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any one had a loft conversion?

(31 Posts)
dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 17:38:43

Just a plain simple one with stairs and a dormer?

Got some questions for you.

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 17:44:30

1) how much should i expect to pay for this?

2) how much were architects i have to have architects plans?

3) if you already have extensions on your home, are you likely to have planning permission denied?

4) do they have to ask neighbours if they agree?


LIZS Thu 30-Aug-07 17:54:44

Not had one done myself but we have sort of have one in our house already iyswim. Not sure if you'd need permission you would have to go through Planning to check nor that it wodul bnecessrily be denied even if you have already had your development rights. My understanding is that front facing dormers can be more of a problem than rear and especially if they go above the ridge. Planning would notify your neighbours giving them a chance to lodge objections.

Buildings regs seem to be more of a problem tbh, even where you don't need PP . For access, staircase with closing, fire retardant doors to all habitable rooms below, materials used and including sufficent opening windows. Whoever you instruct to draw up plans will know about these.

hana Thu 30-Aug-07 17:56:55

you don't have to have an architect on board, but they are well worth their money. So many people don't bother as they don't want to spend the money.....but it does show in the end product. imo

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 17:59:03

dormer on the back.

planning permission is a must apparently.

when you say "planning rights" what does this mean? is there a ceiling on your extending capacity?

thanks so much for your reply btw Lizs

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 18:00:50

ta hana, im going to go for an architect, like you say they are well worth it in the end.

LIZS Thu 30-Aug-07 18:06:19

My understanding is that you should have so much "Permitted Development Rights", think it is something like 15% increase in original floor space depending on the age of the house. If you already have extensions that may have fallen within it but may now preclude further ones without PP. In some instances (ours for example) the Permitted Development Rights were limited/revoked at the time Planning Permission for the house was granted so we would have to apply for any extension such as a conservatory whereas others may not. The house was built with a fire retardant loft space with window but the access staircase was a year or so later, approved by Buildings Regs.

PippiLangstrump Thu 30-Aug-07 18:21:18

dissle we are having one done soon.
I got most of my info from another old thread in here where they were also suggesting firms.

anyway if you have an edxtention you need to apply for planning permission. neighbour need to give consent and sign party wall agreement. firm sends their own architect. obviously if you want something flashier and more personal than just a standard loft conv you can get your own architect sep.

our firm however were very very flexible and offered loads of variations to the standard type so we are pleased, for now.

price: 25k

we had few quotes, from 20 to 35.

aloha Thu 30-Aug-07 18:27:24

I would get a specialist loft conversion compnay. They do lofts every day, can do them super fast, know all about buildings regs and pp and handle all the paperwork for you.
I used A1 Lofts and heartily and completely recommend the company. All done in 5 weeks, all paperwork handled, beautiful job.
You do need to get anyone whose house is joined to yours to agree - we just dropped a ready-written letter to our neighbours with a polite friendly note asking them to sign and pop back through our letterbox.
If you get a specialist firm you don't have to worry about pp or architects or anything.
Have you already extended your house? If not, you won't need pp for a normal loft extension but you will have to meet buildings regs.

Gingerbear Thu 30-Aug-07 18:29:57

this company did Yorkie's conversion recently

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 18:32:35

we have an extension on the back of the house and we have built a big double garage. di not need pp for this as it wasnt near the house but had building regs.
Will they take this into account?
IS it party wall tho, a loft extension?

PippiLangstrump Thu 30-Aug-07 18:33:35

aloha we had A1 to give us a quote as I saw a thread were you said you were so pleased and I think they were really really good. If I had a bit more spare cash I'd have gone for them without a doubt.

the firm we chose are specialists as well and handle everything themselves and should be done in the same time. so fingers crossed.

LIZS Thu 30-Aug-07 18:37:14

If you are attached then the mutual wall will probably need insulation, fire retardancy and sound proofing etc as part of forming a habitable room. I think garage would n't count btu extnesion would, an email to Planning Dept should clarify that.

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 18:37:47

just having quotes at the mo, got 2 companies in mind, both personally recommended.

need to have an idea of what we are doing first tho,
that link is good, ta for that ginger.

hana Thu 30-Aug-07 18:39:19

I disagree about going with a specialist loft company - they do what aloha said, but they usually have a set formula for every house. for example, they may say that ceilings need to be dropped when in fact they dont ( and saving lots of mess and hassle) or they may cut into a room when doing stairs up to the loft room which also isnt always necessary. just something to think about

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 18:47:05

The two people i have in mind are joiners who do lofts.
not a company, i see what you mean hana.

may or may not need planning permission. If i email planning dept they will let me know.

may need party wall agreement with neighbour

building regs for fire safety, escape size window stairs etc

better to enlist much do they charge to draw up plans?

aloha Thu 30-Aug-07 18:52:09

My experience was anything but a one size fits all design actually. I sat down twice with a brilliant surveyor and had numerous designs done.
By contrast, I once had an architect come and look at our old house to make another room and they were useless!

PippiLangstrump Thu 30-Aug-07 19:23:20

there's specialist and specialist. one company told us we'd need to lose a room for the stairs, another told us we wouldn't. we can have different roofs, different render on the outside, different windows etc..

hana Thu 30-Aug-07 19:23:30

just mentioning it - imo your experience isn't the norm

PippiLangstrump Thu 30-Aug-07 19:28:13

you're probably right hana. one should do as much research as possible and gets various quotes from different tradsmen, firms so that than you can compare and tell them how you want it etc.

there were some issues with the fire doors and the windows and we made it clear that we knew what we could have and did not go for the fit for one.

aloha Thu 30-Aug-07 19:45:07

We did get quite a few people in though Hana. We chose the one who didn't look all baffled when we said we didn't want plastic windows! grin
Also our surveyor was super-clever and really interested in houses and property - he had loads of ideas and drew us up about four different plans. He suggested making a separate room on our back extension which we did and have been so happy we did. I also saw the job they did in a Georgian house near us, and was very impressed. The joinery in particular perfectly matched the existing staircase.

hana Thu 30-Aug-07 19:53:17

that's great, sounds like you had a winner there

dissle Thu 30-Aug-07 19:56:57

we are so encouraged and excited when they say it will be done and dusted in 4 weeks...


we need to keep it simple and take it one step at a time, so i think that we need to find out if we will be granted planning permission. no point in employing some one to draw it if we wont be allowed to do it eh.

jalopy Thu 30-Aug-07 20:27:35

Just to add, if the neighbours aren't willing to sign the friendly letter grin a party wall agreement will need to be drawn up and that can be costly. We've just had the pleasure of covering the costs of that.

ntsmum Thu 30-Aug-07 20:46:44

Hi, I work in LA Building Control, so could give you some advise if you need it. Although if you're using an architect they should be au fait with the regs. They have changed recently regarding door closers, for example. You don't normally need planning for lofts, but you do if you add dormers. You should serve notice to your neighbour under the party wall act, if the p.wall is involved - again your architect should advise you.

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