumbing, storage, natural light, loads / spans for the new floor and sound and fire safety requirements. A loft conversion will require specialist knowledge and building control approval. Although by all means, get stuck in and help out. If you know what you are doing there is no reason why you can’t strike a deal to do some of the works yourself, as long as you have the correct and most up to date information.
Do I need Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion?
You don’t normally need planning permission for a loft conversion as long as you are not extending the space or the roof past specified limits. Always check with your local council to be sure. You will always need building control though.
Building control can sometimes seem like “red tape” but it ensures the safety of the project. It helps ensure that your loft conversion is safe, and will not endanger the stability of your home. Good news for your home insurance.
Loft Conversions & Damp
Loft conversion are a popular upgrade across Northern Ireland. Many conversions were not completed to a high standard and have suffered damp issues. A Loft conversion requires plenty of ventilation behind the insulation. If this is hampered then damp can appear. There may be other problems that can cause damp in your loft conversion. We carry out building surveys across Northern Ireland including damp surveys.
If you require a building survey in Northern Ireland, Contact Us. We are always on hand to survey any property defects. We are a team of local Northern Ireland property surveyors. Call Philip on 07702 332 333 to book.