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Anyone had an attic conversion recently?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by coffeekid, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Can't afford an extension, so thinking of an attic conversion. Basic, nothing fancy. Has anyone here had one done? Thoughts? Worth it?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Much will depend on the pitch of your roof and whether there are roof trusses in the way.
  3. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Our roof space is "ideal" apparently. 1930s build.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Next practical consideration then is Velux windows or dormer?

    Think also about the space needed for the stairs.
  5. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    @Lara mfl 05 , Velux. We have an airing cupboard at the top of the stairs which I have my eye on for permanent attic staircase. I suppose I need to get some professionals in for a look. Just wondering how much it would come to for a really basic job. There probably isn't such a thing though.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Prices, or at least estimates. will vary depending on where you are in the country and how busy any workmen / builders are. If they have enough work they can often 'over-quote' as they would be prepared to take on extra help if you went with their offer, whereas someone who needs the work will be more realistic (and potentially much lower) with a quote.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    coffeekid likes this.
  7. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Definitely go for professional advice as you will need to factor in fire regulations, etc.
  8. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Obtain at least three quotes and ask to see before and after photos.
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Our house was a bungalow but the previous owners extended into the loft. The two bedrooms have sloping sections of ceiling but look pretty. The smaller room is very small and the bathroom is minimal but we went for a shortish deep bath with a shower over it and it's actually very nice now. Downstairs we have a good sized shower room. We have windows in flat roofed dormers front and back and velux windows too and a little balcony at the back with french windows which is unexpectedly brilliant. We piled on to it with champagne to watch the neighbours' fireworks at new year! The staircase is rather nice pale wood and fitted into the hallway but is quite steep.
    The main advantage is simply the amount of living space we get downstairs and the room that is a study will turn into a bedroom if we ever need to do that. The main disadvantage is that we have no storage space in the loft now so the only real storage space is the garage so we can never put the car away.
    Husband had sworn he would never have a house with flat roofs because of leaks but if we need to reroof it's not that expensive. The insulation is very good upstairs - never too hot or too cold. The sloping roofs and windows make fitting in wardrobes difficult. The previous owners sold us the shallow IKEA units they had fitted in and we just don't store that much clobber anymore - it's only us two.
    coffeekid likes this.
  10. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Sounds lovely. :)
    lindenlea likes this.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Velux windows a must, preferably with blinds ( or your rooms may become very hot!). Consider access carefully - tricky stairs will put off potential buyers.
    coffeekid and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    The only time I have ever set foot in my attic I was immediately converted to the idea that it was not a place I would care to revisit.
  13. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I have never been in mine. When I need to get stuff down, I send my son up with his phone and skype him from the bottom of the ladder.
    InkyP, coffeekid and aspensquiver like this.
  14. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Get an architect to draw plans. Lots of complex issues such as fire safety and limited space so need someone who knows what they are doing. May go ghrough on permitted development, architect will advise.
    coffeekid likes this.
  15. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    In answer to your question
    Please read carefully so you dont fall foul of regs

    basically and loft conversion has to have proper stairs, the doors have to meet fire regs and normally you will have metal beams inserted to take the weight of the new floor Joists which will attach to this. Joists in ceilings are not strong enough to carry furniture and traffic even though folk use them for storage.
    The ceiling joist should stay in place and a new floor is built on the new metal beam.
    A dormer is better if you want to utilise the room but may be subject to building lines.....and it can usually not promptitude out of the front of the house,and you will have to have fire escape windows put into the roof.A toilet can be built up there and the space sub divided as long as it shown on plans and agreed withthe BI's
    If you are talking of just converting it to storage space then you simply need to line the existing joists, have a window inserted for light.or just used electrical lights. Please not these can not be clasified as living accommodation and if you sold the house ,as they dont meet or show building regs have been applied they will simply be shown as storage. You are advised the if used for storage you should get a access loft and stairs fitted and electrics done by a competent electrician
    Cost...well a dormer extension can set you back some £10-15,000 and needs to be installed by those specializing in such issues..the loft conversion to storage about £2-3,000 or less if you can do most of the work and you pay for the loft entrance/stairs and electrical work.
    coffeekid likes this.
  16. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Time wise it can take from 2 weeks plus once plans approved......and do as others have said.get several quotes.
  17. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    All of Oldies advice is great and shows why you need an architect to advise. You don't want a builder doing it on the cheap and then find it costs lots to put right once the building inspector has been. Architect will also know reliable builders who can put in tenders.
    coffeekid likes this.
  18. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Maleficent would have consigned me to the attic but worried that I might have given the children nightmares.
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    God, I must get stronger reading glasses! I thought to myself 'why would you go into the attic for a conversation?'
    coffeekid likes this.
  20. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    All this (and in other comments) is excellent advice. We are currently having the loft in our country cottage (second home, but we will move there permanently later this year) converted for storage and access. We had originally thought to convert to make an additional bedroom, but there is simply not enough space on the landing for the stairs which would meet regs (this is a lot more space than you might think) and would have taken out too much of a bedroom to make it worth doing (why cut a bedroom on the first floor almost in half in order to make a bedroom in the loft? It made no sense). We have employed a proper builder who has all the right trades and came with references which we checked out. He is doing all those things mentioned above to make sure it meets proper regs, but not for a bedroom - it will only count as storage.
    coffeekid likes this.

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