So you are thinking of having a loft conversion to add an extra room to your home, and once the idea has been fixed in your mind, it becomes an exciting adventure that you and your family are embarking on: but there are several things that you should take into consideration before you forge ahead. The following steps are just some words to concentrate your mind on the task that lies ahead.
Do you need planning permission?
Many loft extensions will fall under the Permitted Development Rights category, and will not require planning permission, but, and there always is a but, some loft conversions will need planning permission. The best way to make sure you do not break any rules is to check with your local authority or a local building company that specialises in loft conversions. A couple of hours meeting someone from the local planning authority could save you months of frustration later.
Will you need architects drawings?
Unless you are a talented artist or an expert at technical drawing, it would advisable to commission a set of drawings from an architect. A well-produced professional set of drawings will make it easier for planners at the local authority to offer you the right advice, and your builder to arrive at an accurate quotation for the job.
The cost of the drawings will depend on the type of loft conversion you are planning to have built, but as you are planning to spend several thousands of pounds on your conversion, an extra two or three hundred pounds will prove to be a very good investment and could save you hundreds of pounds
Select your builder carefully.
Make sure the builder you choose is an expert in building loft conversions. Some builders may be very efficient in general construction, but building loft conversions requires an extra level of competence that can only come from experience in building loft conversions. Ask your builder if it is possible for you to see some of his previous conversions, or ask for references from satisfied customers. A good builder will be pleased and proud to do this for you. When discussing estimates for the work, show him your drawings, this will enable him to give you a very accurate price.
Also, make sure he keeps to the budget you have agreed. If he does suggest alterations, make sure he explains the reasons for them in detail, and always question any extra costs carefully and ask for them to be put in writing.
Make a plan.
Once you have agreed on a price and selected your builder, you must consider all the disruption that will occur during the building of your loft conversion. Liaise with your builder to find out where and when certain construction work will take place, and make arrangements to minimise the disruption to the household. Careful thought and forward planning will make the building of your loft conversion go as smoothly and as trouble free as possible.
The above tips are just there to help you focus your mind on your loft conversion project. They offer rough guidelines to ensure that the operation goes as smoothly and trouble-free as possible.