Loft conversion questions

There's a lot involved with a loft conversion and the prospect of such a large project can be daunting. Browse through our most commonly asked questions to find out what you need to know

An external view of a loft conversion

How Long Does A Loft Conversion Take To Complete?

A loft conversion can take anything between 9-11 weeks as it depends on the nature of the conversion. A basic roofline conversion will take about 8 weeks. If you want a dormer conversion, an extra two weeks will be required. An extra week will be needed for fitting a bathroom and also for fitting a complex staircase.

How Much Does A Loft Conversion Cost?

A loft conversion costs between £60k to £75k and depends on what type of conversion is required. If this is more than you thought, then have a look at what's involved in building a loft conversion.

How Many Workman Will Be In My House?

There will be a maximum of 5 workmen in your home when the steel beams are being fitted and this is only for a few days. Usually, there will be 3 or 4 workmen on site; 2/3 craftsmen and either a plumber or electrician.

Will It Disrupt Our Routine?

A loft conversion in progress Our aim is to have the minimal impact on your family's routine during the conversion. We work between 8am and 4pm. We always leave your house tidy and vacuumed each day and use dust sheets wherever we can. We do not work on weekends.

Are You Insured?

Yes, we have full public liability insurance to the value of ?2 million.

Do I Have To Pay Everything In One Go?

To confirm your conversion, we require an initial deposit of £3000. Once the work has started, we require weekly staged payments and then a final payment when you are completely satisfied with the finished work.

Are Loft Conversions Robust Against Bad Weather?

During the past thirty years we have yet to encounter a finished loft conversion to be affected by the weather. Your roof is left structurally stronger after a conversion as we check for and repair broken and slipped tiles.

What is the party wall act?

An external view of a loft conversion in progress

The Party Wall Act (1996) requires you to notify your neighbour(s) that you are intending to carry out structural work to your property. When making a booking with us, we require the details of your neighbour(s) so that we can supply you with the relevant documentation for your neighbours to sign.

If they refuse to sign then you may both to required to employ a Party Wall surveyor which may be costly and time-consuming. In the past we have dealt with neighbours who have concerns about conversions and we have arranged visits to show them photos & plans and have explained how it may affect them.

What happens after the quotation is accepted?

If the work is agreed a deposit will secure an approximate start date, within a month we will supply you with the party wall letter/s and the Architect will visit your home for detailed measurements.

Plans will be drawn and submitted to Plymouth Planning with a copy for you, we take care of the payment and paperwork required for the application to Plymouth City Council for permitted development for the loft conversion.

Approximately one month before the start date, the Architects plans are sent to the Structural Engineer for calculations and steel plans drawn, these will then be passed on to the steel fabricators and Building Control with a copy for you.

Approximately one week before work starts the necessary scaffold will be erected for your loft conversion. Your home will be treated with respect and our working area cleaned at the end of each day, once work starts we dedicate our time to your conversion five days a week and do not leave until the conversion is completed and you are 100% satisfied. All the paperwork will be taken care of by us. We will be in constant contact with you as things progress or if you have any concerns or questions you can contact us at any time.

What about Building Control?

An external view of a completed loft conversion

We use a well-established private company (jhai limited) the reason is Plymouth City Council require you to have all your doors changed to 1/2hr fire doors and must be kept closed at all times, they also require Celotex or similar to be used as insulation, this is a 100mm thick dense fibre board covered in foil, this must be cut individually and fit tight between rafters and joist, very time consuming, dusty to cut and wasteful.

Any doors with panels less than 12mm will need a fireproof coating upgrade with Envirograf. Stroma require smoke alarms in each room and heat detector in the kitchen these are mains supply with battery backup and if one is set off they all go off, we feel this is far safer in case of fire, this will allow you to leave doors open, but any glass doors leading onto a hall or landing must be changed to a solid standard door.

The insulation we use with Stroma is a Multi Foil this is sixteen layers of different materials stitched together and on large rolls it must be fitted correctly to comply with Building Regulations this is checked by the Building Inspector, we find it very easy to use with no mess and virtually no waste. Also 155mm Hybris in slopes and ceilings and 50mm in walls.