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Thread: Loft conversions

  1. #1
    Should Get Out More Trogladyte's Avatar
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    Default Loft conversions


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    Who has done it?

    How did it go?

    Is the increase in the value of the property reflected by what you spend on the conversion, or will a quick slash n graft increase the value just as much as quality job?

    And has anyone gone for anything more ambitious than the traditional dormer conversion?

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    Should Get Out More gremlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Dunno. Looked into one in a previous house but the loft was too by a matter of a couple of inches. A builder I Know reckons an additional bedroom around my way adds 100k to a property, though I'd take that with a pinch of salt. Factor in with a loft job that you lose a chunk of first floor space to the additional stairs.

    Plus you're fucked for where to put your Christmas tree for the other 48 weeks of the year.

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    Should Get Out More Horse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Quote Originally Posted by Trogladyte View Post
    And has anyone gone for anything more ambitious than the traditional dormer conversion?
    Next door neighbours, both sides (30s semis), have done loft conversions where they have taken out the hip and built a gable end. After that, the resemblance ended. One built a giant box out of the back, almost to the full height of the original roof, the other built two pitched-roof dormers. Guess which looks better? However, you don't spend much time in the garden admiring the roof!

    Also, 'box' side made the two main bedrooms and bathroom smaller, to have bigger landing & 2nd floor access stairs. I don't know how 'dorner' side achieved access, but I know it caused some delays getting approval.

    The builder who did my extension reckoned 35k+ to convert ours - which is probably cheaper than moving, but the cost would really be in grief and dust . . .

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    Really Bored
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    About 20 years ago I viewed a house that had a loft conversion, the owner was very proud of it.
    I was a bit suspicious about his enthusiasm and asked a few more questions, turned out hed done it himself by cutting out the trusses and plasterboarding it out.
    I left a bit quick.

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    Should Get Out More Mad Ax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Ours is being finished this week. 1900s red brick end-of-terrace. Cost 40K. The wife said something about the mortgage company adding around 60K to the property value once done but would want a full evaluation to know for sure.

    Single velux window on the front side, full-height dormer on the back. Plenty of floor space, also storage for traditional lofty-stuff in the space left under the slopy bit of the roof. Also our existing roof has an L-shaped section heading off to the rear of the property, we paid 500 extra to have that boarded and insulated and a door added so we can use it for dry storage (e.g. clothes and other stuff that would perish in a conventional loft).

    We have lost no space on the existing landing because the new staircase is above the existing one (despite our original stairs being very steep and narrow, the stair builders were able to build a new staircase to match). We had the turn situated at the top so we lose a tiny bit of space on the top floor but it's by the door swing anyway, this meant we could have a larger window at the top of the staircase so the existing landing has some natural light, staircase was also kept open (banisters and spindles) rather than boxed so the existing landing doesn't feel narrow. It IS f'n narrow, it always was, but didn't feel so because of the banister overlooking the staircase, IYSWIM. We could have had the turn at the bottom but would have meant relocating the door into the master bedroom and therefore relocating the MB radiator.

    No planning permission was needed, all buildings regs adhered to (had inspection last week), mains-wired smoke detectors have been added to all rooms to be fire regs compliant.

    If you are thinking of having something done then get plenty of quotes and consider someone who specialises in loft conversions. We used a local company who only does loft conversions and nothing else and they have been absolutely brilliant. Job done in around 6 weeks IIRC which was spot on what they estimated, despite having some problems (like pre-existing water damage causing the ceiling to collapse in the small bedroom when they started walking around on the rafters) and us adding new bits on (like boarding and insulating the second loft space).

    Get plenty of people in because we had a few tell us that it couldn't be done due to lack of space, buildings regs, fire regs, or any number of other daft reasons. An architect told us there wouldn't be headroom at the top of a staircase so we would have to reverse our existing staircase before we started, and said we'd need a supporting steel added all the way to the foundations through the dining room / stair support. A builder told us the dormer could only go as far as the purlin (our conversion goes all the way to the wall and the purlin is long gone). One told us we'd have to replace all the original doors with modern fire doors throughout the entire house. With so much incoherent and conflicting information it was such a relief to have a contractor say "yes, it can all be done, full-height full-length dormer, keep your original doors, open staircase, fitted smoke detectors, no planning required and I will handle all the buildings regs and inspections as part of the job."

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Subtle, isn't it?

    Lofty.jpg

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Mines a Victorian terraced so had high ceilings, I took out all the walls on the first floor so I could drop the ceilings from about ten foot to seven foot eleven.
    That meant I had more space in the loft conversion and the staircase didn't take up as much space with the "going" part.
    Basically the going is the length and the total rise is the height. Lessen the height it has to rrise to and you also lessen the going.

    I put perimeter joists in with resin and stainless steel 12mm threaded bar then 225x75mm joists at 400mm centres across the 4.6 metre span from party wall to party wall, two runs of steel herringbone struts to brace the joists and take any bounce out.
    Chipboard flooring and then braces to stop the roof from hogging.
    I put the biggest Velux roof lights I could afford in and have say I prefer em to dormas, dorma windows never seem to let good light in, its always just lighting up the dorma cheeks and you have to stand right there to benefit from it, plus far too many dormas are bloody narrow things.
    Theres still little jobs to do but hell, I'm a builder, nobody expects a builders house to be finished do they?
    Last edited by demographic; 11-11-19 at 00:44.

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Re doors, neighbours with the 'box' loft were told to replace all interior doors*, don't think the other side did!

    * We had one of their old 1930s doors to go in our new extension!

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Ours is a Edwardian semi. The whole thing is L shaped, withe the sticky out bit of the L comprising the kitchen (with basement under it) and a bedroom above it. The loft space is quite substantial. I think I will get in two good sized rooms and a bathroom. Was also wondering if a balcony on top of the bedroom/kitchen stack would be a possibility.

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    Annoying The Idiots Yorick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    A loft conversion should only have 4 things. Sofa, beer fridge and 2 BFO speakers

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    Should Get Out More Trogladyte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorick View Post
    A loft conversion should only have 4 things. Sofa, beer fridge and 2 BFO speakers
    Yeah. On it.

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Quote Originally Posted by Trogladyte View Post
    Yeah. On it.

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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    Re doors, neighbours with the 'box' loft were told to replace all interior doors*, don't think the other side did!

    * We had one of their old 1930s doors to go in our new extension!
    Usually have to have door closers on all the doors that open onto the staircase as its a fire escape and when I did mine they had to be FD20 which meant they had to be fire resistant to 20 mins fire but didn't need brush strips like FD30's do.
    Might have changed since then though.

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    Should Get Out More Horse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    We're about 5 minutes on blues'n'twos from a full-time crewed fire station. Would that make any difference to the fire resistance criteria?

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    Should Get Out More Mad Ax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loft conversions

    Quote Originally Posted by Trogladyte View Post
    Was also wondering if a balcony on top of the bedroom/kitchen stack would be a possibility.
    Would be interesting to hear the outcome of this. Our bathroom has a flat roof which would make a fab balcony, but I expect there will be planning / buildings regs that prevent it due to overlooking neighbouring gardens.

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