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Can I convert my loft?


Creating more space in your home can often be resolved by extending outwards or converting existing space - outbuildings, garage space or upwards into your attic. But how do you know if it's a viable idea? Neptune Construction's MD, David O'Connor, is an experienced and qualified planning consultant so he can advise you every step of the way. Here we outline a few areas of consideration.


Practical considerations

DOES IT WORK? This is really important if you are thinking of using the new space for an office and you need to answer the door regularly - or if you intend to hold meetings in it. If it's for the kids, will you be comfortable with them being a floor away from you? Will you be able to get the furniture you need into it? There are many logistical aspects to moving into your loft space.


LIGHT: You can introduce light with skylights or dormer windows. You won't need planning permission for dormer windows if they're at the rear of your property, just for those that are at the front. You could use both for maximum impact.


FIRE SAFETY: You'll need to tick all the fire safety boxes - smoke alarms, fire door and so on. We can advise on everything you need for compliance and safety.


ACCESS: Your choice of access - ladders, staircase, spiral staircase - is often determined by the available space on the floor below and into the loft space.


Structural integrity

Creating a new space at the top of your house will add weight to your home so it's vital that the foundations are checked for their depth and strength. Where additional support is needed we can advise on the best way to manage this and make sure your conversion meets all regulations. Often there is no additional work required.


Legal considerations

We are definitely the team you need for this! We have all the expertise you need to ensure your loft conversion meets any legal requirements. You might not need planning permission at all unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area - we can advise on your particular set of criteria. There is greater flexibility in adding volume to a property but you should find out if you need planning permission or building regs before starting any work.


Headroom

Building regs state that you need 180cm from the floor but we'd advise a minimum of 200cm is preferable for comfort and practicality (particularly in the context of stairs). You may believe you don't need a high ceiling for a children's room - but remember they will be as tall as you before you know it! We can do a full measure and let you know if it's viable and also how much to allow for insulation and wall finishes.


Awkward fixtures

Your loft, especially if it's an older property, might contain water tanks. We can look at the options for your home in terms of incorporating them, moving them or replacing them with a different kind of plumbing system.


A loft conversion can add significant value to your home, as well as provide real wow factor and admiration from friends and family! Contact us for an informal chat about your options - we can help you explore all the various solutions for extra space - extensions, loft conversions, garage conversions and multi-use outdoor buildings.


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