You’ve heard that a loft conversion can add tens of thousands of pounds to your property’s value. You cannot afford to move house, you need the extra space. Surely this is the time to clear out the attic and prepare for months of building hassle?
This depends where you live. A combination of neighbourly objections and building regulations can make a loft conversion a nightmare for both the householder in question and his neighbours. This is where careful planning comes in.
Normally, loft conversions do not require planning permission unless they are extensions that exceed specific limits. In the case of terraced houses, there is a 40 cubic metre allowance for extra roof space.
This may not be enough to mollify neighbours who may find a loft conversion and additional roof windows an intrusion. In some cases a conversion may increase the value of the owner’s property while depressing the value of neighbouring property.
This is where time should be spent mulling over the different styles of windows in a variety of loft conversion ideas
A Velux window is the simplest and most unobtrusive of loft conversion. This is a double glazed sloping window that is flush with the roof angle. It will withstand the worst weather conditions while providing a large amount of natural light.
Dormer windows can increase the headroom space in the loft as well as provide lots of natural light. A vertical window also feels easier to open and clean than a Velux window. This is one of the most cost efficient loft conversion styles for a low budget undertaking or a recently built home. However, if these windows overlook a neighbour’s property they can become the source of a long dispute. It’s worthwhile to check in advance with neighbours prior to installing a Dormer window.
Hip to gable
Hip to gable conversions in lofts in detached, semi detached and end terrace houses can add huge amounts of extra space. Essentially, this converts a sloped roof on one side of the house into a vertical wall while extending other sloping parts of the roof horizontally to create an extra prism of space. If the resulting conversion will overlook a neighbour’s property, it’s worth checking about privacy issues.
A Mansard conversion is similar to a hip to gable style but constructed along the long side of a sloping roof. It entails raising gable walls situated at the end of a roof in a detached property. This can work on many terraced houses as well as detached and semi detached properties and is very popular in city centre properties. The advantage of this style of conversion is that it often will overlook a property’s front or back garden and will not intrude on the privacy of neighbouring properties. The Mansard conversion is often a good solution for creating space in an older property and when the house’s character has to be preserved. However, the additional space created will often mean that this type of loft conversion will require local planning permission.