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Loft Conversions in Manchester

A loft conversion can be an easy and cheap way to get an extra room into your home by utilising the space that’s already there, and CK Architectural provide the designs and building project management needed to make one across the whole of Greater Manchester, spanning from the city itself through to areas like Stockport, Rochdale, Bolton and Warrington.

 

We are specialists in architectural design with decades of experience working on residential renovations and all shapes and sizes of work, with loft conversions being some of the most frequent work we undertake. We know everything there is to know about the entire conversion process, and we’re always happy to help people turn their home into something they love even more

 

A loft conversion can be an easy and cheap way to get an extra room into your home by utilising the space that’s already there. Master bedrooms with en-suite and dressing rooms, a cinema/games room or children’s playroom, or anything else you’d like in your home can be achieved with good architectural design.

Are you ready to makeover your space?

dormer loft conversion in Manchester
Dormer loft conversion attached to extension
Street view of Manchester loft conversion

Loft Conversion Design Considerations

All good loft conversion designs should achieve what you need whilst being buildable in accordance with the regulations and your budget. Height is a major factor in making these rooms work as the roof pitch will generally pitch down to the floor.

We recommend that you have a minimum of 2.4 Meters (8 foot) from the top of the ceiling joist to underside of the rafters. Staircases need 2M head room over at least half of the tread. The new stairs will also have to form part of the escape route which needs to be protected from fire for a period of 30 minutes.

Windows can be put in the roof using Velux’s, gable ends or built into a new dormer (which is ideal for height maximising).

If you are putting a bathroom in the loft conversion, you need to think about the waste as it can be difficult to get new pipework through the floor. On 2nd floors or rooms with a finish floor over 4.5 but under 7.5 meters, you need a sealed/protected landing top or bottom.

All of this is essential information to bear in mind when considering the project of your conversion.

Planning Permission

Under the new permitted development right, most loft conversions in Manchester can be built without the need for planning permission. If planning is required, the usual criteria and justification will have to be met.

Whether it is overlooking, dominating, keeping in character, size and scale to its neighbours will be the points to consider.

We will consider all planning policies, both national and local, before you submit so you have the very best chance of success and design with these in mind at all times.

If required, we may also apply for planning permission for you so that you don’t have to, and thereon act as your agent in order to increase your chances of success and minimise any room for miscommunication to give you the best and the most effective result possible.

Design Options

When you have determined the best position for the stairs, landing and structural elements of your loft conversion design, you can begin to design the room(s).

Sloping roofs can be hard to work around, but with the correct layout, they create a nice feature. It is best to work with the shapes you have and let each room get the full triangular profile where possible. Velux windows are the most obvious way to let light into a loft room.

Adding a dormer to the loft conversion can create extra space and add feature to the external roof too. Be careful when choosing the exterior finish, however, as sometimes the small dormer side/cheeks will not look good if you try matching the tiles. You cannot always blend it in, so choose finishes that enhance the angles and make if prominent and purposeful.

Other options are building up the gable, forming hip dormers and in some situations putting a new roof on. Depending on the planning limitation due to the surrounding properties, the best way forward may be to put a new roof on, as this can be designed around what you really want and surprisingly won’t add a significant amount to the build if attic trusses are utilised.

Loft conversion in Manchester
Empty converted loft shell
Bathroom inside loft conversion

Permitted Development

A loft conversion for your house is considered to be a permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses.
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses.
  • No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • Roof extensions may not be permitted development in designated areas
  • Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves.
  • The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

Building Regulations

You will always need a building control certificate for any changes to the roof, especially when creating habitable rooms i.e. bedrooms. When designing a roof, your architect or architectural designer must consider the following:

  • The new floor joists and roof will need to be supported; this is generally done via steel beams designed by an engineer.
  • A protected fire route must be provided, this is 30 minutes all the way down to the final exit, existing doors will need upgrading to fire doors.
  • Detection and sounded alarms will be required and need to be interlinked.
  • The stairs will need sufficient headroom – 2m and not be too steep (under 42 degrees).
  • Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below.
  • All the designs we present to you will be with the intension of passing building regulations and be buildable.

Building and Builders

Most of the work in loft conversions is in the roof, however when the new stairs goes in there will certainly be a dirty period when it is advisable to move out if you can. There are specialist roof conversion companies, but with detailed drawings most competent builders can do the job.

When choosing your builder, ensure that you choose someone with specific and relevant experience and most importantly, choose someone you’ll feel comfortable working with and talking to about concerns – they are going to be in your life and home for a substantial amount of time. Be clear about your timescale expectations and specific finishes.

Quotations should be clear and easy to read with reference to our detailed approved building regulations drawings. Ask who will be doing the work, will it be their company, or will they be sub-contracting and who is managing the process. Make sure you discuss payment dates and check their payment structure and be comfortable with it. Don’t always go with the references they give you, it’s not hard to find out where else they may have been working.

We try to add as much construction details as possible, but some assumptions must be made, and certain areas investigated with the builder before moving forward. Ensure that you are happy with everything before proceeding. We offer help throughout for both you and the builder, and we will come to site if help is required.

Loft conversion being carried out
Side view of loft being converted
Loft conversion front view

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