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Has anyone done a loft conversion which involved raising the roof?

(28 Posts)
Loueytb3 Fri 23-Jan-15 14:22:45

We are just in the early stages of thinking about doing the loft but the roof height is too low. We are in the SE so although I realise that raising the roof would be v expensive, the increase in house price would be nearly worth it. Has anyone done it? Was it a nightmare to get through planning and roughly how much did it cost?

Blueskies80 Fri 23-Jan-15 14:41:48

We are in a similar position, our loft is very shallow. About a meter high in the highest point. What's worse is that we already have a dormer extension running the length of our house, so a roof lift loft conversion would probably entail getting rid of the dormer and building the walls up quite some way.
Are you detached or semi or terrace? Would think it would be easiest if you are detached from a planning perspective. Quite a few houses in the area round us have got planning for this, they have been detached though.
We have also had ballpark quotes of around £65k plus vat for detached roof lift adding two beds and one bathroom...but this is very rough and ready. We are in London.
Following this thread!

Loueytb3 Fri 23-Jan-15 14:51:36

We are detached. No-one in our road has done it. There are a mix of houses but the one next to us has basically the same roof shape so we may have resistance from planning. Our roof is big but very low and a bit of a mess of shapes so the whole thing will need to be redesigned to make the most of the space whilst keeping the basic look from the street. £65k+vat is less than I thought. I was thinking it would be nearer £100K. We want an additional bedroom and bathroom (my sanctuary...!)

mandy214 Fri 23-Jan-15 16:11:33

You may find that it simply won't be allowed. Our house is obviously different because we are semi-detached, but we had a major problem with planning for our extension because of the "roof line". It depends how far you would need to raise the roof - an alternative would be to lower the ceilings in the bedrooms - could you do that?

Loueytb3 Fri 23-Jan-15 16:28:46

I don't think we could lower the ceilings and the roof is such an odd shape we really need to sort it out.

Blueskies80 Fri 23-Jan-15 18:29:49

I think planning is more likely if you're unlike buildings around you - why lots of done it where we are, lots of different houses alongside each other in places. Sounds like it might be harder then with a house with same roof line next door.
However can you look at recent planning decisions and see if anything similar has been approved? Also maybe speak An architect with experience of your planning authority. Lastly maybe it is worth approaching your neighbours to see f it would be something they are keen to do, maybe if you both wanted to do it then it might be more likely to get approval? Just a thought.

SpecialHandsMummy Sat 24-Jan-15 20:04:25

We're currently in the process of buying a detached L-shaped bungalow that has a loft conversion in the long part of the L, iykwim. The roofline on the short part of the L is lower than the rest of the roof and so, was not ideal for a loft conversion. However, one of the houses on the road, when doing their lift conversion, raised the roofline on the short part of the L so that they could use both the long and short parts of the L. We're planning to do the same when we move in and get an extra bedroom upstairs. Planning did not seem to be a problem but maybe this was because they were only raising part of the roofline to be in line with the rest of the roof.

Loueytb3 Tue 27-Jan-15 11:55:06

I've looked at recent planning decisions around us and there is nothing applicable. A house in our road (different style) has recently got permission to convert the loft and put dormers in the back but the roofline is going to stay the same. Other houses that have converted their lofts recently have all done it under permitted development which we won't be able to do.

However, there is a house whose garden backs onto ours (at right angles). It is a newer build house, I guess 10-20 yrs old. It has a 2nd storey where the roofline is built up and is higher than the house next door (and others around it). The front of the house is very similar in style to ours. Frustratingly, I can't find any info on planning about it, so I would have to go to the planning office and enquire to get details of their plans. But, it is possible we could argue that as they have already got a higher roofline, that we would not be the first to do it.

agnesrose86 Tue 27-Jan-15 14:32:16

I am thinking of this too but my roof might be ok as is - we just want to create two kids rooms and a bathroom so the fact that my very tall husband can't get stand up straight anywhere other than the very centre is less of a problem? Does anyone know what the minimum required height is? Also has anyone had a prebuilt loft extension? I'm not sure what they're called but when they literally build the whole thing off site - it was mentioned on Sarah beany a while ago but I have no idea about cost.

Blueskies80 Tue 27-Jan-15 14:45:28

Agnes, I think you're thinking of moduloft?? Google them. Iirc you can fill some things out and get a rough estimate online.
Loey, that sounds more promising with your neighbours house being similar to how yours would become. Is the neighbours house also visible from the street when you look at yours? This would help your argument I suspect (although still worth running it). You could speak to an architect who has experience with your planning authority and see what they say. An initial chat is usually free in my experience.

SlipperyLizard Tue 27-Jan-15 19:12:05

We had a quote from moduloft, our bungalow is apparently both longer and wider than average and as a result the quote was £100k (we would gain 3/4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on what is already a fairly big bungalow).

Once we can afford it, we will go for it - they are incredibly easy to deal with and I have no doubt it would be a smooth/quick process compared to the traditional route.

Beahun Sat 28-Feb-15 20:05:59

Agnes, I think the minimum has to be at least 2.1m for roof height.We are in a small detached bungalow too. Got planing permission last year but still try to find a good builder. Planing officer in the beginning was a bit of a pain but once he come to see our house and the house next door he said straight away yes! We are still thinking to use moduloft as I contacted them once I saw the program. They were nice, called me back and sent me a quote.I think it was about £85k for 2 bedroom and a bathroom. So I did some research on good old mumsnet:-)) at the time and find this!
I will contact her if we are thinking to go with moduloft(She is the third one on the post) Hope this help.

Blueskies80 Sun 01-Mar-15 09:21:03

Thanks for the update! We are still really keen to do ours at some point in the future. Would be great to get any more feedback about moduloft in future if you go with them.

Mylifepart2 Sun 01-Mar-15 11:38:30

Internal head height floor to finished ceiling is 2 m minimum....

Blueskies80 Sun 01-Mar-15 20:23:21

Was thinking about this again and wondered if anyone thinking about a raise the roof loft extension has considered whether foundations need to be strengthened? I'm assuming that it's not the case (does the additional weight mostly get held by the new joists?) but if anyone does know anything more that would be great. I'm slightly paranoid as we are on a hill and clay soil. Thanks.

Beahun Sun 01-Mar-15 23:21:09

Yes,my husband was worried about the foundation too.Not sure as no one has mentioned who had it done.But really would like to know too! I might send them an email as they still sending me one after a year.

Beahun Sun 01-Mar-15 23:27:42

Mylifepart2 Is it really just 2m? God,that doesn't give tall guys much room is it?:-)) It's must be in our planning application but I leave that for my husband. I much rather looking at kitchen catalogues;-))

Wolfiefan Sun 01-Mar-15 23:33:13

We extended into the loft of our house. We needed to build up and change the roof joists. We have two large rooms up there with one ensuite. It was expensive but well worth doing. No foundation work needed.

MillyMollyMama Mon 02-Mar-15 12:41:28

If you are extending upwards it makes a lot of sense to get a structural engineer to look at the foundations and the existing walls to make sure they can take the new loadings and don't spread under the weight. There are ways to counteract this, so it does not mean the work cannot be done. We extended our garage upwards to create a flat but DH is a structural engineer and he had already designed the garage many years before so he knew it was ok.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 02-Mar-15 15:45:38

We had to reduce our ceiling heights on the first floor as we are mid terrace.
Quite a few houses on the street are semi detached with a roof that comes in from all sides [if that makes sense] and a lot have been allowed to create a new straight gable end, but not raise the roof line above that of their neighbour.

What was helpful was to speak to local architects - get them in to do a look see and make suggestions. They deal with the planning department all the time and will have a good idea of what will fly and if it's a new request, how to go about arguing it. You won't be charged for the actual visit.

frazzeled Mon 02-Mar-15 22:00:21

We are semi detached and have just done this. Ours was a large project as we also lowered the celings of the bedrooms on the first floor to get more space in.

The architect designed the elevation very carefully - there is only one bit at the back now higher. From the front it looks the same height, and got through planning with no problem. We do however have a very progressive planning department, and our architect has worked for them so knew them well. Choose your architect carefully and you should be fine.

frazzeled Mon 02-Mar-15 22:03:17

If you want me to send you some pictures then do let me know. Cost is difficult to tell you as we renovated the entire first floor at the same time (two new bathrooms, every room had a wall change, plastered, all re wired) plus new roof timbers and tiling (and all new windows everywhere) we spent £80 k.

Loueytb3 Wed 04-Mar-15 13:14:09

Weirdly, this thread is not appearing in my threads I'm on so I hadn't realised it had new posts!

We have had a local architect round who was recommended by three different people. Years of working with local planning. He has come up with a potential solution which would involve pushing the ridge of the roof backwards and upwards to provide the height. As long as the street scene looks the same (which hopefully it will) then he thinks planning won't have an issue. He's drawing up plans at the moment so we will see if there is enough height. Otherwise we will be back to looking at raising the roof. We really need at least 2.3m for it to be comfortable as DH is tall and we don't want to feel claustrophobic.

He did say that if we raised the roof, all the ceilings of the floor underneath will need replastering as lots of people walking on the joists tends to knacker the ceilings.

twoplustwoplusone Fri 05-Jun-15 15:48:59

Hi all just had our loft done by apex lofts of Barnsley. We had the roof pitch increased / roof raised to give us more space. We got quotes from apex and moduloft ( as well a load of other companies) and whilst price wasn't much difference decided on apex due to Woody (the owner) being the one doing all the work and being so involved; I feel we got a better quality loft / fixtures/ fittings and the design was tailored to exactly what I wanted. The roof was off and back on within a day which made me relax a lot as I was worried what the lovely British weather would do the the rest of the rooms in the house if everything was exposed. I've got to say it was a pretty smooth operation! If you go in their website there's loads of reviews and photos. I've put a couple on ( if the upload feature works from my phone....) I've ended up with 16 veluxs (twice as many as moduloft promised) in 4 rooms one en suite one family bathroom! ��

sukik12 Sat 06-Jun-15 07:38:12

Hey twoplustwoplus one
I'm having conversations with Woody right now too about rasing our roof, adding two rooms and an ensuite in our detached bungalow. I'm still undecided about whether to have two dormer windows at the front (better kerb appeal - if sell in the future) or have velux window all round. your pic looks good. Could you please post a final pic of what it looks like from the outside? This will help me decide!
please for you Woody so far is open and realistic.


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