In the excitement of a loft project and planning the new interior, it is often forgotten to plan just how the outside of the property will look after the loft is converted. Yet, external loft conversion designs are hugely important.
Even though most styles and sizes are now OK because of the new permitted development laws a tasteful exterior that blends with the surrounding environment will not only look good but it will easily increase the value of the property.
One style that won?t be permitted, and we should all be thankful for it, is the huge, squat and ugly dormers that were flung up during the1980s. These blots on the landscape are truly awful and no way will a householder be allowed to build one today.
In October 2008 new permitted development regulations were adopted by the government which allowed homeowners greater freedom in designing and building extensions including loft conversions.
Basically, the new regulations mean that a loft conversion is a permitted development and does not require planning permission as long as certain criteria are fulfilled. This makes it very much easier for the homeowner when considering external loft conversion designs as most projects, even those involving the building of a new gable end, do not have to go through the planning process.
One caveat here though; remember that all loft conversions need to meet the building regulations. The building regulations shouldn’t be confused with planning permission; the building regulations are there to ensure a that all work is done to an acceptable standard. Read the difference between building regulations and planning permission for more details.
Essex builders on The Permitted Development Regulations
There is no need for the homeowner to apply for planning permission for his project if:
*50 cubic meters can be added to the roof space of a detached or semi-detached house falling to 40 cubic meters on terraced properties.
* Dormers will not be permitted to the elevation of any roof that fronts on to a highway.
* Any extension should be no higher than the ridge line of the existing property
* Dormers should be set back from the eaves by a minimum of 20 cm.
* Verandas, balconies or raised platforms will not be permitted.
And that is just about it. As long as your project takes those five factors into account than the loft conversion will be considered a permitted development that does not require consent.
Those projects that do contravene those guidelines will not necessarily be refused planning permission but a full planning application will need to be made by the homeowner.
Exterior Loft Conversion Designs
Unlike inside the roof space the options for external design is quite narrow. One option is that flush fitting skylights can be installed if there are no issues with headroom.
Installing skylights is very straight forward and they won’t add much to the bottom line of the budget; your design considerations will probably be limited to deciding how many skylights to have, their size and how to position them so that the new loft room benefits from the maximum amount of natural light.
If, however, the internal space is not very large than some sort of dormer on the reverse side of the roof will be the answer. Again, the only real considerations will be the size and how to blend the dormer into the existing building.
Once you have decided on the external loft conversion designs than the fun in actually designing the new loft rooms themselves can begin.
Contact Essex builders Cutting Edge Carpentry & Construction if you have any questions on this subject.