Loft Conversions Builders

Loft Conversions Building Company

South East London, Central London and Beyond

Choosing the right loft conversion company for your project is crucial to ensure the common pitfalls are avoided and your conversion results in a real success and a brilliant extra space you and your loved ones can enjoy.

No matter your ideas, from windows to interiors, P&A are experienced loft conversion builders that you can trust to exceed expectations.

We cover a wide range of areas, from our local area in South East London and beyond, we can arrange the specialists and professionals required to turn your ideas into reality.

Our team and trusted experts can help with a variety of requirements, including:

  • Planning permissions & building control drawings
  • Building regulations
  • Surveying
  • Architectural drawings and designs
  • Interior designs
  • Structural engineers
  • Plumbing and heating

The Loft Conversion Process – Step By Step Guide

Something, at some point will trigger the need to make more space in your home. This might be a growing family, or simply the want for a luxury space for yourself. Whatever your reason for thinking about having a loft conversion, price, adding value to your home or not wanting to use up your precious garden space for a development, you’ll soon realise the only way is up!

At this point you’ll start your research, and on many occasions, you may be told, this isn’t viable for your home, you won’t be granted planning permission and many other reasons. Don’t worry this is far from the end, we’ve been to hundreds of homes that have been told exactly this, and we’ve resolved their problem. Many smaller or inexperienced builders won’t touch, or can’t manage certain types of loft conversions, but from our experience, rarely can we not find a solution. So just give a call and book a design and survey consultation and we’ll help you start making your ideas into a reality.

After contacting us, we’ll book a time slot to come over to your home. Don’t worry, we’ll ring you in advance if we are going to arrive outside that time!

On arrival our professional surveyor will have an initial discussion about your requirements and then do some base measurements and complete some checks on what is viable for your home. After this they will sit and discuss what options you have, and you’ll both agree one what you’d like us to quote for.

A few days later you’ll receive a quote in writing for the work discussed at the survey. The quote is preliminary at this stage, as more detail will be needed to complete a guaranteed quote (see next stage). If you’re happy, let us know and we’ll move to stage two.

Oh and we forgot to mention, this stage is carried out at zero cost to you.

Once you’ve decided you want to proceed, then next we get a full set of architectural drawings done and an engineering report. This means a second visit to take detailed measurements, which usually take about an hour to complete.

Once the drawings are complete, you can review these, you can make whatever updates you feel necessary to make it perfect for you and your home. We are of course on hand for advice at every stage.

When we have a finalised set of drawings, we’ll pull together a full itemised fixed price quote for the project. This is a guaranteed quote for your specifications defined at the drawing stage, meaning you have peace of mind that you’ll know what you’re getting.

Once you’ve reviewed the quote, and you’re happy to proceed, we’ll start the process of getting planning permission for your project. This is a slick process now as we know what to put forward to complete this quickly on your behalf.

Typically 6 to 8 weeks later, we now have everything in place to commence work. We’ll then look to schedule your project into our work, and we’ll provide you with a provisional start date. We are a busy bunch, but your loft conversion will be scheduled in as soon as we can.

Long before any works starts, we’ll be busy preparing everything for your loft conversions. We take into consideration the Party Wall regulations and order all the materials ready for the big start. A few days before we do, scaffolding will be placed around the property to make it safe and secure to complete the work ahead.

Most loft conversions have very little impact on the people living with the house, making it another big reason people choose this option over extensions. With this fact in mind we can make pretty quick progress on getting the new loft structure into place. Before you know it, we’ll have a base shell and a staircase into the loft.

With a few short weeks, your property will be almost complete, and you’ll be wondering how you ever managed to live without it. The final part of this process will be to ensure you’re happy with everything that’s been fitted, and complete a sign-off. This leaves you to start decorating and completing the new loft with furniture and your personal belongings.

Once the work comes to completion, we’ll be working to get your building regulations signed-off, as well as any sign-off needed by the local planning authority if needed. The final paperwork to be completed will be your 10 year guarantee for the work we have completed, so you now have full peace of mind.

The site will now be cleaned-up, scaffolding removed if not done so already, and we’ll leave you to enjoy your new loft conversion.

After this we might be in touch from time to time to check all is well, and to see if you would mind the occasional visitor to show them your new loft. As we said this we try to show all our new customers work we have completed, just like we did for you.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your lovely new home…

If you are planning a loft conversion you may have heard that the work needs to comply with building regulations. What are building regulations? And what are the building regulations for a loft conversion?

What are building regulations?

Building regulations are created by the government that set minimum standards required when designing, building or altering a building.
Planning permission and building regulations are not the same thing.

It is possible that you need both planning permission and building regulations for your loft conversion.

Are building regulations approval required for my loft conversion?

Yes. You will require building regulations approval for your loft conversion if it is to become habitable space.

What do I need building regulation approval?

The government sets minimum national standards for building works via these regulations. Some of the aspect’s construction projects needs to comply with are as follows:

Fire escape
Ventilation
Insulation
Drainage
Stability
Safety

Building regulations play an important role in ensuring buildings meet the certain standards.

Who assesses standards and provides building regulations approval?

There are two options. You can either choose a local authority inspector from your local council or an inspector from a government approved private building inspection firm.

You have a choice as to whether you submit full plans or a building notice. If you go for a full plan’s application, you will need to provide detailed drawings that will be checked and approved by the building inspector. The drawings are detailed and complex but beneficial for a builder as the specification for their work will be clear.

A building notice means you can start the project without prior approval, however throughout the project it will be the builders responsibility to ensure the whole project complies with building regulations.

What building regulations will be assessed in my loft conversion?

Items that an inspector will assess include : –

Fire escape – many aspects will be monitored including fire resistant doors, smoke alarms and fire protection.
Sound insulation – sound insulation between rooms will be assessed, as well as the party wall if you have a neighbour next door that also has a loft conversion

Floors – It is unlikely that the original ceiling joists will be able to support the new loft space, so new floor joists will be installed. They will need to be checked to ensure they support the structure adequately. New steels and beams may also be introduced; the inspector will check these too.
Safety of Stair Design – For fire safety there will need to be a check on the staircase. The structure will also need to be checked to ensure there is enough support for the ceilings and floors.

Doors and Windows – They should be energy efficient, so the building control inspector will check the thermal heat loss.
Safety will also be assessed, for example if any glazed area in a window is below 800mm from floor level, 300mm from a door and up to 1500mm from floor level then safety glazing will need to be installed.Each window and door will be assessed for ventilation ensuring they provide the right amount, dependant on the room. For example, a bathroom or utility room will need to have higher levels of ventilation as there will be more moisture in the air than in a bedroom. In a bedroom, windows can be sufficient but, in a bathroom, you likely need an extractor fan and window(s).
Fireproof doors may be required in unprotected areas, the inspector will evaluate the fire escape route and if there is a need for fireproof doors. They may also be required to be self-closing. Some windows may need to be fixed if there is a risk of a fire spreading to adjoining properties.
The new window being installed will need to be large enough for the means of escape. Normally you need to have a minimum of one window per room.

Internal Walls – The internal walls will need to be checked if you are knocking through, building a new one, or opening a wall up. The impact this will have on the building will be factored in and if the wall is load bearing or not.

Roof – the roof may be checked to see if movement has occurred with the alteration. Movement can create cracks in the walls or in the worst-case scenario the roof could collapse so it is important for it to be checked thoroughly by the inspector.

External walls – The existing walls will need to be checked for the new weight to ensure they can take the load and structure stability. They will also be assessed for thermal efficiency and weather resistance. If the external wall is being re-rendered or cladded this will also need to be checked.

Electrics – Your electrics must comply with building regulations so pick someone who is qualified and registered to be able to sign off the work.
Notifiable jobs are installation of a new fuse box or consumer unit, installing a completely new circuit and alterations to an existing circuit.

Kitchen and bathrooms – The kitchen and bathrooms themselves will not necessarily need to be checked by the building inspector but the ventilation, electrics, thermal performance, fire safety and drainage will be checked to ensure it is adequate.

Drainage – If the roof size is being increased, then you may need to increase your rainwater pipes and gutters. This will be something the inspector will look out for. If you do not have sufficient drainage and gutters, then you could be at risk of flooding.

When should we inform the inspector about the start of a loft conversion?

As early as possible in the project

When do the inspections take place for the loft conversion?

The building inspector will need to be given notice that the works are about to start at least 7 days before the work commences. They will then visit the site and check the building conditions on commencement. Some of the visits they are likely to come out and check on are as follows:

Commencement
Structure (steels, timbers & stairs)
Insulation
Fire regulations Windows & Doors
Drainage
Final Inspection (exterior complete)

What happens if the conversion does not meet the building regulations standard?

If there is something that does not meet the building regulations standard, the builder will need to resolve the issue then contact the building inspector, so he can come and assess after the issue has been resolved.

Once the project is complete, what happens then?

The building inspector will do a final inspection to sign off and then supply a completion certificate.

How much does building control cost?

The typical cost for building control services on a standard loft conversion is between £600 and £800.

Conclusion

Building regulations are a protection and can give you peace of mind that your project is meeting a certain standard. Hire a competent builder who understands the building regulations well to avoid issues and delays.

Notes

Do I need planning permission? To check whether you need to get planning permission, you’ll need an architect or builder to confirm this. But as a guide, you shouldn’t need planning permission if your proposed conversion satisfies the following conditions:

The total area of the additional space won’t exceed 40 cubic metres for terraced houses or 50 cubic metres for detached or semi-detached houses (this allowance includes not only any extra space you create with this loft, but also any previous additions that have been made, such as an extension)

The extension does not reach beyond the outermost part of the existing roof slope at the front of the house The extension does not go higher than the highest part of the roof Materials are similar in appearance to the existing house

There are no verandas, balconies or raised platforms Side-facing windows are obscure-glazed (ie frosted or patterned to stop people seeing in) Side-facing window openings are 1.7m or more above the floor Your house is not on designated land, namely national parks, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, the Broads, conservation areas and World Heritage sites Roof extensions, other than hip-to-gable ones, are set back as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves

Loft Conversions

Project Example - Loft Conversions Builders - South East London, Central London and Beyond
Project Example - Loft Conversions Builders - South East London, Central London and Beyond

Testimonials

Having renovated our entire property over the last year we have had lots of experience with different tradesmen. P&A properties stand out by a mile as being the best we’ve hired. Their communication is excellent, their pricing is transparent and fair and they really know what they’re doing. The finish of the build is great and we felt in safe hands throughout. No ask was too big for Paul and Alison and we would have no hesitation at all in recommending them to anyone who asks. We fully intend to engage them again on future projects.

Oliver

Paul, Alison and team did a great job redecorating three of our bedrooms. They were always on time, were responsive to comments and achieved a great finish. Would definitely work with them again in the future.

Rob

Loft Conversions Building Company

South East London, Central London and Beyond

Contact us today for a free consultation about your building or renovation project

Call us on 01689 812942 or email us at enquiries@pa-designandbuild.co.uk

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