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Hiring a tradesman for a loft conversion
Planning, budgeting for and going through with a loft conversion requires careful planning and expert tradesmen. Plentific can help you through each stage of your loft conversion by providing lists of the best tradesmen in your local area that offer the services you need, along with access to customer reviews to help you make your choice.
What do you need to know about loft conversions?
Loft conversions require a great deal of planning. The first thing you will find is that planning regulations are tighter with loft conversions than they are with extensions. There is a lot that you will need to confirm before you can start planning your project. Can the existing roof structure provide adequate structural support? Will the floor require new steel joists to support the new room? When fitting a staircase at least 2 meters of head clearance is legally required, and if this is not available more restructuring work will need to be done. One way to do this is to install a dormer window. Although this is more expensive than adding sloping windows, it will provide you with a bit of extra space for your room. Complications such as these can be predicted in advance, which is why it is a good idea to discuss everything with an architect or structural engineer before finalising your plans or beginning work. They will be able to go through your options with you and let you know where planning permission will be required. Keep in mind that you will need a strict budget in place before beginning your project. This will help keep your plans and expenses grounded, and should also help your tradesmen give you appropriate advice.
Given the intricate nature of a job like this it can be a good idea to hire an architect or structural engineer to help plan or oversee the process. If you do this, it is likely they will be able to recommend other tradesmen to you for the job. Regardless, make sure to check the experience and qualifications of each of your options. A tradesman may have completed an apprenticeship, a college qualification or they may have completed a course offered by a tradesmen’s association. Membership in such an organisation is a good sign, as they usually enforce high standards and codes of conduct for their members. You should also be sure to ask them for reviews from previous customers. It is likely with loft conversions that tradesmen will have images on hand of jobs they have finished in the past, which can be a big help when choosing which one is best for realising your designs. Remember, depending on the complexity of the finished project you may need to hire several tradesmen with different specialisations over the course of the project.
Before making a decision, be sure that your choice has adequate coverage and guarantees for accidental damage. Especially for jobs requiring scaffolding or other dangerous equipment, be sure that they are covered by liability insurance. They should also have policies in place for if you are dissatisfied with their finished work.
How much does a loft conversion cost?
The price of a loft conversion depends heavily on the work involved. Several jobs can drive up the price, such as installing a fixed staircase or additional windows, upgrading ceilings to support the new floor and upgrading your fuse board to support the new room. This is why it is crucial to plan exactly what you want. It is a good idea to discuss your ideas, along with your budget, with tradesmen when seeking a quote. A straightforward design could cost between £10,000 and £15,000. Consider carefully what the loft will be used for. Adding a new bathroom can be by far the most expensive type of loft conversion. Certain materials such as steel joists will also drive your price up, and your project may require scaffolding for your tradesmen to work safely.
With this considered, there are ways for you to save money, such as doing decorating work yourself. However, you should not expect a loft conversion to be cheap or easy. Ensure that you consider all of your options, as certain lofts may add little to the value of your home even after an expensive conversion.