Are you struggling for space? If you've outgrown your home, but the cost of moving brings you out in a cold sweat, look up - the answer may be right above you!
With a little creativity and clever design, your loft could be transformed from a dark, empty void full of life's bits and pieces, into a light, airy living space that will enhance your home.
“A good loft conversion can add up to 20% to the value of your property, but to reap the rewards, you've got to be prepared to invest both time and money.”
Planning and preparation
Your first consideration should be suitability. Will the construction of your roof lend itself to the work you want to do and what type of conversion will be appropriate?
Do you need planning permission? This can depend on the answer to the first question, but may also consider factors such as whether your home is listed or is in a conservation area.
Also, don't forget Building Control. You will almost certainly require their approval for your project. Contact your local Building Control department for more information.
No matter what type of property you have, there's no substitute for expert advice, so consult a reputable local builder before taking the plunge. They should be able to give you a rough estimate of costs, including labour, materials and other essentials such as scaffolding and equipment for working at height, as well as gaining the necessary approvals.
Let there be light
Choosing the right windows is essential to the success of a loft conversion. Where they are positioned, their design, size and style will all impact on the look of your home internally and externally.
We offer a wide range of high end wooden framed windows in various timbers that are suitable for loft conversions. Our variety of hinging and glazing options allow you to tailor our products to suit your needs, providing a classic, quality finish that will complement any property.
Fire safety first
When adding windows to your loft conversion you must comply with Building Regulations to provide an effective escape route should a fire arise.
To meet current Building Regulations, for dwelling houses with one upper floor and served by only one stair not more than 4.5m above ground level, at least one window per first floor habitable room must be large enough to allow a means of escape, should the usual routes become blocked. Dwelling houses with one or more upper floors above 4.5m have different requirements. You should refer to the current version of Approved Document B to ensure your design is compliant.
Fire escape windows must provide an unobstructed opening of at least 0.33m² with a minimum dimension of 450mm in height or width.
New roof lights or skylights will not normally require planning permission providing they do not protrude more than 150mm beyond the plane of the roof slope and they are no higher than the highest part of the roof. If they are in an upper-floor side elevation though, they must be obscure-glazed and either non-opening or more than 1.7 metres above floor level.
It is also important to consider planning permission when selecting the windows for your new space. For example, a new bay window will be treated as an extension and may require permission (many local authorities have permitted development rights but some may have withdrawn them always check before commencing any work).
Dormer windows can also be a stylish addition to your loft conversion, opening up the space and letting additional light in.
Style meets safety
A large range of our windows are available to comply with fire escape standards, meaning you can ensure safety as well as beauty. Contact your local retailer for advice on meeting current fire legislation.
If you have a large home with a loft conversion more than 50 square metres, or more than two rooms used for living space, check with your local building control officer, as there may be other fire safety regulations with which you must comply.