Loft or Roof Conversions seem to be very popular
We have surveyors who can carry out building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters. As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches and photos in our reports as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports. We can offer you advice on having a loft or roof conversion and about dealing with builders.
Please free to phone 0800 298 5424 to speak to a surveyor and / or to book a survey.
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Many houses are having loft conversions
As we were driving around Fulham carrying out a survey we noted that many houses are having loft conversions.
A typical sort of house that is having a loft conversion is a Victorian terraced house.
Although we have seen conversions on most eras of property Victorian houses seem to be particularly good for this type of conversion.
A second look at this typical road shows scaffolding where a loft conversion is taking place.
A typical street in Fulham
A typical loft conversion consists of the adding of a dormer roof
From what we can see a typical conversion would involve a removal of the roof and replacement with a dormer roof. A dormer roof consists of two fairly steep pitched rooms at the front and the rear and then a shallow roof to the top which can sometimes be flat; we much prefer it to have a fall on it. The loft conversion gives full height rooms then to the front and rear. We have seen loft conversions where a master bedroom with an on suite has been made on the top floor and a second bedroom or alternatively two bedrooms and a separate family bathroom. Some of the loft conversions additionally have balcony areas on the rear. Some we have seen have two windows on the rear to give a particularly well lit with natural light rear bedroom or sometimes this is used as a study. Internally the extra staircase is added but looks almost as if it was there originally.
Whilst we won't quote any figures with regard to how much this sort of loft conversion/extension can cost as these vary considerably generally you should get at least a return on your money equal to what you spend. This does depend on the road as in some areas you ultimately get far more.
A major loft conversion being carried out in Fulham
A general view of a road in Fulham. If you look closely you can see that there is building work taking place part way along it
Mansard roofs as loft conversions
Mansard roofs are also popular for loft conversions.
Often this will involve removing the original pitched roof as you can see in the adjacent sketch and then adding a structural frame sometimes carried out in timber, sometimes carried out in metal. This will allow the forming of a mansard roof.
More headspace with a Mansard roof
The advantage that a mansard roof has over a dormer roof is that it gives far more headspace.
We often see this type of roof on an older Georgian style property as well where the original butterfly roof allows the adding of another storey to the building.
Loft conversions are a major alteration and should be considered carefully
From a building surveying point of view we can see loft conversions carried out in a number of ways, from the traditional way where the roofs are constructed in timber to a more modern way where there is a metal structural frame added to the property. We have even come across roof extensions which have had a further rear extension added in what is often referred to as a pod room. This means that the rear room that you have be it a bedroom or study doesn't look over the back roof but instead is an additional room.
Problems with loft conversions
Problems that we have come across with loft conversions in Fulham are similar to those that we have come across elsewhere.
These generally relate to;-
1. Neighbour Problems/Party Wall Work
Before all work commences you should have agreement from the neighbour. There is an excellent building act known as the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, which covers just about every eventuality with regards to party walls. It even has procedures for how to proceed if the parties disagree. It is well worth getting the government handbook on party walls and it is well worth having a chat to party wall surveyors.
We would be more than happy to talk to you about this on our free phone number 0800 298 5424.
In a nutshell what the Party Wall etc. act does is it offers protection to both you if you are carrying out the work known as the building owner and you if you are the neighbour by setting down a fairly straightforward system of rules to work within and requires such common sense things to be agreed such as what the work is, how long the work will take, what the working hours are for example will the builders be starting at 7:30 in the morning or 9 o'clock and will the builders be working weekends. These things are absolutely essential if you are living with the builders whilst the roof conversion or loft conversion takes place.
2. Building Problems
These normally relate to the cost of the building works, the time the building works take but most frequently the quality of the building work. All most people want to do is live in a building, which is fine until you run out of room or something goes wrong with the building and then you have to meet the builders! It can often not be the best experience.
3. Architect or Designer Problems
It often feels that the person that you think is representing you is just doing their own thing and spending your money much too quickly. Often this can be as simple to sort out as having a cup of tea meeting with your architect or designer. Sometimes things get far worse where wrong materials are specified or wrongly detailed. We have come across everything from roofs being too shallow to arguments between the architects and builders over the years.
Please call us on Free Phone 0800 298 5424 if you need any help or advice on any of the above problems, we would be more than happy to help you if we can.
We have come across problems where cold bridging has occurred in properties, which is the way the loft conversion has been carried out particularly where dormer roofs have been used.
Improve or move
This is often the question that is asked if you do decide to move and you are moving into any sort of older building do give us a call because we specialise in building surveys where people are moving that are tailor made to your requirements. We would be more than happy to show you other examples of surveys that we have carried out on similar properties to yours and yes of course we have carried out surveys where loft conversions have been carried out and rear extensions and amendments of all sorts.
If we can help you with any of the above or any property related query please do not hesitate to call us on our Free phone number 0800 298 5424.
Here are some other articles on our website that you may be interested in reading:-
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to valuations, mortgages, mortgage companies, surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports, specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.
If you have a commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold then sooner or later you may get involved with dilapidation claims. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have included is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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