A question we often get asked here at Newcastle Loft Conversion is if we can actually convert the loft in a house. In most cases the answer will be yes, but if you’re concerned whether your loft can be, we’ve written this brief blog post detailing how you can tell!
Does your house have a separated loft?
The first question we have to ask is if your house actually has an empty loft that is separated by floor joists! Some houses have rooms with high ceilings that reach up to the roof rafters and if you do, then unfortunately there won’t be any space for a conversion! In order to provide a loft conversion we’ll need a space that is separated from the rest of the house with a floor.
What’s in the loft?
If your loft is empty, then that is ideal, as all we have to do is change your existing space into your new conversion. However, there are a few items that can make it take a little longer.
If you have a water tank in the loft, then we’ll need to move this and any existing pipe-work first, which will require us to sub-contract a plumber. If there is a chimney stack that is in a difficult position in the loft, then we might need to move or remove that before starting the conversion, though this is very likely to require planning permission beforehand.
Finally, if you have a layer of felt on the ceiling of your loft then this is a tell-tale sign that your roof tiling isn’t water-proofed, in which case we’ll need to water-proof the roof first before we can start the loft conversion process. This will take some time and a non-insignificant extra cost to you, though we will do our best to reduce your cost!
How high is the roof?
If you do have an empty, separated loft, then it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll have to have at least 2.2m of head-height at the highest part of the roof if you have a traditional roof, and 2.4m of head-height with a modern roof. This is because of the shape of the rafters – they form an M shape in traditional roofs, and W shape in modern roofs.
If you don’t have this much room, the roof can be elevated, but this will be at an extra cost and will require planning permission from the council due to the changes to your home’s structure.
What shape is the roof?
As long as the roof pitch is 30 degrees or more then a loft conversion would be fairly simple to undertake. If the pitch is lower than this then it may require structural changes if we are to convert the loft. The reason is because a lower roof pitch give us less head room to work with, and again because of this, might require us to elevate the roof.
Generally the amount of room we’d need for a loft conversion should be at least 5.5 metres by 7.5 metres. This gives us enough room to perform a full conversion without having to extend the roof out and create more construction work that also requires planning permission. If your roof isn’t that big however, while we can still perform the conversion, it will cost you extra money and require extra time to complete!
If you were in any doubt before about whether you could have a loft conversion or not, we hope this post has put your mind at ease! If you want to go ahead with your loft conversion, then we hope you’ll choose us to do it for you! As we said, in most cases you’ll be able to just fine, but in the rare occasions when it would be difficult, we’ll do all we can to get your loft converted as quickly and at as little cost as possible.