A Loft conversion is a relatively easy way to add additional space to your home. The type of loft conversion required and costs are dependent on the existing roof structure and planning constraints if applicable.
We are writing this article as we do get a few enquires as to “is my loft suitable for conversion”. The features that make a loft suitable for conversion are;
HEAD HEIGHT – Take a measurement from the top of the ceiling joist in loft to the underside of the ridge timber in the centre of the room. Ideally this should be around 2.2m.
ROOF PITCH – The roof pitch is important as the higher the pitch of the roof, the more space you will have to convert it into a new space.
STRUCTURE – There are two main types of roof structure and dependant on when your house was built, it will be either traditional frame pre-1960’s or truss rafter’s post 1960’s. Traditional frame construction is fairly easy to spot as when you look in the loft you will see an open space with no cross member’s only purlins spanning the length of the building supporting your roof rafters. This space can be converted fairly inexpensively, by strengthening the floor and rafters as necessary. Post 1960’s involved factory made trussed roof sections that take up all of your roof space. They were thinner and cheaper to make and allowed builders to erect and felt the roof in a day. So to convert this type of roof requires more work and money, but it can be done using telebeams to support the existing roof structure.
JAR Architecture has had instances where a loft conversion requires the need to lower ceilings or raise the roof to make it work. Raising the roof is probably the last resort as it is expensive and will not always be granted planning, especially if you will be affecting a ‘street scene’. Lowering the ceilings is possible but is messy and will still require structural work to help support the roof and prevent it spreading.
The next thing to consider is of course access to the space. Ideally you need to locate a staircase where it will enter the loft in the centre of the room. This will provide the most headroom in this area. Alternatively a dormer can be erected to allow you to locate a stair on the outside wall.
The next question we are asked is “how much will it cost”. As you can see from above there are a lot of things to consider that will create variations in the costs. However we would say they start as low as £12,000 all the way through to £40,000.
If you have any questions or are looking to convert a loft space, please contact us.