Loft Conversion Beginner’s Guide

Depending on the roof structure and planning constraints, a loft conversion is one of the most straightforward ways of getting extra space. Almost all houses can benefit from this extension with a bit of basic planning

Loft conversions wirral

This feature explains everything you need to know about planning your loft conversion project and, by way of an example, this step-by-step guide link shows how the roof space in a 1950s bungalow was converted to provide two bedrooms and a shower room. Most of the work was carried out by the homeowner, and the author, with expert help for some of the trickier tasks.

Loft conversions wirral

Is My Loft Suitable for Conversion?

Loft Conversion Assessment

The features that will decide the suitability of the roof space for a loft conversion are the available head height, the pitch and the type of structure, as well as any obstacles such as water tanks or chimney stacks. An inspection of the roof space will reveal its structure and physical dimensions.

Head Height

Take a measurement from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist; the useable part of the roof should be greater than 2.2m.

Pitch Angle

The higher the pitch angle, the higher the central head height is likely to be, and if dormers are used or the roof is redesigned, then the floor area can be increased.

Type of Roof Structure

Two main structures are used for roof construction — namely traditional framed type and truss section type. The traditional framed type is typically found in pre-1960s houses where the rafters and ceiling joists, together with supporting timbers, are cut to size on site and assembled. This type of structure has more structural input, so is often the most suitable type for attic conversions. The space can be easily, and relatively inexpensively, opened up by strengthening the rafters and adding supports as specified by a structural engineer.

Post 1960s, the most popular form of construction used factory-made roof trusses. These utilise thinner – and therefore cheaper timbers – but have structural integrity by the addition of braced diagonal timbers. They allow a house roof to be erected and felted in a day. However, this type of truss suggests that there are no loadbearing structures beneath, and so opening up the space requires a greater added structural input.

This will normally involve the insertion of steel beams between loadbearing walls for the new floor joists to hang on and the rafter section to be supported on — together with a steel beam at the ridge. This added structural input requires skill, knowledge and equipment that would limit scope as far as DIY is concerned — and a far greater cash outlay. It is advisable to seek advice from specialist firms in this instance.

Acknowledgement for post content: Read the complete article by By James Hatter

How Much Will my Loft Conversion Cost?

The cost of your loft conversion will depend on your roof structure, the existing available space and whether any alterations need to be made to the floor below to accommodate the staircase, Loft conversions Wirral .

Room in Roof Loft Conversion

A basic ‘room in roof’ loft conversion is the cheapest and could start at around £15,000. This will usually involve:

  • the reinforcement of the floor
  • a couple of skylights
  • added insulation
  • a staircase to the loft
  • electrics, lighting and heating
  • fire safety measures to comply with Building Regulations such as fire doors and smoke alarms.

Dormer Loft Extension

The second option which does not require dramatic changes to the roof is to do the above and add dormer windows. This will increase the useable floorspace and can be used to add head height which gives you more options when it comes to placement of the stairs. This will cost upwards of £20,000. However the average dormer loft conversion with a double bedroom and en suite costs about £35,000–£45,000 Loft conversions Wirral.

Loft Conversions Which Involve ‘Raising the Roof’ or Changing the Roof Structure

This option is the most expensive as it require the removal and rebuild of the existing roof. It also requires planning permission approval so you local planning permission application cost must be added on.

Another added expense will be the additional design work that may be needed as it is more complicated that a room in roof, or dormer loft conversion. This type of work is likely to cost upwards of £40,000.

Some companies will create a package type ready-made room which is fabricated off-site and craned into position. The benefit of this is that it is quicker than replacing the rafters and rebuilding the roof thus reducing scaffold hire and labour costs. However, this option costs around £55,000 for the average home.

Best quality Loft conversions Wirral by Dave Wilson

This fantastic article was written By James Hatter