How Many Rooms Can I Get from a Loft Conversion?
November 13, 2020
General, Loft Conversion Designs, Loft Conversion Planning, Loft Conversion Projects, London Loft Conversions, Small Loft Conversions
Loft conversions are an increasingly popular way of adding extra rooms in your house. This can be perfect if you are welcoming another child into your family, or simply need an office to work from in the evenings. It is a common misconception that lofts can only be converted into one room, but this is simply not the case.
Typically, lofts are disregarded as being ‘spacious’, with many people mistaking the sloping ceilings as a reason to not invest in the space their loft offers. Once used as a dumping ground for old school books and photographs, it can be hard to see the potential your loft has to be a valued part of your home. Your loft space can be used for anything you need – a home gym, a guest bedroom, a yoga studio or cinema room.
It needn’t only be one room, with many of the loft conversions completed by Simply Loft typically creating a main room and a bathroom. Dependent on your loft, and your loft conversion type, it is possible to add several separate rooms to your home through a loft conversion, or equally add an open-plan living space. You can have a small bedroom with a larger bath and shower room, or a bigger bedroom with a guest ensuite – creating a whole floor to entertain guests in.
A hip to gable loft conversion can add the height you need to add a walk-in wardrobe or ensuite to a main room. Equally, a mansard loft conversion can be a great option if you are really wanting to maximise the space you can get from your loft. Mansards add consistent height to your loft, essentially making your loft into a new floor of your house. Another good way of adding extra space without the extensive planning needed for a mansard, is by opting for a rear dormer. Rear dormers can help to create a squared off room, with space for a bathroom under the sloped roof side. Whichever loft conversion you choose, we can advise you on how many rooms you can add to your home.
The most important aspect to consider when investing in a loft conversion, is what the main purpose of your new space is going to be. Once you have established this, you can think about what type of room you want and whether you need more than one room. If you are creating space for your adult son or daughter after thy have come back from university, or need a playroom for young children, it may be the case that you need a bathroom or wet room to accommodate who is using the space. If you only need it as a home office or a gym, then it may not be necessary to have a bathroom, and therefore you can dedicate all of the space to the primary purpose.
Simply Loft has extensive experience with designing and building loft conversions, and our dedicated team of surveyors are on hand to give your home a free site survey and discuss how many rooms we can add to your loft. Give us a call on 0800 917 7571 or fill out our online enquiry form to book your appointment now!
Loft conversion plans – where to start?
Extension design above by Eddy, architect from Westminster, London. See more and shortlist them for your home project here.
Our complete guide for your loft conversion plans
A loft conversion is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to increase space in your home. One of the major advantage is that the work can be done with minimal disruption – you can get on with your life as usual while the work goes on upstairs. We’ve put together the 20 most important considerations for your loft conversion plans. We know doing a building project can be nerve-wracking, but a loft conversion should be a smooth, simple and relatively quick project if you get the right people working on it. So take your time to find the right architect/architectural designer and loft building company.
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1. Is it a loft conversion or a roof extension?
Based on your roof type (see below), it may be necessary to extend your loft, rather than simply convert it. The advantage of this is that you then have more flexibility in the design and it should eliminate or reduce those annoying sloping walls. The big drawback of an extension over a conversion is that it’s a more complex, and therefore a more costly and time-consuming project.
2. What type of roof do you have?
This will dictate whether a conversion is feasible at all, or if you’ll need to look at extending upwards or adding a dormer extension.
a. spacious pitched roof
If your loft space is high enough to allow you to walk freely around the space, you could get away with a simple skylight conversion. This is where the roof shape stays the same externally but roof lights are added and the loft is structurally strengthened and insulated, to convert it into a habitable space.
b. restricted pitched roof
If you’ve only just got enough height to stand up in the middle of the roof space, a dormer extension could be a sensible addition. It usually extends out at the back of the house and a dormer conversion can sometimes even be done without planning permission. (see no. 4 below)
c. hipped roof
If you look at the front or rear of your house, is it sloping on one or both sides (like the diagram below)? If so, your loft extension may be hindered by the loss of head room in this area. Boxing this space out to remove the slope is called a hip to gable extension. It’s common to do this extension in combination with a dormer to the rear (as above).
d. Butterfly or valley roof
This roof type has an inverted pitch, so it’s highest at the neighbouring walls and the gutter runs along the centre. It’s very common for London Victorian terraced houses to have a roof like this (it’s also called a London roof). A mansard extension lends itself best to butterfly roofs, where essentially the existing roof is demolished and a new box (sloping at the front and rear) is added on top – partially hidden by the existing front wall. This is arguably the most complex and costly extension of the four, as you can’t retain much of the existing roof at all. On the plus side, it often results in the most generous footprint, and allows for ‘proper’ vertical windows instead of skylights.
3. What’s the minimum head height for a loft conversion?
We’ve written an article on this very question which goes into much more detail here, but in summary, if you want to sell your house in the future, I’d recommend sticking to these:
Ceiling height guidelines
Minimum ceiling height : 210 cm (200cm if really pushing it!)
Standard ceiling height: 240 cm
Good ceiling height: 260 cm
You could get away with 210 cm – 240 cm for studies, bathrooms, children’s rooms etc. quite easily, but I’d recommend keeping above 240 cm for living areas and master bedrooms if you can. read more here…
4. Do I need planning permission for a loft conversion?
There’s a very good chance that your loft conversion will not require planning permission, but there are some exceptions are important rules that should be observed:
1. Do you have permitted development rights?
Be aware that some properties don’t have permitted development rights, so it’s unlikely that you’d be able to build your extension without submitting a full planning application.You should check with your Local Planning Authority whether permitted development rights apply to you, but in the following cases they usually do not:
- flats and maisonettes,
- listed buildings or properties in a conservation area,
- or other protected areas including: national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads and World Heritage Sites
Permitted development rules for loft conversions
1. An extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts a highway is NOT permitted development.
2. Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
3. Cannot extend up beyond the existing highest point of the house.
4. No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
5. Any side-facing windows must be obscure glazed and non-opening unless the parts which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which it is installed.
6. Must not exceed 40 cubic metres for terraced houses and 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.
7. Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back at least 20cm from the original eaves. The 20cm distance is measured along the roof plane (fig.1)
Summarised from information provided by the Planning Portal. Please consult with your local planning department directly before undertaking your extension.
5. Do I need building regulations approval for a loft conversion?
Yes, it’s a legal requirement and without approval your local council could force you open up or re-build sometimes significant aspects of the project. It could even lead to prosecution and fines.
There are a few ways of obtaining approval detailed in our other recent post here but for a loft conversion, the most common route is to submit a building notice to the council before the work starts. Make sure you consult with your builder and/or architect and agree who will be responsible for this notice.
We’d strongly recommend working with an architect as you will need to be confident that the work will comply with building regulations, otherwise you might have to demolish/re-do any work that does not comply.
If you’d like some help finding the right architect for a loft extension visit our home page to find out more.
6. What are the building regulation requirements for a loft conversion?
The Approved Documents provide guidance on ways to meet the building regulations. Your architect or architectural technologist should have a good knowledge of these guidelines, and they will advise and implement them during the design process.
Building regulation requirements for a loft conversion
There are a few key areas of the building regulations that often crop up in loft conversion projects, namely: structural stability, fire safety, ventilation, staircase design, thermal insulation and sound insulation. Firstly, you will almost certainly need a structural engineer – ask your builder and/or architect to recommend one. Likewise, your architect (or builder’s in-house architect) can specify the insulation and provide details to ensure the ventilation, thermal and sound insulation aspects meet building regulation requirements.
Here are some frequently asked questions, which relate to the spatial design of your loft conversion:
1. How steep can stairs be?
The maximum ‘rise’ and and minimum ‘going’ of each step should be 220mm. BUT the pitch of the stairs should be no more than 42°, so one or both of these 220mm dimensions have to be adjusted.
See section 1 of Part K of the Approved Documents for comprehensive guidance on stairs.
2. What headroom do you need for loft stairs?
The short answer is a clear headroom of 2 metres. However, there is an allowance in approved document K specifically for loft conversions. See the diagrams below:
3. Do we need fire doors?
If you are adding an extra storey onto an existing two storey house, you will need to make sure there is a safe route of escape in the event of a fire (a ‘protected staircase’). Usually, this means the stairs and hallway cannot be open to other rooms and these rooms must all have doors which have a 30-minute fire rating. So you might need to upgrade or replace your doors. There maybe another option which would be to install a sprinkler system, this can involve a complex design and is best undertaken by a specialised designer, before being checked by a Building Control Body such as an Approved Inspector.
The information and diagrams below are a summary and our interpretation of the Approved Documents and we strongly recommend that you take advice from your architect and/or refer to the full Approved Documents before designing and detailing your project.
7. How much does a loft conversion cost?
In our recent article about renovation and extension costs, we estimated that a loft conversion should cost between £1,500-£2,000 m² in London/South East. However, costs could be considerably less in other parts of the country.
Or course, if you’re looking at doing a roof extension, the cost could be greater. See our other article here on roof conversion types and their costs:
How much do roof conversions cost?
8. Do I need to get my freeholder’s permission to convert my loft?
If you are a leaseholder or have a share of freehold, then it will usually be necessary to get permission from the freeholder/other freeholders to undertake the work. First of all, you will need to read your lease agreement carefully, and seek clarification from your solicitor. Check that you actually own the loft space . If you don’t, expect to pay for it! They will probably start with getting a valuation for your property as it stands, calculate the uplift in value the extension will create and ask for a percentage of the profit you would make.
Even if you do own the space, you should expect to pay fees relating to gaining the consent. The freeholder is likely to appoint a solicitor and structural engineer to check that your proposals are structurally sound and you will be liable to cover the cost of these services.
9. Do I need my neighbour’s permission to do a loft conversion?
If you share one or more walls with neighbours, then it’s likely that you will need to have a Party Wall agreement in place before starting work. You have a legal obligation to give your neighbour(s) 1-2 months’ notice before starting work (depending on what the work is). If you’re unsure whether the Party Wall etc. Act applies to you, speak to your architect or find a Party Wall surveyor.
10. How much value will my loft conversion add?
Loft conversions can add up to 20% onto the value of your home according to Nationwide Building Society. They are typically cheaper than other home extensions in relation to the additional floorspace. They can also quickly add space to your property without being too disruptive – you shouldn’t need to move out while the work is going on.
Finding the right designer/builder
Design for Me helps homeowners find the right architect or designer for their project, no matter how big or small. We have residential architects, technologists, and also designers from loft companies registered with us. Once you’ve posted your project, we’ll send it out to all your best matches in your area to see who’s available and eager to take it on. You can choose up to three for a consultation. There’s no obligation to take it further with anyone, AND it’s completely free!
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filed under Advice and tips, Conversions, Legal Considerations.
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9 0004 63
typical apartment before and after – Roomble.com
Redevelopment of a kopeck piece: a typical apartment before and after
A typical apartment can be called the most common housing option. However, sometimes you really want to change the usual to suit your needs! How can you change the plan of the apartment in the P-44 series? We will show you the top three options
Redevelopment of a kopeck piece: a typical apartment before and after
A standard apartment can be called the most common housing option. However, sometimes you really want to change the usual to suit your needs! How can you change the plan of the apartment in the P-44 series? We will show you the three best options
The decision to redevelop an apartment is very important: you need to think through all the changes, determine the scope of work, draw up an algorithm of actions. Agree, the task is not easy! Therefore, we turned to a professional architect and designer for advice Ruslan Kirnichansky . He told us about three options for redevelopment of a typical apartment.
Ruslan Kirnichansky, architect, designer, expert and design critic
He is engaged in a variety of activities: building construction and interior design. Leads projects both in Russia and in Western Europe.
– Each of us has ever asked ourselves: how best to equip an apartment? The answer to this question is rarely found on the Internet – we will now and then stumble upon a lot of advice that is not always acceptable for a particular case. Of course, there are various articles about the “ideal” standard apartments for bachelors, families and so on. I find such texts harmful because they provide a solution for abstract personas that exist in the imagination of the author-designer. I propose a completely different approach to the redevelopment of a typical apartment, which will help evaluate all the possibilities of the premises, and also tell you what transformations are acceptable. I hope my approach inspires you.
An important aspect of our life is its quality, which is made up of many elements of everyday life, such as personal life, career, health, leisure. However, satisfaction with life itself is laid first of all in the house, in the place where a person feels comfortable and cozy, where we are who we really are. Therefore, my advice will largely come from this parameter. I will also take into account the technical features of the apartment.
Today we will look at one of the most common series of typical multi-apartment construction P-44 . It began to be built back in the 80s of the last century, and was built in the zero. The new standard housing construction series are based on the planning solutions of the P-44 series of houses. Such houses are very common in Russia, they can be found in almost every city.
Two options for redevelopment of a typical odnushka: ready-made solutions from designer
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Suppose this apartment is intended for a young couple aged 25-35, without children. The young man and the girl have certain requirements for what should happen after planning. So, you need a practical and comfortable kitchen with a dining area, a living room for relaxing and receiving guests with an extra bed, a comfortable bathroom and a laundry room; a bedroom, one workplace and a dressing room or spacious closets for storing clothes.
P-44 series apartment consists of two living rooms, a kitchen, a loggia, a corridor and a sanitary unit separated by a partition. The total area of the apartment is 50.2 square meters.
There are several options for redevelopment. Let’s dwell on each of them in more detail.
In this case, we do not carry out large-scale construction work that requires approval. This significantly reduces the repair time and cost.
Work to be done:
- The houses in this series have poor sound insulation, so the old floors (logs and floorboards) must be dismantled and replaced with a screed with soundproof underlay. As a result, the subfloor will become smooth and durable. Nothing changes in height during this replacement, the “pie” of old floors is 6-8 cm, like a new screed. After finishing the rough work, you need to lay the engineering board (if you look, you can buy it at the price of an average quality laminate).
- The next step is to soundproof the ceilings. The quality of life from this only increases, since less noise will be heard from the apartment above (the effect of the presence of a “stomping neighbor”). The ceiling will drop by 8-10 cm, but the peace and quiet are worth it. Given that the height between floors in the houses of this series is 2,760 mm, the “useful” height remains 2,600 mm (8 cm – screed, 8 cm – ceiling), which is quite acceptable and comfortable for living.
- It is important to change the aluminum electrical wiring to copper and add the required number of switches, sockets and lights.
- If necessary, replace water and sewer pipes, window blocks and interior doors.
- Let’s move on to leveling the walls of the apartment. After completing this process, you need to paint the walls or paste them with wallpaper. Then you can deal with the arrangement of furniture and accessories.
The professionals you will need to contact to bring the redevelopment to life are the decorator, designer, construction team, professional plumber and electrician with a permit (document of qualification).
Opinion: This option is good because it allows you to improve the quality of life at minimal cost. Construction works of medium complexity are used, they can be carried out at any time of the year.
Pros: Suitable if you are on a budget or if you are moving soon. Does not require approval, work can be done in parts.
Cons: the main disadvantage is that you “fit” yourself into the layout, and not vice versa. If you have an assistant – a decorator or designer, then you are more likely to get a good result, since the competent arrangement of furniture can change the space without demolishing the walls. However, keep in mind that you will have to agree to some inconveniences, such as the lack of a kitchen-living room and a separate bathroom.
In terms of quality of life, this option gets 5 points out of 10.
The work being done here will be larger and more serious. When redevelopment of this type, the premises are “customized” to the requirements of the residents.
First you need to draw up your wishes – these can be your own sketches or a design project developed by a designer or architect. A professional will be able to correctly determine which walls can be demolished and where it is permissible to organize new openings.
It is important to note that almost all the walls in the houses of the P-44 series are load-bearing, but it is possible to obtain permission to demolish wall fragments and at the same time prevent the weakening of the main frame of the building. In load-bearing structures, only openings are allowed (their size is set by SNiPs). To obtain permission to change the configuration of the walls, it is necessary to submit a project carried out by a specialized company. In this project, the method of strengthening the partitions should be indicated.
The organization of the opening is a responsible work that the engineer will perform, and in the event of the destruction of structures, it is he who bears criminal responsibility.
My advice: never make a doorway in the form of an arch, not only because it is an architectural perversion, but also because it is much easier to arrange an ordinary rectangular opening with a margin of height. The fact is that in this case a certain number of cuts are cut in the channel, after which it is crucified with a jack in the opening. The work is costly, technically complex and takes a lot of time.
If I convinced you that arches are evil, see the list of regulations at the end of the article that will help you learn more about the construction of openings in load-bearing walls.
After you have thought about the type of rework, you need to order a project from an organization that has the appropriate license. You can calculate the stress vector in the wall in special programs and using pre-compiled tables (they are available at design institutes). However, I recommend entrusting this work to an engineer.
Good to know: from my practice it follows that most often they allow the demolition of walls and the organization of openings in them on the upper floors of buildings.
The following redevelopment work in the apartment is the same as in the first option: it is necessary to carry out rough and finish construction operations.
Specialists who will be required for the second redevelopment option: architect-designer, design organization, construction organization with a license, electrician, plumber.
Opinion: this option is more expensive, but its price / quality ratio is ideal. Significantly increases the comfort of using the apartment.
Pros: the premises are “customized” to the requirements of future tenants. It turned out to expand the bathroom, organized a kitchen-living room area, where it is convenient to receive guests; there are places for built-in wardrobes and additional storage.
Cons: a lot of paperwork with permits, more costs, but all of them are economically justified.
Quality of life: 6 out of 10 points.
If you choose this option, then be prepared for the hassle and hassle of agreeing and approving the permitted relocation of structures, but this can completely transform the apartment and make it individual.
With this method of remodeling, the kitchen equipment is moved (it is allowed around the perimeter of the original kitchen), which made it possible to create a comfortable kitchen. The configuration of the bathroom walls has been expanded by reducing the hallway corridor (according to SNiP). There is a laundry room and dressing room.
The work must be done the same as described in the first and second options.
Specialists that will be required during the redevelopment: a very experienced architect-designer, a design organization, a construction organization with a license, an electrician, a plumber.
Opinion: the third option allows the most efficient use of the area by reducing auxiliary spaces, such as a corridor. A large-scale alteration endows the apartment with the advantages necessary for a high quality of life. Each tenant and guest receives an excellent level of comfort.
Pluses: the apartment is completely created for a particular couple, their interests and features were taken into account. This is a planning solution and a professional work of the designer – a 100% hit of the apartment on the pages of glossy interior publications, plus the delight of guests and acquaintances.
Disadvantages: the restructuring process is delayed in time, nervous waiting for permits and the search for highly qualified specialists. The repair budget is flexible, but we must not forget that the result will justify all the costs.
For the quality of life, the third option deservedly gets 7 points out of 10 (this is the maximum score for panel structures).
In this review, I tried to describe in as much detail as possible the possibilities of this apartment in three different versions of the alteration. I hope this will help to find many hidden reserves in it.
The next review will be devoted to an apartment in a monolith-brick house with an open plan. I will talk about the possibilities and features of this type of premises and what the aforementioned advertising term actually obliges.