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Loft Coversions: Guidance for Professionals in Swansea and South Wales

Loft Coversions: Guidance for Professionals in Swansea and South Wales
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Coverting a loft is not something that you can do anytime you want. There are rules and steps that you need to follow.

PLANNING PERMISSION
Your client will need to obtain planning permission if;

  • There is a change to the maximum roof height.
  • You use materials not in keeping with the property.
  • It exceeds 40m3 for a terrace or 50m3 for a semi or detached house.
  • The slope of the roof is altered.
  • You add a dormer window.
  • If the property is in certain conservation areas or national park.
  • If you add a veranda or balcony.

PARTY WALLS

Before undertaking any loft conversions for either a terrace or semi- detached properties in Swansea, the home builder should check if they are obliged by the terms of The Party Wall Act 1996. This may mean a conversation with your clients’ neighbours. We urge all professional construction companies operating in Swansea to double check with their clients everything is legal before commencing work on a project.

WINDOWS

It is more than likely that your client will wish to install windows on their loft conversion, so you need to ensure that they understand what this entails.

For a loft conversion to comply with Building Regs it needs to have an energy rating of C, as a bare minimum.

A lot of times both homeowners and building contractors in Swansea believe that the only windows that are available are UPVC. This is not the case. Timber windows are not only available, but they can be manufactured to the same standard as UPVC. Nowadays, wood windows may be double or even triple glazed and come with thermal insulation. Additionally, these can be found with a guarantee of 30 years plus. On top of the quality factor, is the simple aesthetics of a timber window, setting it head and shoulders above the run of the mill UPVC which has dominated in recent years.

POPULAR WINDOWS FOR LOFT CONVERSIONS IN SWANSEA

  • DORMER WINDOWS At the top of the list are dormer windows. These are fit into the tilt of the roof. They are popular because they help bring light into a room. They can also be a decent size, for extra lighting and cosmetic appeal. However, these add onto your roof space, which might be pleasant aesthetically, but will cost rather more.
  • ROOF WINDOWS These are the more straightforward choice for homeowners who either don’t have a large budget or just want simplicity. They may also let in a decent amount of light. However, it is worth reminding your client of the need to shut them before going out – as they are literally cut into the slope of the roof and a freak cloudburst means a deluge when it rains!
  • BALCONY WINDOWS Although this is not for everyone, some clients might decide to go with a balcony, in which case French doors can be fitted to a loft conversion. However, as any construction company in Swansea will already be aware, these are not the cheap option!
  • ESCAPE WINDOWS An escape window should be able to let someone exit via it, should it be necessary. This means an opening of 0.33m2 and width of 450mm.

Don’t forget to make your loft conversion tally with all the building regs operating in Swansea council!