Frequently Asked Questions About Loft Conversions

Using Velux for a Loft Conversion

Velux, a Danish company, specialises in roof light windows to help with loft conversions.

A Velux roof light is installed using the current roof pitch and floods the area with natural light. Because a Velux conversion uses the existing roofline, no planning permission is necessary.

Adding a Dormer Window in a Loft Conversion

Dormer windows can be added to increase the living area in a loft. A dormer window is an extension that is built to project vertically from your roof slope. Typically, the dormer can add substantial square footage along with allowing more natural light to enter the loft.

Extending the Hip to the Gable

When the ridgeline of the hip end of the roof is extended and converted into a gable end, the square footage of the loft area is much larger. A hip to gable conversion extends to existing hips of the roof to the flank wall. This effectively provides enough room for a staircase to be installed. The additional square footage in the loft will be enlarged so that a full bath can be added to the living space.

Where Can a Staircase Be Installed?

Typically, the staircase to a loft conversion is positioned above the existing staircase. The staircase will begin at the side of your bedroom door and continue upwards along the flank wall of the home. The staircase will extend upwards to the top level of the loft area. This installation does not take away any extra existing space from the first floor to accommodate stairs into the new loft.

Does a Loft Conversion Require a Permission from the Planning Authorities?

The local authority allocated a permitted development (P.D.) allowance for all houses. If your home does not have any extensions, such as an orangery, conservatory or sunroom, the home’s P.D. has not been used and a loft conversion does not require a planning permit.

If an extension has been added to the home (even if the extension was completed by a previous owner), the total area of the extension must be calculated and deducted from the P.D. to determine if there is enough allowance left to complete the loft. If there is not a sufficient amount of allowance left, then, the homeowner must contact their local authority to determine if they can receive a planning permit.

Is a Party Wall Agreement Necessary?

When converting a loft, a party wall agreement is necessary because steel beams or R.S.G.s must be inserted into the loft and positioned to rest on and inside the party wall. Although the beams will only be on your half of the wall and not on your neighbours, a party wall agreement must be completed to avoid any disputes once the work has begun.

How Long Does a Loft Conversion Take to Complete?

Typically, it will take approximately four and a half weeks to complete a rear dormer loft conversion on a terraced home, while a semi-detached home loft conversion for a rear dormer on the gable end will take five and a half weeks for completion.

The timing guidelines are accurate because we have four tradesmen that work full time completing our loft conversions. These tradesmen have been working for us for more than ten years.

We do not subcontract any labour, which means we do not need to wait for a subcontractor to have time to complete the conversion. Unless exceptional weather conditions slow us down, we will have your loft conversion completed within the agreed upon timescale.

Can Loft Conversion Be Completed During the Winter or Only in the Summer?

We work twelve months of the year. We have a wonderful reputation and many of our customers recommend our services to their friends and families, which means that we always have a high volume of loft conversions on our books. PineTree Loft Conversions ensure that our customers are never exposed to any inclement weather during the construction period. Whether we complete a loft conversion in the summer months or the winter months, you can rest assured that you will not be subjected to foul weather during your loft conversion.

If a Planning Permit or Building Regulation is Necessary Do PineTree Loft Conversions Handle Take Care of That?

PineTree Lofts will apply for and get any necessary planning or building permits that are needed on behalf of you. We employ our own architect to develop plans. Then, the architect submits the plans to the local authority for approval and gets the necessary planning and building permits. This is included in the price that is quoted to you and is included in the contract.

After the Permits Have Been Granted, Is the Local Authority Involved? If They Are, How Are They Involved?

The local authority will be involved from beginning to the end of the conversion. First, they will receive the plans that are submitted by the architect. They will inspect all structural calculations through the Borough Engineer’s department. Once these have been approved along with any necessary building regulations for your loft conversion, the plans are returned and work can begin.

During the different stages of work, a building inspector from the local authority will inspect the structural work to ensure that the loft conversion is following the building regulations set forth by the local authority. After all the work is completed, a final inspection will be done. Once the inspector determines that all requirements have been met, the homeowner will receive a completion certificate. This certificate shows that all work done complies with the current building regulations that cover all of England and Wales.

Can All Lofts Be Converted?

Almost all attics or lofts can be converted as long as they do not breach any conservation or planning guidelines. In addition to this, the height of your ridge must also be considered. To determine if your loft has the necessary headroom to be converted, stand in the centre of your loft or attic and measure from the top of the ceiling joist to the top of the ridge board at the roof’s apex. If there are at least 2.2 metres, then the loft can be converted. If this measurement is less than 2.2 metres, there will not be enough headroom clearance to do a loft conversion.

What Types of Insurance Do You Carry and do You Guarantee Your Work?

We carry £10,000,000 of employer liability insurance and £1,000,000 of individual public liability insurance. In addition to this, we offer a 10 year guarantee on the structural components of a loft conversion and a 1 year free maintenance guarantee.

Facts to Know

* Not all conversions require planning.
* Building Control approval is needed for all loft conversions.
* Loft conversions add value to your property.
* You will not need to move out of your home while your loft is being converted.