A loft conversion normally involves transforming an empty attic space into a fully functional room, or rooms, to increase your living space and enhance the value of your property without the need to move and at a much lower cost. Typical conversions involve the transforming of the loft space into a bedroom, office space, games’ room, or indeed whatever you want it to be. Many people are tapping into the benefits of utilising their attic and in the United Kingdom loft conversions are one of the most popular forms of home improvement. Please see our gallery pics for more helpful information and the stage process for a loft conversion. You can also read up on some helpful information regards to planning here.
It can cost up to £80,000 for loft conversions in London. However, throughout the rest of the UK, and indeed here in Essex, this figure is lower at around £20,000 - £50,000. Despite these high costs, loft conversions have been shown to dramatically increase the value of a house, with some property prices being increased by as much as 10-20%. This level of return makes a conversion a worthwhile investment in both the short term and the longterm.
Here you will find information on what is typically involved in planning, building and paying for a loft conversion in Essex and London.
Please read more on the various types of loft conversions available, and checkout our 'How to build a standard loft conversion' video below.
As you would expect, the cost of a loft conversion in Essex will depend on the scale of the conversion. For example, a full scale loft conversion, which typically involves installing a bedroom, perhaps with an en suite as well, would cost a great deal more than a conversion on a smaller scale, perhaps to create a single games room. Usually, converting a loft into a bedroom would provide the homeowner with the best return on the investment.
You can read more about our prices here, but this will give you an idea for how much you could expect to spend on your loft conversion, Remember, these are just guideline figures as they may vary depending on the scale of the project, the area of the property and the type of conversion. These are price guide lines we offer at Essex Rooms, however we would advise making an appointment with us to give you an exact cost for your loft conversion.
* A small loft conversion £15,000 - £22,000
* Medium loft conversion £20,000 - £35,000
* Large loft conversion £35,000 - £80,000
* Storage loft conversion £700 - £3000
* Loft stairs (manufactured and fitted) £500 - £2000
* Roof lights (supplied and fitted) £500 - £800
* Dormer (built and glazed) £4000 - £7000
* Loft plans £400 - £1500
Will I need planning permission?
A loft conversion is regarded as permitted development to a property, which means that the majority do not require planning permission. However, certain conversions will require the need for planning permission, such as if you plan to extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and particular conditions.
When installing a loft conversion in Essex, you will need to refer to THE PARTY WALL ACT and the building regulations before you begin the project.
Planning permission is not required if the conversion falls within the following limits:
* For terraced houses, a volume allowance of 40 cubic metres of additional roof space
* For semi-detached and detached houses, a volume allowance of 50 cubic metres of additional roof space
* The highest part of the extension must not exceed the highest part of the roof
* Materials must be similar in appearance to the ones previous
* There must be no extension that goes beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the front of the property
* The extension must not include verandas, balconies, or any type of raised platforms
* In designated areas, roof extensions may be permitted, but this is not the case for all
* The roof enlargement cannot overhang the side of the original house
* Any roof extensions, with the exclusion of hip to gable ones, must be set back, as far as possible, at least 20cm from the original eaves.
* Side facing windows must be made from obscured glaze, or permission will not be granted and any opening must be 1.7m above the floor
Fortunately, as of the 1st October 2011, new regulations have been introduced that now enable the majority of people to carry out a loft conversion or build an extension without the need to obtain permission from their local council. This makes the entire project much easier for property owners. According to the UK government, these new regulations will remove the need for approximately 80,000 property owners to seek planning permission, which could see them save up to £1,000 in costs.
Financing a loft conversion
Some people may be put off by the high cost of their new loft conversion in Essex, but there are now various financial options that are available to assist you in financing the project.
Last year, Halifax offered property owners a two year fixed rate loan at 6.34% interest with a £999 fee plus a further £349 advance fee, if the loan to value reached a percentage of 95. Another option - if you have a sound credit record – would be to take out a personal loan at an interest of around 7.2% from the AA.
According to statistics, around one fifth of home owners in the UK are currently planning major structural work, due to the various options available to assist them with the costs. A study by Sainsbury’s bank also discovered that some 5.3 million homeowners made structural changes to their properties last year alone.
The timescale of the conversion project varies, depending on the size and complexity of the job. On average, a loft conversion takes between 6 – 10 weeks to complete.
Before converting an existing roof space, you must consider the provisions for an escape route. It will also mean that additional fire protection will be necessary in the existing part of the house. Depending on the type of loft conversion, it may be necessary, for example, to upgrade the fire protection to some parts of the structure of your property such as the floors.
For example, if you are considering just a typical loft conversion for a two storey house, you will need to install new fire resisting doors; in certain cases you will require partitions to protect the stairway. The reason for these precautions is that, if a fire were to occur, it is too dangerous to escape through the windows above the first level of the house.
Other points to consider when planning your loft conversion project
Complexity – whether or not you have to consult a designer or architect depends on your final design choice. If the design is more complex, then an architect will be required. Otherwise, it is feasible for your builder to provide the drawing plans for the conversion.
Staircase - this is a necessity if you want safe and easy access to your brand new habitable room. This may require you to sacrifice an area of the second floor, but this can be discussed with your builder.
Plumbing – you will need to consider whether or not the central heating that you have at present will be able to cope with the demand for additional room heating.
Here are some of the materials we use in a standard loft conversion.
- Construction timbers to be fully certificated C16 and C24 structural graded high quality timbers
- MKO4, MK06 and MK08 velux windows
- Top quality pine building regulation compliant staircase, matching existing spindles and hand rails
- Hand rails and spindles
- Plasterboard on expandable metal lath
- Structural floor with the use of steel beams and timber joists
- Constructed with 22mm fire-retardant, water resistant, chip board tongue and groove floor covering
- Structural floor will also double as part of a fire break from downstairs of the property giving one-hour fire resistance with the use of 100mm Rockwall fibreglass insulation, suspended upon wire netting
- Partitioning walls. Surrounding stairwell walls will also form a fire break with a one-hour fire resistance with the use of 12.5mm double skinned plaster board and multi finish plaster with cavities filled with 100mm Rockwall fibre glass insulation
- Pitched roof to be insulated within cavity with 50mm Celotex insulation maintaining a 50mm air gap behind the Celotex to ensure a vented air flow for the prevention of dry rot
- Celotex insulation, a cross battening with a space saving Tri-iso super 10 or thinsulex quilt insulation
- External walls to be insulated with 100mm Celotex insulation with 12.5mm WBP ply wood on outside underneath a breathable membrane
- Calculated BTU output radiator appropriate for the size of room
- En-suite installation of shower room sanitary-ware including toilet, sink, shower, towel rail and also tiled within shower cubicle, floor and splash back to sink (supply of sanitary-ware products and tiles not included)
- All electrics usually x3 double sockets, x1 pendant, x4 spotlights, all light switches, isolator switches, sub-RCD fuse board, mechanical extraction plus inter-connected mains wired smoke alarms on each floor
- Fire doors throughout the property on habitale rooms
- Roof Dome
- Rubber Roof
- Timber/sheet material
- Sunbsidary items nail screws, fixings etc.
- Bricks if gable wall needs to be built up
- Sun Tunnel
- Fascias Soffits Gutters
- 2nd Fix woodwork such as skirting boards, door frames etc.
- Batons and Felt
- Hardy Clad
- Extra Windows (dormer etc.)
- Silicone and Foam
At Essex Rooms we can help deliver every aspect of the Essex loft conversion you are looking for. Call us now on 0844 448 0400 for more information and a free quote.