Loft Conversion

LOFT CONVERSION OR DORMER ROOF EXTENSION

If you are planning on adding a room a loft conversion could be the cheap and easy way for you to do it. You already have the space so why not make good use of it? Well this is mostly true but getting the most out of a loft conversion requires a lot of thought and careful design. Master bedrooms with en-suite and dressing rooms, cinema, children’s rooms can be achieved with good architectural design. Adding a dormer roof extension give you even more space with better headroom. There are no special planning limitations in York city council or Yorkshire.

CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions
CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions
CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

The height and pitch of the roof is the first thing we need to consider, how much rooms will you have to stand in when the conversion is complete. You need at least 2.4 Meters height in the apex of your existing roof, as the new floor joists and rafter insulation will eat into the height. When you have determined the height the stairs will need to be designed at the right pitch, protected from fire and the with landing areas. Once the necessary elements have been designed you can divide up the remaining space. If you’re having En-suite the drainage needs to be thought about as you can only go so far through the new floor. Also 2nd floors or rooms with a finish floor over 4.5 but under 7.5 meters you need a sealed/protected landing top or bottom. Creating rooms over 7.5 meters will require a lot more fire protection, escape and detection.

DESIGN OPTIONS

Sloping ceilings can be challenging to work around, however when you can make full use of the triangular profile they will look spacious and add a lot of interesting feature. Laying out furniture such as beds wardrobes in cross section helps to see the volume you will get. Adding dormer can create extra space and add feature to the external roof too. Be careful when choosing the material finish outside as sometimes the small dormer side/cheeks will look good if you try matching the tiles. The dormer is different you cannot always blend it in so choose finishes that enhance the angles and make if prominent and purposeful. Velux windows are the most obvious way to light into. Other options are building up the gable, forming hip dormers and in some situations putting a new roof on. Depending on the planning limitation due to the surrounding properties it could be an option.

CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions
CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions
CK Architectural York - Loft Conversions

Under the new permitted development right most roof conversion can be done without the need for planning permission. If planning is required the usual criteria and justification will have to be met. Overlooking, dominating and keeping in character, size and scale to its neighbours will be the pots to consider. We will consider all planning policies both national and local before you submit so you have the very best chance of success.

PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT LOFT CONVERSION

A Roof conversion for your house is permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, if the following limits and conditions are met. A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses. A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses. No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway. No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof. Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house. No verandas, balconies or raised platforms. Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor. Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas. Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves. The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

BUILDING REGULATIONS

Legally Building Control need to be involved when altering the structure of a roof and building certificate required for the re sale or insuring of your property. When creating habitable rooms ie bedrooms it is more than the structural integrity that will need upgrading. When designing a roof your architect or architectural designer must consider the following.
Structure, the new floor joists and roof will need to be supported, this is generally done via steel beams designed by an engineer. A protected fire route must be provided, this is 30 minutes all the way down to the final exit, existing doors will need upgrading to fire doors. Detection and sounded alarms will be required and need to be interlinked. The stairs will need sufficient headroom 2.0M and not be too steep (under 42 degrees). Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below
All the designs we present to you will be with the intention of passing building regulations and construct able. Take a look at our Building Regulations Guide.

BUILDING AND BUILDERS

Most of the work in roof conversions is in the roof, however when the new stairs go in there will certainly be a dirty period when it advisable to move out if you can. Once you have your detailed drawing approved it is time to get some prices we can recommend you builders we trust. There are specialist roof conversion companies out there, but with detailed drawings most competent builders can do the job. We advise that any quotation you consider will be written up clearly and well detailed. Both you and your builder need to know exactly what is included in the price or disagreements will occur at the messy end of the project. We have extensive on-site knowledge and work closely so we will always advise where we think areas need exploring or issues may arise. We advise that you use our drawings in line with the quotation and any additional information we don’t provide such as plumbing and electrics is agreed in detail before the first fix goes in. it will be costly changing thing once the initial preparation has been built. We offer help throughout for both you and the builder, we will come to site if help is required.