Let’s face fact. A loft conversion is never going to be a 100% stress free experience. But if you are thinking about getting a London loft conversion, how much work will you actually need to do yourself?
The answer to this question, as with so many things in life is “it depends”.
With that in mind, let’s take a look through a few scenarios and how they’ll impact the amount of effort you have to put into planning your loft conversion.
Laying the ground work for your loft conversion
Is you loft suitable for a loft conversion? Do you need planning permission to get your loft conversion done? Has any work been carried out on your loft before, and if so how will that impact your planned loft conversion? What about building regulations?
These are all questions you should have the answer to before you even start thinking about looking for a loft conversion contractor.
By getting the preparation done at this stage, you won’t run into any unexpected road blocks further down the line, when you may have already committed large amounts of time and money to your loft conversion project.
In 99% of cases, you’ll discover you can get your loft conversion done with the minimum of fuss. However, if you find yourself in the 1% of cases that faces additional issues, then it pays to make sure you know about them well in advance.
Finding a reputable loft conversion company
Isn’t it always tempting to take the first quote you get, especially if it seems reasonable? Tempting, yes. But always a mistake. Trying to save time at this stage is just about the biggest false economy you can make during a loft conversion project.
It may seem like you’re saving time and money by plumping for a cheap quote from a loft conversion company that’s ready to get started straightaway, but further down the line you may find that your cheap time saving move turns into an expensive time consuming disaster.
Always spend some time and effort getting multiple loft conversion quotes, tracking down reviews of the companies you’re considering using, and, if possible, actually speak to previous loft conversion customers to check that the company you plan on using is on the level.
Remember – you probably won’t be able to start your loft conversion straightaway as reputable companies will likely have a waiting list.
Are you planning to do anything yourself?
The biggest possible question when it comes to a loft conversion. If you’re planning a straightforward off the peg loft conversion done entirely by a contractor, then you won’t have to worry about anything.
However, if you want to plan your own bespoke loft conversion, or even want to build the whole thing yourself, then obviously things get a lot more complicated.
Our advice is that if you haven’t worked on major construction projects before, then a loft conversion is not a good place to start. In a worst case scenario, if you get things wrong, then you could end up doing severe structural damage to your home.
And if just you want to plan your own loft conversion, we still recommend you work with a qualified architect who will help you turn your vision into a reality and make sure you end up with plans that can actually be built.
Remember though, using an architect is likely to increase the cost of your loft conversion and how long it takes to complete as you will still need to find a contractor who is willing to work from the plans you have drawn up.
After the work is completed
It may seem strange to start planning what you’ll need to do after your loft conversion is finished before you even start, but it makes sense. If you get to the end of the work without knowing what needs to happen next, they’ll be a needless gap between the completed of the building work and your loft conversion becoming a usable living space.
So understand what you’ll need to do in terms of furnishing and decoration, and make sure you’re ready to do it when the time comes.
Exactly how much planning you need to put into your loft conversion depends on the kind of results you want to see. In most cases, it’s sensible to do the groundwork yourself, but leave the actual construction side to the experts.
Thinking about getting a loft conversion, but don’t know when the best time of year to have start it is? This is the guide for you.
It can be tempting to think that “the sooner the better” is the best time to have a loft conversion done, but there are some important things to bear in mind.
The first is that when you approach companies for a loft conversion quote, they may not be able to start work straightaway.
After all, companies will have a list of jobs they need to work on, and you’ll be joining the back of the queue. That means if you’re going for a trusted company (and you should), then you’ll be the last in a potentially long line of customers.
That means that your “sooner the better” may turn into a length wait.
Then of course there’s the prospects of holidays. You shouldn’t expect your loft conversion to be done over major holiday periods such as Christmas, or Easter. After all, tradesmen take time off too.
There’s also a potential issue around any holidays you may already have booked. Although it’s possible to be absent from the property during a loft conversion, you may decide you’re not happy with the prospect of giving strangers the free run of the property while you’re away.
With that in mind, here are our key tips for getting a loft conversion done at a time which works for you.
1 Don’t compromise on quality
We’re going to just assume that you’re wise enough to get multiple quotes for a project as big as this. But as already stated, it’s not just the price that matters. You’ll also need to find a loft conversion contractor who will be able to fit you in at a time that works for you. Just as you wouldn’t go with a cheaper quote when you suspect a company may not be on the up and up, neither should you go with a company just because they can fit you in sooner.
Shop around based on price, and availability.
2 Be prepared to wait
Of course, the best loft conversion companies in London will have a waiting list, and you’ll need to be added to it. It may be that a cancellation means your project gets done sooner, but don’t count on it.
3 Do the preliminary work as soon as you can
By the time the loft conversion contractor is ready to start work, you should have all the paperwork out of the way. You don’t want to wait weeks for the loft conversion contractor to fit you in, then have work delayed further because you haven’t got all the permissions you need.
Make sure you’re on top of everything you need to be on top of.
So there it is. Ultimately, there’s no way to get a quality loft conversion in just a few weeks. You will have to wait. The process can be speeded up, but just make sure the shortcuts you take are the right ones.
So you want a loft conversion. But how can you be sure you go about doing it in the right way? Here are five tips that will make sure you get the best possible loft conversion.
1 Do your homework
Loft conversions don’t require much in the way of paperwork and it’s not something you really have to worry about, right? Well, kind of. It’s true that in most cases, you won’t need planning permission for a loft conversion.
But what if your one of the cases where that isn’t true? You don’t want to get part of the way through your attic conversion and then discover that you haven’t got the required permissions.
So make sure you’re fully aware of what you need to do before you start work. The chances are that all you’ll need to do is to notify your neighbours under the Party Wall Act, but make sure you don’t get caught out.
2 Vet your contractors
Everybody knows that you should always get a range of quotes for a major home improvement project, but did you know that you shouldn’t automatically opt for the lowest quote.
Why? Because if you get a loft conversion price that seems too good to be true, it may well turn out to be just that.
So make sure you thoroughly research loft conversion contractors before making any commitments. Check online reviews, and make sure you go with a company you can trust.
3 Understand what you’ll be getting
Although it can be tempting just to “leave everything to the experts”, you need to make sure you understand what your loft conversion will look like when it’s finished.
Why? Well, imagine your loft conversion is completed and it ends up looking nothing like you wanted. But the contractor has signed documents saying that this is what you agreed on.
The end result of this situation is that you’re stuck with a loft conversion that you don’t like.
So just make sure you’re fully aware of what the contractor will be doing. You don’t have to be hands on with things, just make sure you’re in the know on the things that matter to you.
4 Prepare to furnish
Unless you’ve opted for a very high end loft conversion, the chances are you’ll have to furnish your new living space yourself.
So firstly, don’t forget to factor this into your budgeting, and secondly make sure you enjoy shopping around for new furniture and accessories. (Just make sure your new purchases will get up the attic stairs!)
One other thing to remember is that, while your new loft conversion will probably be decorated when it’s finished, it will be to a very basic standard. So if you want anything more fancy, you’ll have to arrange that too.
5 Make sure you enjoy it
You’re not just planning to use your loft conversion as a way to make a quick profit, are you? Because that sort of thing is really best left to property developers who understand the risks they are taking.
A loft conversion should be a wonderful addition to your home, so make sure you enjoy it.
Contact us for a competitive quote on your London loft conversion today.