As a cost-effective way to increase living space and add value to a house, many people are choosing to convert their loft area. It can add up to 20% to the value of a property if done properly, so you can understand why many families are choosing to go down this route to create more room and add value to their home.
One of the first considerations to make when choosing to convert your loft space would be to decide on what type of loft conversion would be best suited for the project. We are offering both ways of building the loft, the Traditional Way, and the Modular Loft.
What is a modular loft?
A modular loft is a prefabricated loft conversion that is built off-site in the manufacture. The loft structure is built in a factory in different sections known as modules. These are then delivered by lorries to the property. Modular loft conversions require the entire existing roof of a property to be removed so that the new pre-built structure can then be lifted into place.
Before starting building the modular loft, A to Z Design and Build has to do a site survey and do a laser measurement. The site survey is followed by the preparation of the building plan and submitting the planning application.
In the meantime, we will start preparing the building drawings and BIM drawings for the Modular Loft factory building.
The off site-building takes around 2 weeks during what period we can commence with the building works on site.
The installation takes 1 day and work will commence after making the loft water tights and commence with the works for the inside of the property.
What are the main considerations when installing a modular loft?
The difference between a modular loft and a traditional loft is the design. Another difference is, as most houses are out of square, and not level, therefore a traditional build can accommodate this differently than the modular loft.
A modular loft will also require everything, including all parts of the design, to be agreed on up-front. It means that in modular loft things such as plug points, bathroom walls, size of windows, positions of bathroom fittings, etc, cannot be moved in the future as the structure is made of metal beams.
In terms of the roof structures, a modular loft requires the whole roof of the house to be removed in order to fit the pre-built structure.
Another important matter that you have to take into account is that wit the Modular Loft will be erected a scaffold without a hat roof. Only a temporary roof will be installed and that may create a delay when delivering the modular loft based on the weather. Also, the roof will be protected by a temporary plastic roofing but may be cases when water can penetrate due to the severe weather conditions.
Are modular lofts easy to install?
The process of installing a modular loft typically begins with the roof of the house being removed and then the loft being delivered and lifted into place. During this time the house can be left vulnerable to all weather conditions, as rather than using a “tin hat” temporary roof structure, it will only be covered with tarpaulin.
Road closures will also need to be taken into consideration with the installation due to the amount and size of the lorries delivering the modular loft. It can usually take around 6-13 weeks to obtain a road closure permit, which is only valid for one day. The permits are normally granted for the road closure to take place on a Sunday, which is not always convenient for neighbors.
On the occasion that it is raining or too windy for the loft to be lifted into place the road closure permit will have to be reapplied for, which may mean another 6-13 week wait. The reason permits take so long to obtain is that all emergency services must be made aware, as well as any bus routes that could be affected.
It is also often the case that a lot of neighboring houses may have to have their telephone cables temporarily removed from their houses back to the telephone pole in order to allow the lift to place the pre-built loft in place. This means for at least 6-9 hours your neighbors will be without telephone and internet access.
Are modular lofts quick to install?
The modular lofts are built off-site so often can be quicker when it comes to actually fit them, but there are many external factors that can hold up the build. Things such as planning permission (if required), road closure permits and weather permitting factors can all stack up to lengthen the process of actually getting the project complete.
Another consideration to take into account with the timings is the staircase build. With both traditional and modular loft installations, fitting a staircase will take around the same amount of time on both projects. This involves the hallway ceiling being cut out and removed to ensure that the company making the staircase is able to accurately measure the opening, and also take the floor to floor measurement. Once these measurements have been taken, the staircase then can be constructed and delivered to the site. It usually takes a minimum of 2 weeks, with an added three to four days to install and complete the additional plasterwork underneath the staircase.
Are modular lofts more expensive?
As the entire roof of the house will have to be replaced, it is often the case that a modular loft conversion will be more expensive than a traditional loft conversion.
Loft Conversion Permitted Development
Not all properties are covered by the rules of permitted development. Properties not covered include those in heritage and conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Also, some areas have had their permitted development rights removed by their local authority.
The rules for permitted development, when applied to loft conversions, are briefly set out below:
You cannot have any part of your dwelling exceed the height of the highest part of the existing roof.
No part of your dwelling can, as a result of the works, exceed beyond the plane of any existing roof slope that fronts a highway (highways are an ill-defined term but include all public roads and most footpaths, bridleways, and byways).
Your loft cannot expand your dwelling beyond 40 cubic meters in the case of a terraced house, or 50 cubic meters in any other case (eg semi-detached house).
If your planned loft conversion or house extension isn’t covered by permitted development, you will need to apply to the council for planning permission. Absolute Lofts will make all applications to your local council on your behalf. You will have to pay a fee of £172 to the planning department of your local authority.
Lawful Development Certificates
If your property does not require planning permission, we advise that the proprietor applies for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC).
An LDC is not a mandatory document you must attain, however it demonstrates that any and all work being built on the property are within its lawful boundaries and does not break any building regulations. A Lawful Development Certificate is also beneficial if you should ever move on and sell your property.
If you should desire an LDC document, A to Z Design and Build are happy to make all the appropriate applications to your local council on your behalf. There is also a submission fee for an LDC of £86
For more information you can contact us now:
Forest Hill Modular loft
Modular Loft conversion with Ensuite shower room, bedroom and a study room.
Elephant and Castle Modular Loft
Small Size bedroom and ensuite bathroom Modular Loft in Elephant and Castle.
Contact our Interior Designer Anastasia Voloshko. She will work with you on making the best decision.
Fresh Air Ventilation
If you want to improve your property by creating a well-ventilated space contact us for advice how to get the fresh air into your property.
Contact A to Z Design and Glass Ltd for a quote to supply Aluminium, PVC or Schuco Aluminium Bifold or Sliding Doors.
If you need any bespoke Joinery like Kitchen, Wardrobes, Cabinets you can contact 4Architects Joinery for a quote: