Loft Conversion On New Build: A Complete Walkthrough!

by | Oct 23, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Has the thought of improving your home ever crossed your mind? Have you ever thought of improvising the place you live in? In that case, modern loft conversions are your ultimate saviour!

Loft conversion is not only a way to improve the interior of your home but it also adds value and space in your house. Today, the world is more drawn towards loft conversion on new build. Hearing it for the first time? That’s why we are here.

This guide will walk you through the nooks and crannies of loft conversion on new builds. Let’s buckle up and get a loft conversion on the new build going.

Is it possible to create a new build loft conversion?

Another consideration should be made with regard to loft conversion on new build. A planning permit and possibly the approval of the original property developer may be required, even though many of them can be completed without much hassle. 

Many newly constructed homes come with restrictions imposed by the developer to preserve a uniform appearance throughout the estate.

Although your broker should have informed you of these rules when you bought your new build home, it is a good idea to check your paperwork again just to be safe. More factors come into play if your newly constructed home is leasehold because you must get the freeholder’s permission to convert the loft. 

Minimum Head Height For Loft Conversion

When it comes to loft conversion on a new build, there’s a specific standard you need to meet. Building regulations state that you must have a minimum ceiling height of 2.2 metres (that’s about 7.2 feet).

This rule is all about health and safety. It ensures that your loft space is safe and comfortable for living.

If your loft’s ceiling height doesn’t measure up to this requirement, you might face limitations in converting it into a proper living space.

Remember, it’s all about keeping you safe and making sure your loft conversion is a functional and pleasant part of your home.

Loft Conversion Fire Regulations

When you’re planning your loft conversion on a new build, don’t forget about fire safety – it’s a must. Here’s a simplified guide to loft conversion fire regulations:

Escape Routes

You’ll need a safe way out from your loft rooms to an outside door. Sometimes, this involves a bit of plastering to add that extra layer of protection.

Windows for Escape

Your loft should have windows big enough for a quick exit if the main stairs aren’t an option during a fire. These windows need to be easily accessible, usually near the eaves, and with non-locking fasteners.

Fire Doors

Fire doors are a must. Swap out any existing doors in your loft for fire doors, and make sure any new ones are fire-rated. These doors create a safe corridor for escaping in case of a fire.

Smoke Alarms

Make sure you have mains-powered smoke alarms on every floor. They should be interconnected, so if one goes off, they all do. Plus, each one should have a battery backup.

Ceilings

Your first-floor ceilings need to provide 30 minutes of fire resistance. Modern houses typically use gypsum plasterboard ceilings, but if you have old-school lath and plaster ones, you can use chicken wire in the loft to meet safety standards.

Sprinklers

In some areas, you can opt for a small sprinkler system as an alternative. However, it can be a bit pricey, especially if your water pressure is low and you need extra water storage.

Planning Permission for A New Build Loft Conversion

Now, let’s talk about paperwork and permissions. loft conversion on new builds often fall under permitted development, but there can be exceptions. You might need planning permission, or the developer of your new build might have certain restrictions in place. 

Some new builds come with restrictive covenants, and if you’ve got a leasehold new build, you’ll usually need the freeholder’s green light before starting any work. If there are restrictive covenants, your conveyancer should’ve mentioned them, but it never hurts to double-check your paperwork.

Pros And Cons Of Loft Conversions On New Builds

Pros

Additional Living Space

Loft conversions can provide much-needed extra living space, making your home more comfortable.

Minimal Impact on Neighbors

Loft conversions don’t overshadow or encroach on your neighbours’ privacy, thanks to options like Velux roof windows that provide natural light without compromising privacy.

Ideal for New Builds

New builds offer the perfect opportunity for loft conversions, as they often have structural elements that make conversions easier.

Versatility of Types

There are various loft conversion types available. Consulting with a professional can help you choose the one that best suits your home and needs.

No Loss of Outside Space

Unlike traditional extensions, a loft conversion doesn’t eat into your garden or driveway space, allowing you to keep enjoying your outdoor areas.

Increased Home Value

Loft conversions can increase the overall value of your home, making them a good investment.

Cons 

Low Ceilings

Loft conversions often have sloping ceilings, which can limit the usable space, especially if the ceiling height is less than 2 metres.

Suitability of Properties

Not all houses are suitable for loft conversions, particularly those with low-pitched or truss roofs. Remodelling the roof structure can be costly.

Expense

They can be relatively expensive, so it’s crucial to budget and plan accordingly.

Time-Consuming

The process can be lengthy, so be prepared for potential disruptions during the conversion.

Regulations

Strict regulations govern changing the roof’s structure and appearance. Extensions that face the main road or exceed the existing roof’s height are generally not permitted.

Loss of Storage Space

A loft conversion may mean sacrificing storage space in other areas of your house.

How Much Does a New Build Loft Conversion Cost?

The cost of a loft conversion can vary based on the type of conversion you choose. On average, a loft conversion typically costs around £10,000, but this figure can fluctuate depending on factors like size and complexity.

Project Timelines

The time required to complete a loft conversion on new build also depends on the type you select:

  • An attic conversion with dormer windows typically takes about six weeks.
  • A loft conversion with roof lights usually takes around four weeks.

Additional Costs to Consider

It’s essential to account for some extra expenses, including:

  • Hiring a loft specialist.
  • Architectural design.
  • Transportation of materials.
  • Specific equipment if you have a particular purpose for the loft, like a gym.

Cost Estimates for Different Types of Loft Conversions

  • A roof light loft conversion is approximately £40,000.
  • A mansard loft conversion costs around £80,000.
  • Modular loft conversions are typically around £90,000.
  • Dormer loft conversions are priced at approximately £45,000.

Cost Breakdown for Materials and Installation

  • Ceiling installation: £1,700.
  • Drywall installation: £1,900.
  • Wall painting: Less than £800.
  • Window installation: £3,700.
  • Interior wall framing: Around £1,400.
  • Ducts and vents: Approximately £1,400.
  • Closet installation: Roughly £2,200.

Types of Lofts

When it comes to loft conversion on a new build, you’ve got a bunch of choices to suit your budget and the space you’ve got in your attic. Let’s break them down in plain language:

Roofline or Velux Loft Conversion

This is a simple and cost-effective option. It involves adding Velux windows or roof lights to your existing space. You don’t need to mess with the roof structure much, and it usually doesn’t require planning permission. Budget-wise, it starts at around £15,000.

Dormer Loft Conversion

Think of this as an extension that juts out from your roof. Inside, you’ll get more headroom and floor space. It’s a popular choice because of these perks.

Gable-Fronted Dormer

This one looks like a simple pitched roof with two sloping sides, forming a triangle below the roofline. People often call it a “dog kennel” dormer because of its shape. It’s a good fit for cottages and period-style homes because it blends well with their look.

Hip Roof Dormer

Here, all the roof parts slope upwards with no vertical finishes. They all meet at a point called a “hip.”

Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

If your house has sloping roofs on the front and back, this conversion takes one of those slopes and turns it into a vertical wall, creating more space in your loft.

Double Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

If you want to max out your space, you can extend both sloping side roofs, and sometimes, people even add a rear dormer to create an entirely new floor.

Mansard Loft Conversion

This one’s usually found at the back of homes. It has a flat roof and a back wall that slopes inward. It’s all about getting the most space, headroom, and usable floor area.

Loft Conversions Ideas

If you’re looking to boost the value of your new build, a loft conversion can be a fantastic idea. Here are some ways to make the most of it:

Home Office or Study

You can turn your loft into a cosy home office by adding an office desk, chair, desktop computer, printers, scanners, and more. It’s also perfect for a study room, offering a quiet space for focused work or reading.

Bedroom Retreat

Transforming your loft into a bedroom is another great option. You can place a bed in one corner, add fitted wardrobes, a dressing table, and a bedside table. This setup is ideal when you or your child need a bit of extra privacy.

Home Gym

If you’re into staying fit, consider making your loft into a home gym. You can equip it with essential gear like a steel body strength training power tower, crossover machine, leg press machines, and rowing machines. It’s your personal fitness haven.

Storage Space

Need more room for your stuff? Your loft can become a fantastic storage space. Install racks, sliding shelves, drive-in storage, or flow-through racks to make the most of the floor space. It’s a neat way to keep things organised.

Entertainment Hub

Want a space for fun and relaxation? Create a custom-made media room. It’s perfect for a home theatre setup or a gaming paradise. You can enjoy movies, games, and entertainment in your own special spot.

How to choose the right loft conversion for your home?

When you’re considering a loft conversion on a new build, it’s all about meeting your family’s needs. So, let’s break it down in simple terms:

How Much Space Do You Need? 

First things first, figure out what kind of extra space your family requires. Is it a cosy corner for reading, a full-fledged bedroom, or maybe a functional home office? Understanding your space needs is the foundation of your loft conversion plan.

What Type of Conversion Suits You? 

Loft conversions come in different flavours. Do you want a space for work, a private bedroom, extra storage, or even your very own home gym? Each type serves a different purpose, so choose the one that fits your family’s lifestyle.

Consider the Costs

Let’s talk about the budget. Loft conversions can vary in cost, depending on what you have in mind. It’s important to weigh the expenses of each type against your budget. This helps you keep your finances in check.

Think About the Benefits

Beyond the budget, think about the good stuff. Will your loft conversion new build give you more living space, increase your home’s value, or create a perfect spot for family activities? Understanding the benefits ensures that your conversion meets your family’s needs and desires.

Final Word

Loft conversion on a new build is an excellent way to enhance your living space, increase your property’s value, and adapt it to your family’s evolving needs. While there are regulations and considerations to keep in mind, the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

Just remember to plan carefully, choose the right type of conversion, and consider the associated costs. This ensures that your loft conversion project not only meets your family’s current needs but also becomes a valuable investment for the future.

So, if you’ve ever pondered on improving your home, a new build loft conversion might be your ultimate saviour, unlocking the hidden potential in the roof above. Get ready to expand your living space and create a more comfortable and functional home for you and your family.

 

Emmanuel Nwaebo

Emmanuel Nwaebo is the Managing Director at Powerpillar Ltd and has more than 25 years experience in building construction and renovations. He has a bachelor’s in Electronics and Electrical Engineering with certification in Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST). With an experience in managing construction and renovation services for years, he is extremely passionate about property management and loves helping people find their dream property.

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