We get a splendid many requests to view the capability of Loft conversions. This form of extension has remained pretty famous due to the fact I first started designing property & is perhaps even greater in call for now than ever earlier than – specially in dense urban areas where the opportunity alternatives for that fourth bed room are fairly constrained.
Now, the famous press could have you ever agree with that they do not add price or have confined attraction. However, that blanket extensive brush, slightly disrespectful opinion does now not ring actual for maximum of our clients. So what is going on? As always, the devil is within the detail – the detail in this recognize is especially focussed on two number one regions:
1. DESIGN and a couple of. DESIGN.
It’s much like the vicinity, vicinity location slogan for house values & desirability. Fortunately, the planners have were given to grips with quite a few loft conversions in recent times & they now have a splendid greater manage of schemes that some years ago might have been built beneath Permitted Development. This manner that they’ve encompassed ‘properly layout guides’ in an try and stamp out the unsightly full width field dormer that grew to become a stunning victorian semi into a something that seems like a car sized packing crate seeking to break out from a neighbours roof.
Conversely, many human beings have argued that the ‘chocolate field’ cottage kind pointy roofed dormers (as recommended via the planners) are quite without a doubt impractical & do no longer offer sufficient area for a completely purposeful room which in lots of instances is a very valid & proper point. HOWEVER, existence is all approximately compromises & selections ought to be made. Fortunately, most contributors of the general public are actually becoming a ways extra ‘layout conscious’ than they ever used to be & slowly with the aid of slowly they are starting to accept that the formation of greater area need to no longer be at the cost of a poor external visible effect that in reality jars with the whole look of the locality. This kind of terrible dormer design cannot handiest decrease the value of your house but that of the neighbours as nicely.
But all over again there are exceptions. Some suburbs of London for instance have a plethora of these forms of loft extensions & the ones that have now not yet been converted appearance out of place. These styles of areas pay greater interest to the internal design of the living area than the grotty externals – is going with the environment I assume. Also, a few areas are 70’s & 80’s constructed estates where the whole so known as ‘architect design’ became for this fashion of flat roofed box dormer that’s a normally regular reality for the vicinity & enjoyed through many.
So, again to my authentic query – Does a loft conversion or extension upload value? In my opinion YES in practically all cases baring a few exceptions. Should or not it’s my first preference of residential improvement if my web page has surrounding floor that permits alternative solutions? Well no for my part until your property is a bungalow. A loft conversion for the standard 2 storey dwelling residence (detached, semi or terrace) must perhaps be at the ‘last choice’ list rather than your first choice – extra to do with peoples perceptions in place of whatever scientific I could quote.
When we verify a loft conversions viability we run via a form of assessment test list before we advocate our customers & we always steer them toward satisfactory searching, nicely balanced, recessed type of pitched roof dormers at the sacrifice of a few space in preference to the ‘unpleasant duckling’ alternative. However, like every services, many clients do now not value the outside appearance as a great deal & they insist on the largest dormer viable specially if it can be constructed under the websites Permitted Development allowances (no making plans permission essential) – Do we nevertheless take the process? – yes of direction we do its our dwelling however our signal board by no means goes up at some stage in the development works.
Some human beings subscribing to our information letter may value our ‘design lead’ method so we agenda beneath a number of our assessment standards relating to loft conversions that you can find useful:-
1. Does it need Planning Permission – If so using the councils design guides is a ought to. Some front or aspect going through dormers may also nevertheless be resisted even supposing they may be small. Velux windows regularly conquer these objections. In maximum cases, huge bulky box dormers will not be allowed.
2. What area of latest area does the customer require – Many clients have overambitious floor area goals & visualise three bedrooms for instance (all with ensuite of course). They fail to understand the loss of floor area due to the giant sloping soffits, & the brand new stairs.
3. Where can the new stair set move – Many clients fail to recognize that their favored location for the steps does now not reap the desired head room in the new floor as an instance. In most instances a few present ground area of the bedrooms for example will need to be sacrificed.
Four. It is higher to acquire one or two enormous functional rooms to atone for the shortage of head room in some regions of the brand new rooms instead of seeking to cram in the bed room numbers for the sake of it in which the brand new rooms can become not anything greater than unmarried mattress dozing podules with little or no in-built amenity price.
Five. If flat roofed dormers can best be accomplished because of the low ridge peak then break up the dormers into 2 or three smaller ones without a greater than 1200mm (four’) extensive home windows to break up its bulk. Always, continually continually recess the dormer into the roof slope to lessen the dormers bulk – DO NOT BUILD THE EXTERNAL FACE OF THE DORMER WALL OFF THE EXISTING EXTERNAL WALL OF THE HOUSE.
6. If a customer needs a conversion with most effective Velux type roof lighting fixtures then all well & proper (a whole lot cheaper as nicely). However an workout must be finished to explore the possibilities of a strategically placed dormer or two that regularly frees up an additional 30% ground vicinity that the patron might not have realised for little or no extra cash.
7. Dormers are not the best design approach to more mild & area – consideration could also accept to a hip to gable conversion of the aspect roof as an example that wont look out of preserving (until your a semi of direction).
8. As a rule of thumb to the practicality of your new room in the roof – if you may already touch the ridge board while status inside the loft (about 2.3M or less), then its typically too small to form useful functioning bedrooms unless a cumbersome container dormer is constructed (which is what we are seeking to avoid) If it’s miles a place only for a play room or a observe then all properly & desirable however beware, many people have embarked on tight loft conversions simplest to realise too overdue that that they have no wherein to location the bed or find a cloth wardrobe.
There are a awesome many other problems to consider as nicely while completing loft conversions inclusive of overheating, fireplace regs, climate safety at some point of the works and so forth. & those are predominant discussion subjects in themselves that I will go away for every other day. However, the factors indexed above are the main ones relative to the external layout & look of loft conversions.