Converting the loft: Four key considerations

If your house becomes too small for you and your family, there are alternatives to moving. If you like the area where you live or it is handy for work or school, you might be hesitant to move house. In that case, it could be wise to move up rather than out.

Converting the loft

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Loft conversions can be a cheaper alternative to moving house and provide much-needed extra space either for a home office or an extra bedroom. It will also be cost-effective because it will add value to your property. Here are four things to consider when converting the loft.

Make sure the loft is suitable for converting.

You will need to make sure the loft is structurally sound with the available head height – more than 2.2 metres – and insulated. You will also need to make sure the staircase is practical and does not exceed 16 steps in a straight line. The individual steps cannot be too steep. You will also need to look at the type of windows to be installed and ensure there are adequate fire safety measures such as a smoke alarm, escape window, fire door and fire-resistant floor.

Employ a specialist

Loft conversions can be tricky areas, so it is best to employ an experienced builder. If you are looking at loft conversions in London, you can contact a company such as www.uksmartbuild.com.

Getting planning permission

You are unlikely to need full planning permission, but check with your local town planners before starting any work to be sure. Certain building regulations need to be complied with, such as making sure the conversion will not undermine the stability of the existing structure and whether the conversion affects the party wall if you live in a terraced house or semi. In this case, you may need permission from your neighbours. There can also be different rules regarding loft conversions or extensions if you live in a conservation area.

Financing your loft conversion

If you do not have the spare cash to finance your loft conversion, you can look at either remortgaging your home or getting a home improvement loan. Talk to your mortgage lender about increasing the loan to pay for home improvements. This could also be a good time to shop around to change mortgages if you are not entirely happy with your current arrangement.

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