9 critical questions (and answers) before starting your loft conversion

Deciding to convert your roof space into a loft is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase the value of your home while at the same time adding a little extra space. The reason many people are opting for a loft conversion as opposed to building an additional room is that it involves minimal disruption to your life. Having said this, there are 10 important questions you need answers to before you decide to undertake a loft conversion.

Are you looking at doing a loft conversion or a roof extension?

The answer to this question lies in the type of roof you have. If you have a low pitched roof, you may want to first, extend your roof before you convert it. Extending your roof means that your project could become more complex.

What type of roof do you have?

There are four main types of roofs and depending on the roof you have converting a loft could be more complex.  

Spacious pitched roof – This type of roof has enough space to ensure that you can easily walk in the area. This is the easiest roof to convert into a loft. Your roof will remain the same externally but the roof would need to be structurally strengthened.

Restricted pitched roof – This is the same type of roof as above, except it does not have the same space, meaning you cannot stand up in the roof. To convert this type of roof you will need to extend the roof towards the back with the addition of a dormer.

Hipped roof – If your roof is sloping on one or both sides your loft extension may be hindered by the loss of headroom in this area. You will need to add a gable extension.

The butterfly or valley roof – This type of roof features an inverted pitch and is the most complex and costly extension to complete.

What is the minimum height you need for a loft conversion?

You need around 2m of headspace to comfortably convert a loft.

Will I need planning permission for a loft conversion?

You’ll be delighted to know that there is a great chance that you will not need permission to complete a loft conversion. It is always a great idea to consult a profession or building inspector before starting your conversion.

What documents would I need should I require permission?

A town planner will be able to guide you in obtaining the right documentation. There are a number of guidelines you will need to follow as well.

How much would a loft conversion cost?

Depending on the roof that you have, you can expect to pay anything from £1,500-£2,000 per m².

Would I need permission from my neighbor?

Depending on your situation, you may need to ask your neighbor for permission. For example, if you are sharing a boundary wall with your neighbor you both may need to enter into an agreement.

Will a loft conversion add value to my property?

Loft conversions can add up to 20% onto the value of your home. They are typically cheaper than other home extensions in relation to the additional floor space.

For more information, contact Dulwich Loft Conversions, loft conversions specialists in south east London , they will be glad to provide further legal and practical information