Loft Conversion Tips
Take note of the following tips on Loft Conversion before you start to ensure it will be worth your while:
⁃ Ensure the attic is suitable for loft conversion – Many attics are not worth converting, especially if the pitch is to steep or the middle is too low. The costs involved in lowering ceilings of rooms below may not be worth it. Building regulations stipulate a minimum 2 metres over stairs and 2.3 metres under apex.
⁃ Calculate the costs of the loft being converted – When choosing a company to undertake your loft conversion make sure you get the best possible quote. If you do it yourself do proper research in order to cover all expenditures and so that you do not sit with a major surprise at the end of the day. It is advised that you set aside an average of 15% after you done your calculations for covering of unforeseen expenditures as well.
⁃ Choosing the right company in London – There are many companies that can provide a loft conversion in East London and they will manage the complete process, from the design and planning, to getting permits required. It is advisable to get at least three quotes and keep in mind that the cheapest is not necessarily the best. Look at everything they offer as well as their schedules as a basic conversion should in average last between 6-8 weeks.
⁃ Discuss it with neighbours – if your loft conversion process will affect any ceiling, floor or walls of the adjoining property, you will need an agreement from the specific neighbour.
Any other parties that need to be informed – if your property is insured then you will have to inform your insurer as well as the mortgage lender. The construction of the loft being converted will affect the premium. Going green when converting lofts in London is always a great opportunity to improve the insulation and add solar panels to your property.
⁃ Obtain required permissions – as converting lofts in East London do not always require planning permission, but it is strongly advised to check with the planning office of your area. All lofts when they are to be converted have to comply with building regulations and will be inspected during the project as well as afterwards. Considerable costs can be prevented by making sure that additions do not have to be removed when it does not comply with relevant regulations.
⁃ Expect disruption – Whether you do the work yourself or use a company to do your loft conversion, you must expect some degree of disruption. Although you will not need to vacate the home, you must expect noise and dust no matter how much care is taken. Relative turmoil can be expected from people in and out your house with tools and materials.
• Getting Started Planning:
When it comes to constructing the process of a loft that has to be converted it is essential that planning takes first priority, taking on this launch scaled project should not be undertaken by a complete novice or a basic DIYer. The DIYer should be competent in understanding the planning stages, and be able to visualize the completed project. When making plans it would be a good idea to contact your local authority building control departments, and start to ask questions such as can I have my loft converted, is there any restrictions in my area, what are my permitted development rights, you can always check the local authority planning records to find out any planning history.
⁃ Tip: Not all lofts or attics, are suitable to be loft converted because of the structure head room, and load bearing walls these are vital and play a very important role in the viability of the project.
The headroom from floor to Apex should be a minimum of 2.3 mitres, any lower and you would not be able to stand in the loft, therefore it would be pointless to convert the loft, unless you have high ceilings below this means lowering the ceilings below which in fact would be very dusty work and you would have to make sure that your Windows are low enough.
⁃ Plans & Drawings: when it comes to getting your plans drawn, there is no law on who draws the plans, you could do this yourself if you wanted to, it would be a good idea to learn autocad if you are going to do-it-yourself. We would suggest that it would be a good idea to get a professional architect who knows how lofts can be converted, each architect will vary in their price, and always remember that it’s not just the plans that you need but also the steel calculations will need to be calculated.
• Beams used to convert lofts in London
When planning the converting of the loft in London the choice of beams is a very important structural decision. Builders and architects have their preferences as to the chosen material, but basically there are only two types of beams used.
• Steel and Timber to convert lofts
Steel loft beams are the commonly used material for their incredible strength regardless of their small size. Where space is the issue in having the loft converted they are easy to use although manoeuvring them in confined spaces can prove quite difficult.
Timber beams are the alternative to steel when converting lofts although they can also be impractical. These two types of beams both have their positive and negative points and many companies and builders will implement both timber and steel beams in their construction when lofts are converted in London.
In the use of steel loft beams the universal beam is the commonly used beam as they are easy to fit with timber joists because of the flat flanges which are parallel between the top and bottom. Rolled steel joists are similar to the universal beam in the regard of being much taller than it is wide. The only negativity of rolled steel joist is the fact that they have tapered flanges and that makes the use of timber joists very difficult. Although the universal and the rolled steel are mostly used in steel loft beams, a universal column is used in cases of space being an issue.
Timber loft beams for converting lofts in London are traditionally quite limited in their use mainly because of the short span they have. Modern homes and lofts converted currently use factory produced “I” beams when they use timber and are designed exactly like their counter part, the steel beams. They boast a central core of composite wood for added strength and time will not cause shrinking.
The great disadvantage they have in the constructing the converting of lofts is the fact that they are a lot more expensive than steel. Two other timber beams used in converting lofts are laminated and sandwich beams. Laminated veneer lumber is very strong and even with cutting it; it will retain its strength. Sandwich beams on the other hand are normally made onsite by builders or loft converting London companies by sandwiching a piece of steel plate between strips of timber. These beams have no real structural strength and mostly used as floor trimmers.
London loft conversions is a company providing professional and expert advice on materials to use and will provide you with great insight even if you plan to do the loft conversion yourself. London Dream Lofts has honed its skills and team members to be specialists in loft conversion. This focused methodology allows us to excel in our chosen field, providing an in-depth approach to converting lofts within the East London vicinity.
Our specialism allows us to offer you a tailor-made experience with an assortment of benefits, including:
• Specialist skills, rather than divided skill sets
• A thorough understanding of loft conversion planning permissions, regulations, technicalities, laws, guides and other useful advice
• A history of successful loft conversion projects as testament to our abilities
• A team who is vastly experienced in converting lofts and who therefore complete the project in an efficient manner
• Enough specialised experience to avoid the vast majority of errors and flaws that may otherwise arise from those less experienced
• A loft conversion process that is constantly developed and streamlined to better serve our customers, amended over the years to ensure every detail is accounted for
• A portfolio of satisfied clients who can attest for our work