Am considering buying victorian semi. Normally would have two beds/bath on first floor and I would wish for loft conversion to provide 3rd bed/ensuite. However, current owner has converted front bed into roof space so that it has staircase up to mezzanine. To reformat the way I’d like it would require moving staircase and reinstating the loft floor in order to provide the third bed I want. Seems could be complex and expensive. Or is this pretty straightforward?

  • Adam

    Hi Shelagh,

    If the work were to be undertaken when you first purchased the property and was vacant then it would be relatively straightforward to achieve and shouldn’t cost the earth. As ever it is dependant on the structures already in place. It is impossible to state with any conviction what the costs "should" be because each case is different and there is not enough detail provided to give an informed answer.

    Essentially the ‘practical’ (structural) issues can always be solved with steels and new timbers for the reinstated floor. The costs rise in line with the difficulty of getting all this stuff indoors and up to the loft. Can it be done through the house or will you need scaffolding erected to get it all up to roof and opened up that way? A structural engineer would need to specify the structural elements dependant on his survey of the roof space and his subsequent calculations. Only once he has done this can you tell if you could get away with/without scaffolding.

    You should be vigilant in checking what paperwork the current conversion has. Did they obtain permission? Is there a building regs completion certificate for the work? If it was done a long time ago you might find that the insulation no longer passes muster and you might have to take back what’s there are reinstate with a lot more.

    Fire safety is always the biggest concern in these sorts of conversions. You will at minimum need to replace all your internal doors with 30 or 45 minute fire resistant examples and may have some elements of the layout dictated to you to conform with the rest of the regs.

    Are there sufficient windows in the roof already to allow in enough light or would you opt for a dormer? There may be planning issues there.

    It would be a good idea if you could get in there with a builder who is experienced in loft conversions and get some insight into the issue. Try liasing with the seller to see if you can get in there again to have a look. It is always beneficial to plan ahead! The more you know now (the builder will be able to give an approx assessment) the better informed you will be to make your decision.

    Good luck!

  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in