Loft Conversions

An assessment will need to take place to see if the loft is suitable for a conversion. An architectural designer will look at the height, roof pitch, and footprint of the roof area. Based on the dimensions, they will design and draw out proposed floor plans and elevations to visualise how the room can be used, whether being a bedroom with en-suite or an alternative room for the house such as an office, playroom etc. 

Loft Conversion Types

There are a few ways to maximise the space within the loft and get the most of natural light. Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  • Roof Light
  • Single Dormer
  • Full Width Dormer
  • Side Dormer
  • Hip-to-Gable
  • L-Shape Dormer
  • Mansard 
  • Pre Fabricated 

 

Planning Permission

A loft conversion itself does not require planning permission, unless there is a restrictive historic condition preventing such conversions without applying to the local council. 

 

Under permitted development, you can erect dormers and roof lights to the loft conversion, subject to limitations. If the loft conversion alters the roof form in any shape, then this would be considered ‘development’ and therefore is subject to planning control. 

 

Although planning permission may not be required, it is advisable to obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness, which is a formal document from the council stating that it is permitted development.  This can help with at the time of a selling a home as solicitors will carry out checks to the house to see if everything has been built lawfully, compliant to planning control.

Although planning permission may not be required, it is advisable to obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness

Building Regulations

A loft conversion is subject to approval from Building Control. The architectural designer and structural engineer will look at the build of the proposed conversion checking the structural strength, the stability of the new loft, a fire escape, stairs to the loft, and insulation.

Party Wall

A party wall agreement may be required where your house is semi-detached or terraced as the loft will adjoin a neighbouring property. The agreement can cost around £800-£1000, however if you are able to get your neighbour to sign a waiver, you may be able to alleviate this cost. 

Costs

The cost of the loft conversion is based on the room type, design and materials. To complete the planning and design of the proposed loft conversion it usually costs around £1,6000. If it requires any structural calculations or advice, then this can cost around £500.


Outbuildings

An outbuilding can be used in different ways:

  • Gym
  • Home Office
  • Study Room
  • Swimming Pool
  • Sauna
  • Games Room

It all depends on the intended use of the building, whether it’s used all year round, or during the warm seasons. The use of the outbuilding will determine which materials will be required to make it suitable.

Types of Outbuilding

Modular – A modular outbuilding is flat packed and ready to be fitted. It can be ordered and pre-built to be assembled on site.

Bespoke – A bespoke option is where the outbuilding is designed and built according to your needs with a planner, architectural designer and builder.

Planning Permission

An outbuilding can be erected under permitted development rights without the need to apply for planning permission to the local council under Class E, Part 1, Schedule 2 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

This all depends on the planning history of the property and the local council. A planning expert can confirm whether there are any constraints restricting the erection of an outbuilding. 

If there are no constraints, then it can be built without planning permission, subject to conditions and limitations. A planning expert can assess the proposed outbuilding in terms of its use and dimensions and make sure it complies with permitted development.

Bigger outbuildings and different types of uses may require planning permission. This is where a planning expert’s knowledge and experience will help you to maximise the potential of your desired outbuilding whilst complying with the local plans and policies of the area. 

Bigger outbuildings and different types of uses may require planning permission.

Building Control

Smaller outbuildings that are less than 15 square metres and propose no sleeping accommodation, then usually it doesn’t require to comply with Building Regulations.

For outbuildings bigger than 15 square metres or/and propose sleeping accommodation, then it usually requires compliance with Building Regulations. An architectural designer will draw up detailed plans of the outbuilding providing specifications for the building inspectors to complete their assessment and approve the build.

Costs

The cost of the outbuilding depends on a number of factors; the use, size, materials, insulation and finishes. 

A simple shed can cost around £750, whereas a bespoke games room, which will require heating, insulation, ventilation and electricity, would be more costly.


Garage Conversions

A garage can be converted into a number of different types of rooms. It can add value to the property by up to 20 percent. 

Here are the different ways it can be used as:

  • Gym
  • Home Office
  • Study Room
  • Bedroom 
  • Extended existing rooms such as a living room, kitchen etc.

Planning Permission

To convert a garage, it is paramount to first carry out a planning check. A planning expert can look into historic planning permission on the house which may have conditions stipulated restricting garage conversions.  

If the house doesn’t have any restrictive conditions, then as long as the proposed room is used in connection with the main house by its occupants for residential purposes then you may carry out the works without applying for planning permission. 

A garage can be converted into a number of different types of rooms which can add value to the property by up to 20 percent.

Building Control

Although the conversion may not require planning permission, in most cases, it would be subject to Building Control’s consent. With the detailed plans provided by an architectural designer, an application is submitted to notify the local council and building inspector of the proposed works. They will carry out an inspection of building works to ensure it complies with the regulations. They will look at the structural soundness of the building works, the damp proof course, the insulations, electrics, ventilation and fire proofing.

Party Wall

A party wall agreement may be required where the garage wall adjoins a neighbouring property. 

If you are able to get your neighbour to sign a waiver, you may be able to alleviate any additional costs. 

Costs

The cost of the garage conversion is based on the room type, design and materials. To complete the planning and design of the proposed garage conversion it usually costs around £1,600. If it requires any structural calculations or advice, then this can cost around £500.


Porches

Porch Types

There are a few types of porches you can build:

  • Brick Porch
  • Lean to Porch
  • UPVC Porch
  • Aluminum Porch

Planning Permission

Under Class D, Part 1, Schedule 2 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, porches can be erected to dwellinghouses without planning permission. 

Front porches can be built under permitted development subject to a few limitations and conditions. A planning expert can advise whether your proposed front porch needs planning permission.  

Front porches can be built under permitted development subject to a few limitations and conditions

Building Control

For smaller projects, building regulations approval isn’t required where the porch is:

  • Ground level
  • Less than 3 m2
  • Situated in front of an existing front door 
  • Not adversely affecting the access.

Compliance with Building Regulations usually relates to when the porch consists of windows and electrical installations. The architectural designer provides the relevant details of the windows, and the electrical work needs to be carried out by a qualified electrician who certifies it is safe and compliant..

Costs

The cost of the porch depends on a number of factors, namely the type of porch, size and materials.