Planning Permission Tips UK - Loft Conversions in UK Properties - Do They Add Value?


Article by: Martin Meaks

We get a great many requests to view the potential of Loft conversions. This type of extension has remained fairly popular since I first started designing property , Dual Pane Window Glass Repair & is perhaps even more in demand now than ever before - especially in dense urban areas where the alternative choices for that fourth bedroom are somewhat limited.

Now, the popular press would have you believe that they do not add value or have limited appeal. However, that blanket broad brush, slightly disrespectful opinion does not ring true for most of our clients. So what is going on? As always, the devil is in the detail - the detail in this respect is mainly focussed on two primary areas:

1. DESIGN and 2. DESIGN.

It's just like the location, , Faux Marble location , Indoor Sauna Rooms - The Inside Scoop location slogan for house , Visco Memory Foam Guide values & desirability. Fortunately, the planners have got to grips with a lot of loft conversions these days & they now have a great more control of schemes that a few years ago could have been built under Permitted Development. This means that they have encompassed 'good design , Finding The Best Whole House Humidifier Out There guides' in an attempt to stamp out the ugly full width box dormer that turned a beautiful , Solar Energy Use In Home Design victorian semi into a something that looks like a car sized packing crate trying to escape from a neighbours roof. , Buying Discount Tools and Equipment at Auction

Conversely, many people have argued that the 'chocolate box' cottage type pointy roofed dormers (as suggested by the planners) are quite simply impractical & do not provide enough space for a fully functional room , Tankless Hot Water Heaters Are Safer which in many cases is a very valid & true point. HOWEVER, life is all about compromises & choices have to be made. Fortunately, most members of the public are now becoming far more 'design aware' than they ever used to be & slowly by slowly they are beginning to accept that the formation of more space must not be at the expense of a poor external visual impact that simply jars with the whole look of the locality. This type of poor dormer design , How to Be Your Air Conditioner's Best Friend can not only decrease the value of your own home , Panasonic Vacuum Cleaners Advanced Technological Cleaning Power! but that of the neighbours as well.

But yet again there are exceptions. Some suburbs of London for example have a plethora of these types of loft extensions & the ones that have not yet been converted look out of place. , Sand Filters for Swimming Pools These types of areas pay more attention to the internal design , Simple Air Conditioning Repairs You Can Do Yourself of the living space than the grotty externals - goes with the environment , Tools: Purchasing For A Gift I suppose. Also, some areas are 70's & 80's built estates where the whole so called 'architect design' was for this style of flat , Wet Rooms - Great, But What Do They Really Mean? roofed box dormer which is a commonly accepted fact for the area & enjoyed by many.

So, back to my original question - Does a loft conversion or extension add value? In my opinion YES in practically all cases baring a few exceptions. Should it be my first choice of residential development if my site has surrounding ground that allows alternative solutions? Well no in my opinion unless your property , Wow! Outdoor Tiles - Any Image, Any Size is a bungalow. A loft conversion for the standard 2 storey dwelling house , Lawrence Bedding Collections and Ensembles (detached, semi or terrace) should perhaps be on the 'last option' list rather than your first choice - more to do with peoples perceptions rather than anything scientific I could quote.

When we assess a loft conversions viability we run through a sort of assessment check list before we advise our clients & we always steer them towards nice looking, well balanced, recessed type of pitched roof , Tools: Purchasing For A Gift dormers at the sacrifice of some space rather than the 'ugly duckling' alternative. However, like all services, many clients do not value the external look as much & they insist on the largest dormer possible especially if it can be constructed under the sites Permitted Development allowances (no planning permission necessary) - Do we still take the job? - yes of course we do its our living but our sign board never goes up during the construction works.

Some people subscribing to our news letter may value our 'design lead' approach so we schedule below some of our assessment criteria relating to loft conversions that you may find useful:-

1. Does it need Planning Permission - If so utilising the councils design , Residential Air Conditioning Named Top Innovation guides is a must. Some front or side facing dormers may still be resisted even if they are small. Velux windows , The Perfect Spa and Hot Tub Accessories often overcome these objections. In most cases, big bulky box dormers will not be allowed.

2. What area of new space does the client require - Many clients have overambitious floor , Two Story Homes: More Bang For Your Buck space targets & visualise 3 bedrooms for example (all with ensuite of course). They fail to appreciate the loss of floor , Simple Air Conditioning Repairs You Can Do Yourself space caused by the extensive sloping soffits, & the new stairs.

3. Where can the new stair set go - Many clients fail to realise that their preferred location , Whole House Water Filter System for the stairs does not achieve the required head room , Feng Shui: Water And The Cycle Of Life within the new floor , Washing Machines, How Do I Choose The One For Me? for example. In most cases some existing floor , Wet Rooms - Great, But What Do They Really Mean? space of the bedrooms for example will need to be sacrificed.

4. It is better to achieve one or two good sized functional rooms , Yoga for the Home to compensate for the lack of head room , The Four Essential Tips to Consider Before Choosing Flooring for Your Home in some areas of the new rooms , Dual Pane Window Glass Repair rather than trying to cram in the bedroom numbers for the sake of it where the new rooms , The Four Essential Tips to Consider Before Choosing Flooring for Your Home can become nothing more than single bed , Top 5 Tips On Keeping Your Furnace Air Filters Clean sleeping podules with very little inbuilt amenity value.

5. If flat , The Benefits of Wood Closet Organizers roofed dormers can only be achieved due to the low ridge height then split the dormers into 2 or three smaller ones with no more than 1200mm (4') wide windows , Alarm Clocks With Bells, Whistles and Chimes to break up its bulk. Always, always always recess the dormer into the roof , Air Purifiers slope to reduce the dormers bulk - DO NOT BUILD THE EXTERNAL FACE OF THE DORMER WALL OFF THE EXISTING EXTERNAL WALL OF THE HOUSE.

6. If a client wants a conversion with only Velux type roof lights , Replacement Windows Information then all well & good (much cheaper as well). However an exercise should be completed to explore the possibilities of a strategically located dormer or two that often frees up an extra 30% floor , Top 5 Tips On Keeping Your Furnace Air Filters Clean area that the client may not have realised for very little extra money.

7. Dormers are not the only design , Wet Rooms - Great, But What Do They Really Mean? solution to more light , Buying Discount Tools and Equipment at Auction & space - consideration could also be given to a hip to gable conversion of the side roof , A Few Home Remodeling Rules for example that wont look out of keeping (unless your a semi of course).

8. As a rule of thumb to the practicality of your new room , A Few Home Remodeling Rules in the roof , The Benefits of Wood Closet Organizers - if you can already touch the ridge board when standing in the loft (about 2.3M or less), then its normally too small to form useful functioning bedrooms unless a bulky box dormer is constructed (which is what we are trying to avoid) If it is an area just for a play room , What You Should Know About Steam Showers or a study then all well & good but beware, many people have embarked on tight loft conversions only to realise too late that that they have no where to place , The Use Of Water In Home Decor the bed , What You Should Know About Steam Showers or locate a wardrobe.

There are a great many other issues to consider as well when completing loft conversions such as overheating, fire , Top 5 Tips On Keeping Your Furnace Air Filters Clean regs, weather , Do-It-Yourself Garage Floor Epoxy System protection during the works etc. & these are major discussion topics in themselves that I will leave for another day. However, the points listed above are the main ones relative to the external design , Visco Memory Foam Guide & appearance of loft conversions.
Martin Meaks - EzineArticles Expert Author
Our 'Maximum Build Planning Guide' explains further the tactics involved when developing a site with a loft conversion or extension & how to , Yoga for the Home give yourself , Plastic Decking The Modern Solution For The Modern Home the best chance of being granted a planning permission or planning approval.

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