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The Loft Conversion Authority

Add Space – Add Value – Use Your Loft
       
Home Knowledge base Glossary
You may not be familiar with the terms and words related to the loft conversion process. The following glossary of the most common terms, with an easy to understand explanation, will help you when discussing your proposed conversion:
       
Basement Conversions 
Basement conversions can be cramped and have no natural light. A better way to add living space to your property is through a loft conversion. In the UK loft conversions are an effective way to add real value to your house. This is because loft conversions are more pleasant to use as living quarters due to the increase in natural light and airflow possible through the use of windows in the loft. Econoloft have carried out many loft conversions.
 
       
Dormer 
A conversion with an extension to the roof is called a "Dormer".
 
       
Feasibility study 
A feasibility study is the way to determine the most efficient, cost effective way of carrying out your loft conversion. An experienced surveyor will visit your property and inspect your roof space discussing specific issues with you that arise without obligation.
 
       
Full conversion 

This includes

  • A Technical survey
  • Full design and full working drawings complying with building regulations
  • Structural calculations
  • Obtaining planning permission if needed
  • All submissions to local authorities
  • Full structure i.e. floor, stairs, windows, supports and walls.
  • Insulation
  • Skirting, doors architraves etc.
  • Electrics and plumbing as required
  • Plaster finish and ready to decorate
 
       
Local Authority Building Inspectors 
Upon completion, building inspectors from your local council will inspect your property to check whether it meets building regulations. They will forward a certificate to confirm that your conversion has passed.
 
       
Loft Conversion 
Converting your existing roof spaces means that you can maximise existing space and extend your living space easily and cheaply. The existing structure and roofing can often be utilised, thus reducing construction costs, by avoiding excavations for new foundations, and the moving of underground drainage or other services.
 
       
LPA 
Local Planning Authority – they are responsible for granting any permissions needed.
 
       
Mansard 
A roof Dormer conversion with a sloping front of 70° which can take either roof lights in the slope of the new roof or new vertical windows. It can have brick cheeks to keep in character with the property.
 
       
Minimum headroom 
The buildings regulations do not specify a minimum height requirement for new rooms, however, there is a requirement of a minimum height of 2m from the top of the stairs.
 
       
Party walls 
If you live in a terraced or semi detached property, the wall between yourselves and your neighbours is called a party wall.

In a terraced or semi-detached house, the separating wall needs to be able to resist the passage of sound, irrespective of whether or not the neighbouring house has a habitable room in the roof (sound can travel through the wall into your neighbour's roof void and through the ceiling, and vice-versa).

If you live in this type of property, then you have certain responsibilities under "The Party Wall etc Act 1996". 
 
       
Planning applications 
These are legal requirements aimed at achieving adequate standards of building work within the new construction. You are required to achieve compliance with the Building Regulations when you consider a loft conversion.

The Building Regulations 2000 differ and are dependant on your local council. With over 30 years of experience behind us, we contact your local council and liaise with them to gain permission on your behalf.

The general rule is that if your property is listed or situated in a conservation area listed building consent and planning permission may be required.

It's likely that if your property is not listed or is not listed in a conservation area, it may be extended up to a particular volumetric limit without planning permission being required. 
 
       
Space Saver Staircases 
A Space Saver Staircase is a staircase that has alternating treads allowing you to get up a flight of stairs in approximately half the going distance of a normal flight of stairs.
 
       
Shell conversion 
A shell conversion includes:
  • Part build will include as much of the following as required:
  • Technical Survey, Plans and Design
  • Design and Full Drawings complying with Building regulations
  • Floor, structural work, stud walls etc
  • Window, Roof Work, External Furnishings
     
 
       
Velux™ windows 
Velux™ is the brand name for skylights, loft windows and roof windows. Velux™ windows are available in a huge range of designs and styles, for flat, sloping and pitched roofs, in wood and polyurathane frames, with various shutter designs, rollers and glazing, and with electric controls.