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Frequently Asked Questions


Essex Rooms FAQsHere you can find some of the common questions that our customers ask us. Feel free to have a look through and if you want us to explain anything further, you can call us on 0844 448 0400 and we’ll be sure to help you.

1. Will my building investment be worth it?

Absolutely, Yes – On average whatever you spend on a loft conversion, garage conversion or building extension will double in the value of the property. For example: if you spend £30,000 on a new loft conversion you would expect to add more than £60,000 to the overall value of the property once completed. 

2. Will I need planning permission for my project?

This will depend on what you want to do. For instance, a standard loft with a dormer comes under permissible development (since 1st October 2008), and therefore wouldn’t require full planning. However, if you wanted to add on a balcony with double doors that could mean walking out in view of the neighbours, then planning permission would be required. It is also important that you have enough headroom to meet the building regulations which is a minimum of 7. 6 feet, however we can lower ceilings to ensure this regulations is met. Any two story development such as extensions, and conversions would require full planning. For further information, please call us.

3. Why should I use a professional company such as Essex Rooms?

The simple answer to this is we know exactly what we’re doing. On average we can complete a loft conversion in 6 weeks depending on the size. This timescale is with our experienced team working Monday to Friday all day. If you were to build your own conversion part time it would take considerably longer. Our business ethos is quality, value and trust and we measure ourselves on all our projects with these indicators. We also have many very satisfied customers we can put you in touch with who will approve with the quality of our work. Also, please check out our online reviews. Please call us today on 0844 448 0400.

4. Where will the staircase be located?

We do where possible to try and place the new staircase above the current staircase however, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes we may need to use a space from an adjacent room, but this will depend on the property layout. What is good though is we have lots of experience and ideas to put the new stairs in the exact right place. A viewing from one of our site managers would be needed to give you the best advice.

The regulations state that the angle upwards of the new stairs must be at a maximum of 42 degrees with a headroom of minimum 1.9 metres. We can also fit spiral and alternative tread stairs where required.

5. How can I save money on my project?

This is where we can really help you. There are many cowboys out there who will try and add money on after the job has started. We don’t do that. We have no hidden extras and therefore agree our contract and pricing up front. We want to give true honest value for money and treat each project as if it’s our own. We expect value so that’s why we give it too, with ofcourse always using high specification materials and products for stairs, velux widows, dormers windows, insulation and timber. Our services cover full planning, building regulations, structure,, plastering, heating, plumbing, bathroom fitting, electrical work (Part P) etc. Please contact us to help you save money and show you what a great job we can do.

6. What guarantees will you give me?

We offer a 10 year guarantee on all the work we carry out to ensure you have peace of mind with the quality of our work.

7. How can I be sure you will meet the Building Regulations?

Once you have chosen us to build your project we will instruct our architect draw up the plans. Once we receive these we will then submit the plans to the local authority and a Building Inspector will then carry out usually 4 visits during the main building stages and of course a certificate is then issued on completion. The regulations also check sound, fire and thermal aspects of the job. We work with the local authority each step of the way to ensure the building regulations are achieved.

8. What is a dormer conversion?

A dormer conversion is where we extend out onto the roof to gain extra headspace. These can stretch the whole width of the property or you could opt for a box dormer which would only be built in a certain section.

9. What is a hip to gable conversion?

A hip to gable conversion is where we extend the roof line right to the edge of the property and build the wall up at the end to support the new roof extension. These can be quite common to install for the new staircase to help give that added extra room. 

10. Can I have Velux windows?

Yes, we are authorised velux fitters and have many years of experience fitting velux windows. Our record is 5 windows fitted in one day by 2 of our top workman! Velux windows are a great way of letting in natural light, however having enough ceiling room is quite a deciding factor. Velux windows are also a beautiful and natural way of letting in light over the staircase.

11. Do I need to have steel beams installed?

Again, this does come down to the size of your conversion. The whole purpose of installing steel beams is to ensure the structure can support any new weight load above. This would include the weight of new flooring and walls etc. It is also possible to use timber or aluminium beams, but again a meeting with us would give you the best advice. Whichever type of support we use we would need to give the necessary evidence to the Building Inspector.

12. Will I need fire doors fitted?

In most cases, yes as fire doors form part of the building regulations. These are normally installed to each of the habitable room doors on the first floor landing. Fire doors are also required for the entrance to the living room, dining room, kitchen etc. Fire doors are not needed for the bathroom, airing cupboard or cloakrooms, however they are required at the top of the loft stairs and sometimes at the bottom.

13. Will I need smoke detectors?

Yes, again this is a part of the building regulations. Smoke detectors are connected into your property electrics and are normally located on landings, and especially for loft conversions above the new staircase. 

14. I have a water tank in the loft, will this be a problem?

No, these days we can easily move the tank, or you could opt for a combi boiler which would remove the need for a loft ion the tank altogether. We would be happy to include this work in your project price and we can discuss the options with you when we meet.

15. Do you offer stage payments?

Yes, we do offer stage payments. This means you get to see the work completed on each stage of the building process, before making the next payment.