Frequently asked questions about loft conversions

We understand that choosing the right loft conversion company can be tough so here are our F.A.Q’s to help answer any questions you may have.

Can my loft be converted?
Yes. Many people who look up into their loft see that they have no means of using it as a room, because of all the ‘W’ shaped roof trusses that form the structure of the roof. We can remove these and construct steel or timber trusses which run the length of the loft and provide all the support necessary.
Is my loft too small?
In order to comply with Building Regulations, your loft has to be a minimum of 2.4m or 7’8″ at its highest point (i.e. the apex of the roof). Those measurements are taken from the top surface of the ceiling boards below, to the felt at the very apex of the roof. With that in mind, we can make the most of even the smallest lofts with the imaginative use of dormer windows and staircase positioning.
How long does a loft conversion take?
For an average sized home, from commencement of work, we would normally be complete in an average of 6-8 weeks depending on the size and scope of works.
How much does a loft conversion cost?
The cost of a loft conversion varies significantly from project to project. We offer a free no-obligation estimation service for all customers. Call us today on 01276 889151 for more details.
What about planning permission?
Any major modification or extension to your home may require formal approval from your local authority planning department, to ensure that it complies with local guidelines.
However, since a change to the national planning guidelines in late 2008, the majority of loft conversions comprising Velux style roof windows and many types of dormer have become exempt from requiring planning permission, provided they conform to the revised rules set out under the national legislation. The legislation – known as permitted development rights (PD rights) – allows modifications to property without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres 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 eaves

Full details can be found on the UK Planning Portal website.

I have a water tank and a chimney in my loft, is that a problem?
Using our own plumbers we can easily reposition any plumbing to maximise usable space in the loft. Chimney stacks usually have to remain in position, although can be removed, often subject to planning.
Will I need a Dormer Window?
Nearly all loft conversions can have a dormer window, which can provide useful extra space in a tight loft, and add light and outlook to a room. Some smaller lofts may require a dormer at the top of the stairs to provide the necessary headroom as you climb the stairs into the loft.
My house is timber framed, is this a problem when completing a loft conversion?
No. We have undertaken several conversions of timber framed properties already, just contact us to discuss your requirements.
I would like a bathroom in the loft conversion, what impact does this have?
Bathrooms do require additional considerations, particularly ensuring the water supply to the loft is sufficient to meet your expectations. Often when placing a bathroom in a loft we recommend removing traditional tanks and installing an unvented water system. When designing your conversion, the position of existing bathroom services will be taken into consideration to ensure services are available. Your surveyor would be happy to discuss these options with you.
How much space will I realistically achieve from a loft conversion?
This is entirely dependent on the size of your property and height of your loft today. Please call us on 01276 889151 where we would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and provide you with an idea of the floor area available and a conversion estimate.
Do you provide Velux Windows as part of the loft conversion?
Your surveyor will work with you to specify roof windows and dormer windows to achieve your objectives. At Thinklofts we use only industry leading Velux roof windows that provide more flexible solutions together with outstanding reliability.
How will a loft conversions affect my home?
Thinklofts undertakes all conversions in a manner that causes as little disruption as possible to our clients. You will be able to remain living in the property throughout the conversion. Our staff are highly professional and experienced in working with domestic clients. We will leave your home in a habitable, clean and safe condition throughout.
How does the cost of a dormer loft conversion increase compared to a Velux only?
An individual dormer window does increase the cost of the conversion, however these do provide additional space within the conversion and in some cases are a requirement. Where dormer windows are not required, a number of Velux windows can be used and combined to created larger banks of windows that will allow more light into a room than a dormer window. A large bank of the larger Velux windows will often be comparable in cost to that of a single dormer window.