How Long Does a Loft Conversion Take?
As loft conversion specialists, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “How long does a loft conversion take?’ Although no two loft conversions are the same, the same general timescale can be used depending on your desired loft conversion timeline. Understanding that every project is unique is significant.
You have to go through various steps to get your new loft, and each step usually takes to complete and has a general timeline, which we will explain below.
- Loft Conversion Stages:
- Loft conversions generally involve three stages: design, planning, and building.
- Design Stage:
- Designing the loft involves a two-step process, taking 2-4 weeks.
- It includes a design team visiting the property, drafting plans, and obtaining necessary permissions.
- Planning Permissions:
- Building regulations and planning permissions are vital for a smooth loft conversion process.
- Planning permissions can take 4-6 weeks to be approved.
- Building Stage:
- The actual construction work begins after planning approvals and involves several weeks of interior and exterior work.
- The timeline varies based on the complexity and type of loft conversion.
- Loft Conversion General Timeline:
- A typical loft conversion takes a minimum of one month to a maximum of three months to complete.
- The timeline is broken down into weeks, outlining the progress of construction.
- Types of Loft Conversions and Timeframes:
- Different types of loft conversions have varying timeframes for completion, ranging from less than four weeks to 7-12 weeks.
- Approaching a Loft Conversion Project:
- Planning the project and creating a timeline considering various factors is essential.
- Hiring reputable and professional contractors is crucial for a successful loft conversion.
Stages of Loft Conversion
There are three stages of work which most loft conversion timelines generally have. These are the design, planning, and build phases, and here we will discuss what happens not only in loft conversions but during these stages.
The design stage, which mainly involves drawing up blueprint designs to plan your ideal loft room, is so long it takes mainly a two-step process. The first phase will include scheduling a design team, which usually also consists of an architect, to visit and survey your home and environment to get vital information about the overall property. This will often take 2- 4 weeks.
The design team considers factors such as fire access, accommodation needs, headroom, and access to design your home’s ideal top loft space. They will then get to work on drawing the plans for the proposed conversions.
Different designs will be drafted before you find the ideal design for an average loft in your home, and once you find and are happy with a model, the plans are then submitted to the planning and building control office to get any permissions, if necessary, for the loft conversions to move forward.
Getting planning permissions to start loft conversions
Although some loft conversions can be constructed without planning permissions, you must satisfy building regulation laws.
Considering that it takes some time (4-6 weeks) to get your planning permissions approved, it’s essential to know if you will need planning permissions before you start. You do this by making sure that your conversion meets the building regulations. Not following building regulations will make the process of designing and getting planning permission extremely tedious.
You can read more about planning permissions by visiting the Planning Portal.
The actual time required for planning to be approved or for building control to visit can vary across the UK as the planning relates to the local authority timescales. The local planning office can only give you a rough estimate and a rough guideline for when the planning will be approved.
Ensuring that the planning is done right, that is, the design complies with the local rules and regulations, will reduce the chances of your planning request being rejected and having to start the designing stage all over again.
As soon as the planning has been approved, your project manager will work with you in real-time to agree upon a favourable start and finish date so that you are well informed on how the whole loft conversion process will take shape.
When the planning approvals are approved, and the building control office is satisfied, a full schedule of the loft conversion works is detailed. You will be able to know what exactly needs to happen in what order, and the plan will then be executed. From then on, your loft conversion will take longer or shorter, depending on what exactly you’re trying to do.
For example, the team might start with the exterior and roof work – more about new roof cost, then the internal roof work, followed by the staircase installation to grant access to the loft, before joining the new room with the rest of the house, adding built-in decorations, additional decorations and other furnishings.
Loft Conversion General Timeline
If you have family and work to consider, it’s helpful to know what to expect throughout the process of long loft conversion or conversions. This is an average timeline of standard conversions:
Week 1 and 2
On the first week of the construction work, materials and equipment are prepared and organised for the work to commence. The deliveries will likely arrive onsite, scaffolding will be raised, and a hole may be created in the existing roof structure for access. All the work at this stage happens outside or within the roof space. By the second week, construction should have begun securing the roof structure, which generally depends on the conversion type.
Week 3 and 4
In loft conversion takes the third and fourth weeks, the work is now inside as the loft floor and floor supports are installed. Ventilation, internal stud walls, and insulation are also fixed.
The external roof works are completed for more straightforward conversions, and the windows are installed. Small conversions are usually completed by the fourth week.
Week 5, 6 and 7:
Complete staircase installation and loft connection to the rest of the house during the final phase. The staircase is additionally fixed with handrails and bannisters together with any plasterwork. The loft room is then plasterboarded and painted.
This final stage sees the completion of carpentry works such as doors, cupboards, and skirtings. Plumbings and electric components are installed and tested. The whole type of loft room is then decorated to finish off the room.
The conversion will take more time to complete if the loft requires multiple rooms, a roof terrace, or a balcony. Overall, loft conversions take a minimum of one month to approximately a maximum of three months.
What each type of conversion may take
The type of loft conversion will have different loft conversion timeframes and frames to complete the sequence of works, and they vary considerably from each other.
- For example, a Velux loft conversion is usually completed in less than four weeks since they are one of the simplest conversion types.
- Depending on the overall size and roof work requirements, a dormer loft conversion project may take four to six weeks to complete.
- Hip to gable end conversions may also now take longer, up to 6 weeks to complete.
- If the loft conversion requires a whole roof replacement, as in a Mansard loft conversion, then the timescale to complete it could be around 7 or 8 weeks to 12 weeks.
It’s also worth noting that there will be a wait time for the planning and creating of the room off-site even though some conversion methods, such as extending a ready-made room into a living space under the roof space, reduce the overall work phase. Time will still be required to install the staircase and create room access.
How should you approach your loft conversion project?
Once you have this information in mind, planning out the project is a good idea. Create a timeline that considers all of these factors, and make sure you have someone in mind who is qualified to do the job.
It’s also essential to ensure that any contractors hired for the job are reputable and professional, as this will ensure that your conversion is done right the first time. Get quotes from multiple contractors to ensure you get the best deal, and don’t forget to ask for references if you can.
In any case, here at Loftera, we can help you with the loft conversion process. Our experts will guide you through the planning, installation, and completion of your project.
We’ll also help you source any unique materials or tools required for installing the staircase and creating room access. Contact us today to get started on your loft conversion!
Frequently Asked Questions about your Loft Conversion
What factors can affect the timeline of a loft conversion?
Several factors can influence how long a loft conversion takes. These include:
- Planning and Permissions: If your loft conversion requires planning permission or falls within a conservation area, it might take longer due to the time it takes to get these approvals.
- Design Complexity: A more complex design, such as one with additional features like a bathroom or staircase, will take longer to complete.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions can delay construction work.
- Unforeseen Issues: Problems like structural issues or unexpected repairs can add time to the project.
Can I live in my house during a loft conversion?
Yes, in most cases, you can continue to live in your house during a loft conversion. Most of the work is done from outside, entering the loft space through the roof, which minimizes disruption inside the home. However, there will be some noise and dust, and there may be a few days where water and electricity need to be turned off.
However, you will need to have a clear agreement with your builders about what to expect and how to manage the disruption.
Is it possible to speed up the loft conversion process?
While it’s natural to want your loft conversion completed as quickly as possible, it’s important not to rush the process. Quality takes time, and hurrying could lead to mistakes or oversights that could impact the final result. However, there are a few things you can do to help the project run smoothly:
- Clear Decision Making: Be clear about what you want from the start and try to avoid changing your mind during the project.
- Preparation: Have all the necessary permissions in place before work begins to avoid delays.
- Professional Team: Hire a professional team with experience in loft conversions. They will be able to manage the project efficiently and anticipate potential issues.
What happens after the loft conversion is completed?
Once the conversion is complete, it’s time for the fun part – decorating! But before that, you’ll need to get a completion certificate from your local authority’s building control officer. This is an essential document that confirms the work complies with building regulations.
You will aso need this for insurance purposes and when you decide to sell your home. After that, you can start planning how to use your new space, whether it’s a spare bedroom, an office, a playroom, or anything else you’ve dreamed of.
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