Loft extension wisdom required

(8 Posts)
XFPW Mon 31-Aug-20 07:08:40

We’re in the (very long, very slow) process of buying a house. Almost 6m after our offer was accepted, things are finally starting to move forward.

The house, as it is right now, requires a few minor changes to make it work for us (removing fitted wardrobes/laying new carpets/fitting new oven etc) and we’ll definitely be doing those things before we move in.

It also has the potential to go up into the loft however, and create another bedroom w/ensuite. This would make the house perfect for us and initially it’s something we thought we might look at further down the line. Now however (perhaps because it’s taken so bloody long to get this far), we are considering doing it at the start.

We have absolutely no idea where to start however or what it would involve. We are clueless! Anyone with experience of loft conversions want to give me their wisdom?

- How long does it typically take? (Loft is already fully floored, but currently only accessible by Ramsey ladder)
- Is it so disruptive that you can’t live in the house while the work is being done?
- Do you need an architect as well as a builder, or is a builder alone enough?
- Rough estimate of cost to include new stairs and converting loft into large master suite including new bathroom?

OP’s posts: |
Andpppy Mon 31-Aug-20 07:18:34

Structural engineer or structural surveyor or at a push architect is what you need qualified and a member of the relevant Royal or Chartered Body.

I particular you are placing more load on your walls and footings with bigger joists , floor, plasterboard which were not really designed for thIs. Some walls can take it some can’t.

Second up and more important ally that roof void serves as an interface between warm moist air rising through the house and the cold outside air in the other side of the roof. It’s not impossible to achieve but what engineering solution are you going to have for wicking moisture and the cold warm interface.

It’s not resolving these issues that can make a loft converted house unsaleable. It needs to have full sign off from a building professional and the local authority building control.

There are several houses near us that have not budged in a “hot” market and it’s because they’ve done half arsed loft conversions and the subsequent would-be buyer has told their client to run a mile. These homes are now known in the neighbourhood tine ruined or wronguns and will not now sell without a material price adjustment down of 25%ish.

Andpppy Mon 31-Aug-20 07:20:46

Sorry that was full of typos but you get the gist?

FippertyGibbett Mon 31-Aug-20 07:25:37

Definitely do it first as it’s a lot of mess.
You can find companies who specialise in loft conversions, so maybe get some advice and a price off them.

whoknowswhichwayisup Mon 31-Aug-20 07:27:38

If you get a builder who specifically does lofts then they will normally have an architect that they work with and I would recommend asking for that. They will be used to working together and it's better that way in our experience.

Yes you can live in the house. Check that they will enter through the roof until they need to put in the stairs, that way you are not disrupted til half way through. Once the staircase is in, expect dust. Everywhere.

Our loft took 8 weeks, done by a very slick and professional loft company.

ChickensMightFly Mon 31-Aug-20 07:32:22

My sister did this so this is second hand wisdom.
She lived in the house while it was done, it was possible. Very dusty but the builders taped plastic sheets over the doors as much as possible so there were a rooms which were not affected much which made it bearable.
They used a local builders firm who specialised in loft extensions so knew exactly what they were doing, they looked at a number of examples of their work before they committed. This meant they didn't need an architect involved, the firm had a guy whose job it was too make sure it was all possible, end result was fabulous (in a very standard 3 bed semi, what a difference!)
Don't know cost but I would guess 20k ish about ten years ago

errorofjudgement Mon 31-Aug-20 07:57:07

We did this 5 years ago and the end result is so worth it.
I was surprised at how long the process took, from getting quotes in the Spring, then choosing the preferred builder (a loft specialist), then getting the proper architect drawings and submitting plans to the council, it was August before we got planning permission, then October before the builders could start as they were so busy.
Finally completed at Christmas!

We lived in the house while the work was going in and it really wasn’t too bad, the house was empty during the day (except for the builders). I think I would’ve found it much harder to be home every day with the noise and disruption for 7 weeks. However ours is a bungalow conversion so they were literally working above our heads.


whatnow41 Mon 31-Aug-20 08:25:17

We bought a house with a loft conversion. It has a part flat roof with normal windows, not velux. In summer, it is so so very hot. Was unusable this summer, so I'd recommend discussing how you remove heat from the room with the architect. I'm sure this is not normal. Also, birds are fucking dickheads. Racing each other across the roof from 5am every. Single. Day. Get spikes put in on the roof or other bird deterrents, it's just as loud as seagulls on a caravan roof. And make sure your hot water tank/pump/boiler is strong enough to pump water at a decent pressure to the loft.

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