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    What To Consider When Converting Your Loft

    If your household is expanding or you simply need more space, a loft conversion is well worth considering. Cheaper and less stressful than a house move, converting your attic will free up valuable space and could significantly increase the value of your home. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a loft conversion may boost your home’s value by 25% and costs around a third of the price of moving.

     

    So how do you decide whether a loft conversion is right for you? And how do you go about converting the space? Here are our top tips:

    • Measure the space carefully. Ideally, at least half your attic space should be 2.3 metres tall if you are planning to turn it into a bedroom, bathroom, study, play area or living room.
    • Introduce plenty of light. Dormer lights, skylights and rooflights can be used to increase the amount of natural light in the property.
    • Think about access. If you are using the loft space for the above purposes, you will need a permanent staircase to meet current building regulations. A spiral staircase could be a good option if space is limited.
    • Consider how long it will take. Attic space conversions can usually be completed in less than six weeks, depending on the scope of the project and the level of expertise involved.
    • Find out whether you need planning permission. This is unlikely unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area, but it is worth checking with your local planning department nonetheless.
    • Make sure it is compliant. Your design must comply with building regulations, adhering to fire safety, ventilation, lighting, insulation and energy-efficiency regulations. This is a separate issue from planning permission and it may take several months to gain approval.
    • Budget carefully. Scaffolding is likely to be needed for access and waste removal until the connecting staircase has been installed. Additional steel beams may be needed to strengthen the roof and floor. Remember to factor in electrical and plumbing costs if these are required. Add the cost of labour, or tools if you are doing the work yourself, along with the cost of decorating materials and soft furnishings.

    Whether you are adept with a hammer and nails or are completely new to the world of DIY, a loft conversion is a complex operation and the recommended approach is to enlist expert help. Find Me A Tradesperson is the best place to find experts in construction, electrical work, plumbing and a range of other services you may need to convert your attic space.

    Friday, 06 Jun 2014

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