Loft conversions

 

Probuilder is the reliable, competent & professional building company that has completed many loft conversion projects inside and around of London and Kent.  All of our team are have a wealth of knowledge in a domestic building setting & carry out there work confidently, effectively and efficiently in a safe, respectful & polite manner. We take a customer centric approach and share your passion in creating your new living space or loft refurbishment.

Probuilder will supply the service you expect from one of London's leading building firms, turning that old dusty attic or loft space into a bright, open, and warm space. The new space can bestow an additional bedroom with beautiful furnishings with the addition of shower & toilet facilities or could be a smart home office with ingenious storage & working solutions.

 

Loft conversions are popular if you  have a space restraint, then depending on the suitability of the property a loft conversion could be the perfect solution. There are three types of loft conversion, roof light, hip to gable & dormer.

Considerations

Where you live

The location of the property can effect if you'll need planning permission for your loft conversion. Most conversions can be completed under permitted development rights.

Type of roof

The roof type and structure can dictate the type of conversion that can be achieved.

Budget

A conversion that is over budget and under used is no good to no one. Probuilder will give detailed breakdown of all the cost.

Usage

Are you going to use the space for an office, storage space or a play room. Does it require a bathroom or internet connectivity.

Property type

Detached house

Detached properties have the easiest and quickest loft spaces to convert. They are large and offer easy access for the contractor to work. They also provide choice for the home owner as they can opt for mansard or dormer style conversion. The loft can also be converted into a roof light style space.

Dormer roof with no roof covering
Dormer roof with no roof covering

bathroom installed inside a loft convers
bathroom installed inside a loft convers

Copy of IMG_E0441
Copy of IMG_E0441

Dormer roof with no roof covering
Dormer roof with no roof covering

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Semi detached house

Most semi detached properties have a roof that slopes on three sides. These types of houses are most suitable for a "hip to gable" conversion that requires the removal of part of the roof and building some additional walling. Its sounds complicated but it a reasonably straight forward process.

terranced house.jpg

Terraced house

A terraced house is suitable for a dormer style conversion or a mansard conversion. The former being the most popular because they do not usually require planning permission, have low intrusiveness on the client & add a good amount of space and light into the new room.

Loft conversion process

So, what is the process behind converting a loft or attic space into a beautiful new room for your family to use as a new bed room or play room area. It could even be a work space equipped with all the essentials needed to  carry out your profession from home. We have put together the guide displayed below that will give you an in depth look at what is involved with converting your properties roof space. All properties are different so require a unique approach but most conversions follow a general rule of thumb that is outlined below. You can also check out our ever growing database of information in our knowledge bank & in our blogs.

Erecting scaffolding

A scaffolding will be erected around the property. This will allow easy access to the roof. The scaffolding will be built by a third party contractor and will remain in place through out the project. At the end of each day any ladder or winching apparatus will be removed for safety.

scaffolding.jpg

Remove part of the roof

structural roofing steel.jpg

The next step is to remove part of the roof. While the roof is open any steel beams that need to be installed during the loft conversion will be winched / craned into the loft space. Depending of the style, the roof could be open for several days. If this is the case, then an "up and over" scaffolding will need to be erected to keep the loft space dry.

Steel work

The steel beams will now installed as per the specifications, The steel can be secured in position in a number of ways., either be securing the steel to an existing structural wall or resting upon another structure in the property. A structural engineer will be used to calculate the requirements of any load bearing structures with the property.

steel girder secured into a structural w

Build walls

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Some attic conversions will need to have walls built, usually at the edge of the building. These walls can be built using thermalite blocks or house bricks and will need to be insulated to conform to building regulations, If thermalite blocks are used then they'll need to be rendered at a later stage. These walls will become structural walls and will be used to re-build the roof or secure steel work to.

Re-build the roof & build dormers

The roof & dormers will need to built from c24 graded structural timber. The boards to face the dormers are built using exterior ply. It is acceptable to use recycled timber boards to cover the the roof section of the dormer as this be become waterproof once the final roof surface is installed. The boards should be minimum 12mm thick.

timber faced dormer on loft conversion.j

Windows

windows and radiator in loft conversion.

Once the roof structure is complete & the windows are installed then the space will be water tight subject to any exterior work being finished. At this stage the shape and character of the space will become evident and final finish can be visualised.

Insulation

The loft space will need to be insulated, this includes the roof, walls and floor area. A vapor barrier should always be deployed to prevent moisture finding its way into the roof cavity and causing problems later on.

Insulation of extension roof.jpg

Electrical cables and heating

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The light and electrical socket will be connected to the consumer unit on independent rcd's. If electrical heaters or a shower are going to be used then these will also require their own independent power source. There may be a requirement to install a separate consumer unit if the existing one has become to full. If the radiators are to be connected to the existing  heating system then the pipes will be fixed directly to the existing pipework. Once the installation is complete any air trapped in the system should be bled out.

Bathroom or toilet area

If a bathroom, toilet or a small wash area is to be installed, It is best to build any bathrooms areas close to the existing lower floor bathroom. if possible directly over the top is best. Its a good idea to have all of the pipes inside of the wall. There are lots of bathroom designs and we'll work with you to find the perfect solution. Any area that contains water should be totally waterproof.

bathroom installed inside a loft convers

Planning ahead

image shows the corner of a loft convers

Now is a good to make sure that all pipes and cables have been tested because once the space has been plastered in the next step then any changes become cumbersome. There is nothing worse than having to destroy work and waste money when a problem could have been dealt with at this point.

Plaster boards and plastering

The walls will be covered with plasterboards. See our bathrooms fitting page for information on why plaster boarding a bathroom should be avoided. Once the plasterboards have been installed they'll be plastered with at least two coats of multi finish plaster. This will ensure a lovely slat & smooth surface.

plastered wall in loft conversion.jpg

Install fixtures

door handle in lofy conversion.jpg

Fixtures and fittings will will now be added. This includes door architrave, plug sockets, There is a variety of plug & light sockets available to its worth researching the options. Door frames, wall coving, door handles etc should all be installed at this stage. Once this step is complete the loft conversion is ready for painting. This step is usually reserved for a third party contractor to finish.

Stair case & accessing the loft space

The loft conversion will need to be accessible via a stair case and in some cases require a fire escape. Opting for a elevator isn't uncommon either. The stair case itself will be built in the early stages of the project and will remain covered with dust sheets until this point. Some additional work on the stair case is usually needed at this point.

new staircase and banister leading to lo

Outstanding

Twin velux windows in loft conversion.jp

At this final stage of a construction project there will be small pieces of outstanding work to be completed. These are usually skip in drive way, small damages to another part of the property, achieving compliance with party wall agreements & other snagging work. At this stage the structure is ready for the final building control inspection.