You maybe considering a loft conversion. If so and you are in a protected area such as a conservation area or a recently build house with planning conditions then you will likely require a Velux loft conversion. Velux is a company which specialises in roof windows whilst there are other good companies out there that do roof windows Velux are the market leader. So when the loft or attic is to be converted into a larger, airy bedroom full of light from front and back without changing the roof shape then this is known as a Velux loft conversion.
Other lofts conversions that maybe suitable for your home are dormers and mansards. The planning rules in your neighbourhood will dictate whether you have a dormer or a mansard. In principle a dormer is a box with tiles or lead cladding. A mansard has is sides sloping inwards by 70 degrees. In general a mansard is not as space efficient as a dormer and planning laws insist that they are built onto roofs of flats anywhere or houses within conservation areas. Although in some conservation areas only small dormer windows are allowed.
Most newer built houses have planning restrictions which prevent them having permitted development rights. This stops owners developing the roofs of a recently planning approved design immediately. In time they will gain permitted development rights as Victorian and Edwardian houses have but it will be decades rather than months.
We can advise you what the planning laws permit you to do with your property and how much this is likely to cost to build.
Most newer built houses have a timber frame structure with roof trusses which makes them more difficult to convert into a loft because steelwork cannot be easily used due to the fat that there are no masonry walls to support them. With timber frame structures the added loads of any new loft floors, walls and roofs needs to be carefully and evenly distributed onto the existing structure. It is usual is such cases to use loft trusses to replace the existing trusses.
Build costs vary due to location, complexity and size of the project, time of construction, the business of the building company. In general the less busy and the easy the project is to build the cheaper it will be. In general, in London, we cost extension projects in a similar manner. For simple ‘bog standard’ projects we calculate the build cost on £1100 per square meter, for medium quality/ complexity projects at £1500 per square metre and for high specification/ quality projects at £2000 per square metre. For new build projects this varies depending on the size of the project- the larger the project the cheaper it gets per square metre.
You may simply want an extra bedroom or two with a shower/ bathroom and with little concern with the design of the conversion beyond being space efficient and practical. This is the most popular approach which will bring you more space whilst increasing the value of your property. Often the added value to your home of a conversion is very soon greater than the cost of doing it and clearly it is easier and most often cheaper to convert or extend than it is to sell up and purchase a larger property in the same area.
Sometimes a client may prefer going a little beyond the basic design by specifying a higher specification window, underfloor heating, wet room shower, integrated sanitary-ware, LED downlights or box gutters. There are other possibilities as well such as different cladding systems such as large format cladding panels in fibre cement slate or aluminium. There are way of minimising the detailing by having the dormer flat roof slope backward rather than forwards and doing away with the need for gutters and downpipes. Whether you are more of a modernist or a traditionalist it is always better to have this reflected in your home; inside and out.