Loft Conversion Farnworth
Rafter Loft Conversions have over two decades in the loft conversion industry and have been undertaking bespoke Velux & Dormer loft conversions throughout Manchester. Rafter Loft Conversions have a great design team that will not only design your conversion with style and flair but makes the most of your empty loft space whether it be a study room, bedroom, playroom, craft room, gym or for an extra bathroom the list is endless.
Rafter Loft Conversions are pleased to offer you a free no-obligation quotation and a free loft cad drawing design, no matter how big or small your requirements may be. Our time-served fitters carry out all of the work involved to the highest standard possible to ensure you get the best return on your investment.
If you are considering having a loft conversion in Farnworth, Bolton, call our friendly team today on 0161 885 3152 or Freephone 0800 161 3815 for your free bespoke loft conversion quote & Cad drawing. Or fill in the contact form below.
It’s not just the space that loft conversion in Farnworth can make you can also gain a considerable return on your investment as a loft conversion can add over 20% to your home if constructed and designed correctly. It comes with no surprise a loft conversion can not only give you a much needed extra room but can make a considerable return on your investment if built and designed correctly.
Mostly having a loft conversion in Farnworth is to gain that much needed extra bedroom, but also if you’re lucky enough to have the space gaining an extra bathroom, of course, there are many reasons for a loft conversion, a study (as now a lot of people work from home) craft room, cinema, playroom, living room or even a spare room for guests.
Your cold, dusty & dirty loft may not look like much at the moment but with a bit with some imagination and creativity you turn it into anything you want it to be, people have the image of being able to lie down and look up through their new roof windows, or just having their private bedroom away from the noise from the rest of the house. Great to see the stars if you have a Telescope.
If you are considering have a music room you can soundproof the loft area with soundproof plasterboard and by also introducing acoustic loft installation in the floor and walls, which helps to keep in the sound. Using your loft room to create a playroom will be great for the children but will also give you some peace. You may want an extra room for a hobby such as painting, craft or collecting trains, etc.
Bringing a bathroom into the equation can make things slightly more demanding, as ideally, your new loft bathroom, especially for the toilet, requires to be located near your existing soil pipe to allow adequate fall for the waste, etc, if the soil pipe is not accessible then you have to consider installing a macerator which is used to move the waste to the main soil stack.
HEIGHT REQUIRED FOR A LOFT CONVERSION IN FARNWORTH:
Houses built before the 1960s are normally suitable due to the way the roofs were constructed, and are simpler to convert than a modern trussed rafter roof, the higher your roof is at the ridge (highest point) will, of course, make a more spacious room, the minimum height you require in a traditional loft (Purlins) is 2.2m this measurement should be taken from the bottom of the ridge to the existing floor/ceiling joists, whilst the minimum height required for a truss rafter roof is 2.4m, again the measurement is the same.
ARE LOFT CONVERSIONS EASY TO DO ?
Undertaking a loft conversion in Farnworth can be fairly daunting, tricky and sometimes dangerous, it isn’t a DIY job. Generally, the first thing that your loft specialist will do is to install primary beams, the primary beams are located and lost generally in the dwarf walls, the main primary beams are calculated to hold the new joists and take the roof load, these beams can be wood, (depending on spans) plywood beams, steel flitch beams or full steel, an explanation of a flitch beam is where two floor joists (i.e. 2 x 200mm x 50mm) are used to sandwich a piece of steel in between the steel then bolted together with M12 bolts, the steel would be 6mm, 10mm or 12mm in thickness. If only steel has been calculated the steel will probably have been fabricated and come in sections, let’s say the span is 5.7meters brick to brick, (part wall to party wall) and the steel calculated to use is 254mm x 146mm x 43mm UB, the steel will probably be split into 3 sections at 2meters each, the reason it is longer than the section of 5.7meters is for the steel to have a bearing at each end, the ends of the steel will be sat on steel pad stones i.e. 30mm x 600mm 100mm. The steels will be bolted together with M24 nuts & bolts. Once the primary beams are in place and have been cemented into place, timer infill can then be introduced inside of the steel webbing, so if you used a 254mm steel a 225mm x 50mm timber can be inserted into the webbing of the steel, again using M12 nuts and bolts should be used to hold into position. If for whatever reason you cannot take out a pocket for the beams to have a bearing (i.e. chimney) a Simpson Strong-Tie can be used, Code: HJHM, there are many (bat hangers) on the market with different codes, the above code should be used the HJ in the code, HJ stands for heavy-duty.
If a load bearing wall is going to support the floor joists (in the middle) the joists should be checked prior and placed with the bow side of the timber facing down, if there is no load bearing wall, the joists should be bow side up, aluminium joist hangers are then fixed to either end of your new wood floor joist, (as a rule of thumb, if the span of a standard floor joist is 10 foot, half it then add one, so a 6” x 2” timber would be used) once the joist hangers have been fixed to either end of the joists these can now be placed to hang off the primary beams, 30mm twist nails should be used to fix joists and hangers, again you have to refer to your structural calculation and find whether the centres of the beams should be spaced at 300mm to 450mm centres, once all the floor joists are in place the new floor is can be laid and fixed, glue should be applied to every joint, and fixed with 55mm decking screws, now the floor is finished then internal work can commence.
If your house has an old type of roof i.e. purling’s these will probably be taken out and the roof will require upgrading with structural timbers, the reason for the purling’s to be taken out is for aesthetic reasons, as more often than not your new roof (Velux – Keylite – Fakro) windows can then be positioned at the correct height. When the roof windows are installed, windows should be screwed and fixed into place, then use expanding foam internally around the window, this also helps with the integrity and to also fill any air gaps. There are many different sizes of roof windows on the market today, Velux has a range of windows from (PK25) 55cm x 94cmm to (MK12) 180cm x 78cm, (these sizes are external not the glazing area) Velux range of windows come in natural wood, white painted wood, and polyurethane. The codes used for polyurethane Velux windows are GGU and GPU, the GGU is a centre pivot window is suitable for roof pitches from 15° to 55° whilst the GPU is a top hung window suitable for pitches between 15° to 90° your loft specialist should advise you on particular roof windows to enhance and suit your home.
So ready for insulating? they are a few ways of insulating a new attic room, this could be i.e. Celotex insulation board, Celotex comes in a variety of thickness, Rockwool, multi-foil insulation or both, your loft conversion specialist will know what the local authority requires to meet this stringent requirement.
Now the bespoke staircase will be installed, when the floor was completed and the insulating started your loft specialist will of took a measurement from the existing floor to the new loft floor, this measurement has to be exact and is critical to get it right the first time, a wrong floor to floor measurement even by less than an inch can result in the staircase not conforming to building regulations, each riser on the staircase must be of the same in-depth throughout the staircase (an inch cannot just be cut off the first riser to make it fit, the staircase would probably be scrapped) your new staircase to the loft conversion also gives people the first impression therefore it’s important to have a well-designed staircase, a poorly designed staircase can have a damaging effect, not only to your loft conversion but to your home. For example, would you like it to start with a Curtail tread or a bullnose, would you like the first two treads starting before a newel is fixed etc. Building regulations state a handrail must be provided at the sides of a flight of stairs where there is a drop of more than 600mm, this means that on most staircases the maximum number of steps you can have without a handrail is two, also regulations state a minimum height requirement off the last tread is to have 2-meter headroom clearance, in special circumstances this can be reduced to 1.9 meters at the centre as long as the side (string) of the stairs is no lower than 1.8 meters.
Your loft conversion specialist also has to also take into account that the maximum of the riser’s (height to each tread) that it is no more than 220mm and with a minimum going (tread depth) of 220mm, stairs can only have a maximum pitch of 42° however there is no regulation to the width of a staircase. Handrails should be to at least to one side, and both sides of the stairs are over a meter wide, handrails and any balustrading should be set at least 900mm high, and with openings (between spindles) on the rake (pitch) or balustrade should be no greater than 100mm. A loft pull down ladder does not conform to building regulations.
WHICH ARE THE MOST POPULAR LOFT CONVERSIONS IN FARNWORTH?
The most popular two loft conversions are a flat roof rear dormer and Velux conversions, rear dormers make a huge amount of additional internal space the dormer is usually built with a timber structure, 4” x 2” with a sheet of 9mm sheathing plywood or Sterling board. The majority of dormers are finished externally with tiles, the tiles are called plain tiles and come in a size of 165mm x 268mm and come in a variety of colours, to name a few: Anthracite, Antique brown, Dark red, Greystone, Natural red, Old English red, Slate grey. It’s important for the tiles and any external finishes to match the existing aesthetics of your home. Rear dormers are very popular due to that they create a great floor area and allow natural light through either large windows or French doors. Planning permission is not always required as the conversion can be carried out with permitted development (P.D) and if it meets certain criteria. (see section for P.D.) Long gone are the days of hot bitumen and mineral felt to cover the dormer roof, the two main roofing covers are now GPR (Glass Reinforced Polyester) which consists of a layer of resin (which must be applied to the clean new roof then a layer of fibreglass matting is applied following an additional layer of resin, once cured a final top coat of resin is then applied. The other main alternative is EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) which is heat & weather resistant, this consists of two layers of rubber compressed together at heat to give an ultimate watertight blanket, the blanket can be ordered and applied in one (no seams) and comes in two thicknesses 1.14mm and 1.52mm, the rubber blankets adhere with a water-based solvent or instant contact adhesive.
(Velux) Roof-light conversions. A Velux loft conversion is when a habitable room is constructed and formed within your existing roof space, without actually altering the profile of your roof, installing roof windows does not come in the equation of altering the roof structure. A Velux loft conversion is the cheapest option and works best when you have a good size headroom to start with, and can make full use of all the space available. Velux loft conversions are not as disruptive as other forms of conversions and require considerably less construction work.
Hip to Gable & Hip End dormer loft conversions in Farnworth are for properties in which there is a sloping side roof, (hipped roof) which means that the side of your roof slopes inwards generally towards the chimney. A hip-to-gable style conversion would change the shape of the roof, as the existing ridge line will be extended to the internal wall plate of the gable, this allows and gives a much larger loft area, houses with hipped roofs do not tend to have enough internal volume (height) over their existing stairs, so a hip-to-gable or hip-end is constructed to mainly carry the new loft conversion staircase again this particular loft conversion is normally finished in hanging tiles to match the existing roof as the rear dormer, a new section of roof is built to fill in the void area.
Cottage Dormer loft conversions in Farnworth are more times than not situated at the front or the side of a property, this particular dormer consists of a vertical window under its own roof, cottage dormers should be positioned or at least in part, within the slope of the roof, this will incur lead valley to either side. Cottage dormers are perfect to achieve headroom, mainly for staircases to be installed, but even though this particular dormer is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, not a great deal of floor space is created, on saying that cottage dormers must be in proportion with your existing roof volume, when constructed and complete they are an integral part of the overall design of the property, if cottage dormers are built too large or to small the results can dreadful as they overpopulate the rest of the house.
FIRE SAFETY IN A FARNWORTH LOFT CONVERSION:
When a loft conversion is undertaken provisions for an escape route must be introduced throughout the full extent of the route, a typical loft conversion will require to have FD20 fire resisting doors or equivalent, these must be in place to protect the stairway to the final external door.
Each habitable room and landing off the escape route requires smoke detection circuit, (not bathrooms or cupboards) the circuit has to interlinked generally with 1.5mm 3 core and earth, so if one smoke detector or heat detector is triggered all detectors are activated, these not only have to be hard-wired to the mains supply but also with a battery backup, in case of a power cut. If you have an open plan staircase leading from your lounge, for example, a sprinkler system can be introduced helping to distinguish a fire.
BUILDING CONTROL AND PLANNING PERMISSION FARNWORTH:
First thing: building control and planning permission are totally different: a simple way of explaining is building control ensures your loft conversion is built to the standard laid down by the government, planning permission is that no build would be out of character to the street scene and no overdevelopment is made to site, on saying that, HERE you will find some permitted deployment rights that can be introduced to most homes) Every loft conversion (and some other building works) with no exception are subject to very stringent building regulations, undertaking a loft conversion is a major fabrication and structural of works. Building regulations are in place not only for your safety but to make sure the new structure is structurally sound and conforms with all current regulations, your loft specialist must also to take into account: insulation, plumbing and electrics, electrics must conform to the IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition, BS1761 2008. An approved electrician will connect the new switched and sockets and do a series of tests, once completed an electrical certificate will be issued, a copy should go to the client, loft specialist, and building control. It is important, If and when you ever come to sell your home and you cannot produce the correct paperwork for the approval of your loft conversion, not only can it decrease the value of the property, it will in no doubt put off potential buyers.
If your loft conversion in Farnworth does not meet building regulations as an approved build, the local authority can insist to have the work’s condemned. If you do not proceed through the proper channels you will end up paying for it dearly in the long run. It is not only the builder’s responsibility to follow the regulations but also the home owner’s, not only that, the local authority can instruct for your loft conversion to be taken down and put back to the original condition before any works started.
New structural members or alterations to existing structural members to convert an existing roof must be undertaken by a structural engineer, this is to ensure both the stability of the existing structure and the structural sufficiency of the new structure, formal calculations will be requested by building control in support of an application for approval.
SO WHAT ARE PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS ?
Permitted Development rights were reviewed in an attempt to stimulate growth back into the building sector.
- Permitted Development rules for a loft conversion in any roof space created must not exceed these volume allowances of 50m3 (cubic meters) for detached and semi-detached houses & 40m3 (cubic meters) for terraced houses.
- No part of the extension is to be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
- Any side-facing windows must be obscure glazed and non-opening unless the parts which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which it is installed.
- An extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts a highway is NOT a P.D.
- Loft extensions are NOT under P.D for houses on designated land.
- Verandas, balconies or raised platforms do NOT come under your Permitted Development rights.
- Loft conversion dormers must be set back at least 200mm from the eaves. The 200mm distance is measured along the roof plane. The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.
- Materials should be similar in appearance to the existing house.
- Building Regulations must be adhered to on every loft conversion even with P.D.
- You have no P.D. rights if your dwelling is categorized as a listed building or is in some designated areas, i.e. Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, etc.
Bats are a protected species, therefore, you CANNOT undertake any conversion if bats are present, having bats in your roof space does not necessarily mean that work cannot be carried out however it does mean that the work will need careful consideration. All of the UK’s bats are protected by law so if you are planning any building or remedial work that may affect a roost, the Bat Conservation Trust’s should be contacted for advice and will provide advice on how to proceed while causing minimal disturbance to bats.
(Did you know) there are more than 1,300 bat species in the world, bats can be as small as a bee or as large as a small dog. The largest bats have wingspans of up to 2 metres and a bodyweight of up to 1.5 kilograms. At the other end of the scale is the bumblebee bat, weighing only 2 grams, luckily we only have only 18 species of bat species in the UK. It is an illegal offence if you: Capture, injure or kill a bat, intentionally destroy their home or disturb them, intentionally obstruct access to a bats roost or exchange or sell a bat, whether dead or alive)
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