Of all the many home extension methods, a loft conversion is perhaps the one preferred the most by many homeowners. Unlike other means to enlarge the house such as the rather common first floor extension, this does not require as much work, time, and lot space. This is all thanks to the presence of the roof and the ceiling, the combination of which forms the basic framework for the loft. Much of what needs to be done is some architectural improvement as well as some renovation.
A Brief Explanation of Loft Conversion
A loft conversion is a home extension method wherein the attic, a normally unused space is transformed into a functional part of the house. For those who do not know, the attic is usually the largest unutilized space in any residential structure with a roof. Converting this not only adds a significant amount of floor space in the edifice, but also increases the house’s value by more or less 20%.
A loft can be virtually anything the owner of the house would want it to be. Some turn the converted attic space into a spacious storage, while some furnish it in a way that it becomes a normal room in the house.
One however is not truly free when planning for a loft conversion. The planner still needs to follow certain regulations in order to ensure a safe, practical, and unintrusive loft. As such, one needs to secure a loft conversion planning permission and a few other papers back then in order to make sure that the legalities behind the loft conversion are strictly followed.
When Aren’t Permits Necessary
As of 2008 in the United Kingdom, laws regarding loft conversion have been relaxed in an effort to help citizens amidst a recent real estate market slump. As a result, folks looking into renovating their attics no longer have to get loft conversion planning permissions from the local building control office in order to proceed to the conversion process. Thus, those who wish to convert their lofts can do so right away, but only if they keep their designs within the given legal provisions.
Now what are these provisions? The first set of these provisions concern the size of the loft. That is, it should not exceed the dimensions covered by the roof space and must have no less than 50 cubic meters of roof allowance for detached or semi-detached homes and 40 cubic meters for terraced houses. Also, roof extensions like dormers should not be less than 20 centimeters away from the eaves of the roof except for hip-and-gable types. In any case, such extensions aren’t allowed in designated areas.
The next set of rules concern the loft’s design. Windows in particular, should be 17 centimeters above the attic floor, and side-facing ones are required to have obscure glazing. Also, verandas, balconies, and any other open-space features are explicitly prohibited.
You can deviate from all these rules however, so long as you are willing to spend to get the loft conversion planning permission and other necessary papers. No need to worry about enduring a stream of red tape however because, as previously mentioned, the laws have been relaxed enough to allow for smoother legal transactions regarding loft conversion projects.