So you’re thinking of having a loft conversion – great idea! Loft conversions are a great way of gaining well needed extra space without having to build an property extension. At first the amount of work may seem daunting, especially if you have never overseen a project like this before – that’s were we come in! A Bigger Home is here to do all the hard work for you. We do everything from design, planning and building control, right through to construction and completion. All you will have to concentrate on is the finishing touches to your new living space. First, lets take a few steps back and start at the beginning – planning permission. The first thing you should be thinking about, but do you even need planning permission? Well, Loft conversions are classed as permitted development and do not require planning permission, providing they meet the following conditions
Any new roofing must not exceed an additional 40 cubic metres of space on terraced houses.
Any new roofing must not exceed an additional 50 cubic metres of space on detached and semi-detached houses.
No extension must be made beyond the plane of the existing roof slope.
No extension can be higher than the highest part of the roof.
New roofing materials need to be like-for-like or close to original fittings.
There must be no raised platforms or balconies.
Side-facing windows must be set with obscured glazing and an opening 1.7-metres above the floor.
For listed buildings or those in conservation areas, visit planningportal.gov.uk
Many people are put off the idea of extending their property because of the same tired old saws that get trotted out by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, no longer! We’re going to bust a few of the most famous myths about property extensions and explain why there’s nothing stopping you from getting your dream home.
1. It’s expensive
It doesn’t have to be! If you agree a concrete plan with your contractors in advance and know exactly what you want, getting an extension on your property can be managed for a very affordable price.
2. It’ll take ages
Again, this is where it pays to be prepared. Jobs like property extensions only tend to balloon out of control when people are unclear or unsure of what they want to get out of it. In reality, it can be a simple matter of weeks before you have your home looking exactly how you want it.
3. I’ll need planning permission
This puts many people off the idea of an extension, but the reality is that unless you’re planning something seriously big, you very likely don’t need planning permission at all. It always pays to check — your local authority can help you if needed, but there’s a good chance you’re safe to start extending without having to fill in any forms.
4. Planning permission will take ages
If it turns out you do need planning permission, then don’t lose heart — as long as you take time to check all your documentation is in order, you can see your application through in a matter of weeks and get to building.
5. I need to ask the neighbours
In a similar vein, many people assume they need their neighbours’ consent before making any changes to their property. In some cases this is true, but it’s always worth booking a free home consultation, so we can spot any party wall issues.
6. The neighbours will never agree
If it transpires you do need your neighbours’ assent for the build, it’s easy to be afraid that your plans will fall at this hurdle. However, most people are reasonable, and if you provide your neighbour with realistic assessments of how everything will work and how long it’ll take, really they have no reason to turn you down.
7. I’ll have to move out
Building work can be disruptive of course, but there are many steps you can take to minimise this. From building a makeshift temporary kitchen to erecting stud partitions to ward off the dust, there are plenty of ways to stop an extension from disrupting your life and allow you to continue enjoying your home while the work goes on.
8. It’ll completely disrupt my life
Work on your home can be intense, but you’d be surprised how many people who’ve had work done on their house will tell you how easy it was to cope with. Again, planning and preparation will pay dividends.
9. I should only use builders my friends recommend
This is a common sentiment, but in reality it’s not always so simple. You can often find a much better deal by doing your own independent research and comparing the work of builders yourself. Don’t simply assume that someone who was the right fit for a friend is also the right fit for you!
10. People only extend to sell their homes on
It’s best not to think of it this way. If you’re in your forever home and couldn’t dream of going anywhere else, an extension can still be a wonderful thing for you. You might want more space, or find yourself wishing you had a space to entertain friends, or even find yourself facing the prospect of a growing family. Extensions aren’t just about selling — they’re about making homes.
11. I just don’t know where to start
Not everyone is a building maestro! You can set the level of involvement you have with your extension at precisely the level you’re comfortable with, whether you’re competent to draw up plans yourself, or you’re happy to completely leave it in the hands of the pros.
12. I’ll just never get round to it
That’s something we can fix right now! Give us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you.
Is it time you had more space? We list ten ways to tell if your home isn’t suiting your needs any more
1. There’s clutter at every turn
Does it seem like every surface of your home is taken up with stuff? Your desk, your dining table, your floors, your bed, all covered with various bits and bobs that you can’t get rid of but don’t seem to have any place for. If this sounds like your home, then it’s a big red flag that you need more space.
2. You’re constantly tidying up
In a similar vein, there’s always something that needs putting away, isn’t there? Whether it’s that sagging clothes horse, that jumble of shoes or those fancy wine glasses that don’t properly fit in the cupboard, it always seems like there’s something you need to find a space for yet again.
3. You work from bed / the sofa / the kitchen table
Ideally, if you work from home, you should have a dedicated space to do so. It’s better for your mind, health and wellbeing. If you’re constantly finding yourself working from the same space where you eat dinner, watch telly or — god forbid — sleep, then it may be time to admit to yourself that you need more space.
4.More kids than bedrooms
This is a classic. Whether you’ve got little ones sharing a bunkbed or boomeranging uni graduates who are looking to crash, if the kids outnumber the rooms they can sleep in then it’s time to have a serious think about your space.
5. Little personal space
Everyone needs peace and quiet every so often. Are you finding it hard to get yours? Do you find yourself longing for a quiet room where you can read, relax and enjoy a little you-time?n If so, then it’s time to make that room a reality.
6. You don’t want to entertain
This one can sneak up on you. It’s easy to make excuses to yourself for why you don’t want your friends and family to come round — oh it’s always stressful, we don’t want to cook, it’s nicer when we go out — but is the truth simply that you don’t feel your home is up to the task of entertaining your loved ones?
7. Glastonbury toilet queues
Morning bathroom arrangements can be fraught at the best of times. If you’re noticing a Glastonbury-style queue regularly forming outside your house’s one toilet, then you might need to think about easing that burden.
8. Stubbed toes
Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Whether it’s on chairs, the clothes horse, boxes or furniture, always finding yourself stubbing your toes is a surefire sign that you’ve got less space in your home than you need.
9. “Creative” storage
Laundry in the car. Shoes on the dishwasher. Plates in the airing cupboard. Do these kind of makeshift, improvised storage arrangements sound familiar?
10. You’re constantly dreaming of improvements
Following more than a few interior design accounts on Instagram? Constantly updating your Pinterest mood board with items from your dream home? Finding yourself saving Ikea furniture on your lunch break? It’s time to face facts — you need more space to make your home into what you always wanted.