The roof – taking your home to new heights

The roof of a property is one of the key factors that dictates the structural and design specifications of a loft conversion. Roofs are very much a big consideration when it comes to developing and drawing up the plans to extend a home or convert a loft.

So what needs to be factored in and considered?

Gable wall properties are the most suitable for conversion. They can support new additions such as beams and floors. Hip structures often present some challenges due to the fact that they reduce the internal space, which is ideally needed for conversion purposes. Hip structures are less likely to support new beams. Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that hip roofs cannot be converted but it does make development a tad more difficult. Impracticalities can always be overcome through professional planning hence why the early stages of loft conversions are so vital to the process!

Hip-to-Gable conversions exist for this very reason. See our previous blogs on this particular conversion for more information.

Many properties in London feature impractical roofs like this (sometimes known as terraced or butterfly roofs). In these cases radical alterations need to be made in order to make a loft conversion possible. The external structure needs to have its surface removed and replaced with a flat roof. To do this, householders have to obtain planning permission.

London is an interesting place for loft conversions because of the diversity of the buildings and therefore require multiple approaches. It is because of the complexities involved with buildings and conversions that it is always recommended to contract a professional loft conversions specialist to make the alterations required. DIY loft conversions (unless you have experience and know what you’re doing) rarely ever work out that well, and even when they do, the new loft space is nt optimised to its fullest potential.

Considerations have to be made to other factors like the location of the chimney. These may have to be moved or removed if a dormer window is being built. Chimneys take up roof space that is often needed to increase the size of your loft (dormer designs in particular). Of course if the chimney is no longer in use then removing it completely is the best option (and the cheapest).

Building regulations can often dictate this process.

When planning the external specification of a new loft the importance of factoring in emergency access, electrical fittings, plumbing and drainage need to be looked at. Building regulations will insist that that emergency exit windows are fitted and are reachable.

Drainage is an external issue. Fixing drainage pipe-work is a straight-forward process and a concentrated effort is made towards making in aesthetically pleasing.

You can discuss the details of your loft conversion and roofing concerns with your contractor. For some advice on these issues and processes please contact us at Modern Attics.


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