With the financial climate the way it is today full of job cuts, tax rises and union strikes it is no wonder people feel uneasy about their financial future. People are always looking for new places to invest their money and many know letting it sit in a bank earning very little interest is not financially viable. Most people understand that the safest place for your money is bricks and mortar. This leads me to the subject of this article which is loft conversions. I’ll cover some different points and frequently asked questions below:
Why a loft conversion?
There are multiple reasons why people have this type of work carried out. Some people simply want to invest their savings into the property they currently live in or one they own. This will increase the value and overall demand of the property when you come to re-sell or rent.
Other people may require the extra space it provides. A loft conversion can give anything from an extra bedroom through to multiple rooms with en-suite, a home office or somewhere for the children/parents to get away from the busy household life. This option is very popular for people who do not wish to go through the stress and financial strain of moving to a bigger property. Over the course of a few weeks many people allow the highly skilled craftsmen to design and build the extra living space they require.
Types of loft conversions:
You’d be surprised at how many types of loft conversions there are in today’s market. The most popular are below with a brief description of each:
1. Dormer – These conversions create a square end and has a flat roof. This conversion comes out from the side of your existing roof and provides a large floor area with high ceilings and can usually be built without the need of planning permission
2. Hip to Gable – These conversions involve rebuilding the sloping end of your roof to provide a straight vertical end. This makes a much larger loft space and generally gives the perfect area to install a staircase. These are normally only possible where planning permission is not available
3. Mansard – These conversions are normally built onto the back of a property and incorporates a flat roof. The back wall of the roof now slopes outwards at a steep 72 degrees and windows are installed in small dormers. The numbe of windows can be chosen by the customer. These are normally built where planing permission is required or your house is built in a conservation area.
4. Velux – These conversions leave the current roof unaltered, Velux window are installed into the roof lining and the conversion company will carry out all the necessary internal work to convert your loft into a living space. This type of conversion is normally carried out if planning permission is required.
Who should you choose?
With so many companies advertising home improvements and loft conversions and one of their skills it is hard to know who to trust. Never take a company at face value, even if they have an impressive portfolio with nice looking photos. Always ask yourself ‘what can’t I see in this picture’. It’s all too easy to photograph the good parts of a job or forget to mention that the waterproof membrane used was not to specification. To help minimise these risks always ask to visit a previous job and speak with the customer to gain feedback. The company must also use qualified and registered gas/electrical engineers. One final thing to look out for is any certification the company has. ‘The Federation Of Master Builders’ is a governing body which offers increased warranty and backs up all work carried out by its registered companies.