Is my loft suitable for conversion?

At Aspinalls Ltd, we are keen to give the best possible advice to anyone considering any home renovations whether it’s a loft conversion, new kitchen, new bathroom, heating systems, plumbing or electrical. You might ask why this is important to us, and the answer is because we are passionate about the work we do and as a 2nd generation business we have decades of experience. If the knowledge we have can make a positive difference it is worth sharing.

Loft conversionA loft conversion is a big job and one that requires serious consideration. However the fact is not all houses are suitable for a loft conversion. Trying to build something as complex as a loft conversion which will not work is about as good a use of money as £50 notes a toilet paper.

As a general rule the steeper the slope (pitch) the greater the potential living space. Houses built before the 1960’s are easier to convert because roofs were usually constructed from individual rafters (the traditional rafter and purlin roofs). This is ideal for a loft conversion as it usually has a reasonably steep pitch and relatively clear space between the supporting framework.

Since the 1960’s most roofs have been built from ‘trussed rafters’. These are factory assembled triangles which result in a lower pitch with more struts. Converting a roof constructed like this is a more complicated process as it requires timbers to be rearranged or the roof raised.

Although there are no regulations governing height, a minimum height of 2.3 metres is needed over half the floor area to make a conversion worthwhile. As the existing joists were designed to hold up a ceiling, not to support a floor, it will probably be necessary to fit new joists between the original ones and then to screw chipboard sheets to the new joists raising the level of the floor, resulting in less headroom.

Aspinalls Builders Ltd is an experienced family run business. We are London builders who offer a wide range of London building services covering areas such as loft conversions, extensions, brick work, plastering, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrics.


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