Frequently Asked Questions from Property Convertors

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Frequently Asked Questions from Property Convertors
Below are the top questions we've been asked about converting a home - so we thought it would be helpful to publish them! Don't forget you can email us on enquiries@designsonproperty.co.uk or call us on 0845 838 1763 if you need support during your property conversion or renovation.

What parts of a property can be converted for extra space?
There are four main areas of your property it's worth considering converting for extra space: loft, garage, outbuildings and even the basement!

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as converting a loft or garage!

What is permitted development?
Permitted development relates to changes you can make to a property such as converting a loft or garage (within planning/building control restrictions) without having to apply for planning.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as off permitted development reports!

What does it cost to convert a garage?
Garage conversion costs vary from around £8,000 to £25,000 depending on the size and quality of the conversion; whether you DIY or have it done for you and whether you include a bathroom/loo.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as a garage conversion!

What does it cost to convert a loft?
It costs from around £12,000 to over £50,000 to convert a loft, assuming the rooms creating are classed as habitable ie passed planning and building regulations. Costs depend on what structural changes are required; whether you do it yourself or pay someone else, size and whether you add bathrooms or not.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as a converting a loft!

What does it cost to convert an outbuilding?
Costs for converting an outbuilding are similar to converting a garage, so from £8,000 to £25,000. They are influenced by size, whether you DIY or pay someone and whether you have a bathroom fitted.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist conversions for sheds, cabins and small outhouses!

What does it cost to convert an basement?
Costs for converting a basement are similar to a loft, unless you have to dig out the basement in the first place. Depending on size and accessibility, this can cost from around £40,000 to over £100,000.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist basement convertors!

Do I need planning permission to convert a loft, garage, outbuilding or basement?
It is always advisable to check with your local council planning office whether you need permission - before you do any work! However you do have permitted development rights which allows your home to be expanded, but this is to a maximum size and is based on the original home's footprint.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as house conversion designs!

What rules and regulations apply to converting a loft, garage, outbuilding or basement?
The main rules and regulations that apply to lofts, garages, outbuildings and basements are building regulations which you must strictly adhere to as you will need a building certificate which signs off the work when you come to sell the home.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as building regulation costs!

How do I know if I can convert my loft?
The basic rule of thumb is a loft height of 2.4 metres at its point and enough space to create a new staircase. You can ask a specialist loft company to advise you or gain a report from a local surveyor.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as surveyors or loft conversion companies!

Do I need a surveyor to advise on my property conversion?
If you are having a big conversion job which requires knocking down walls, additional weight on floors/ceilings it's advisable to have an surveyor check whether the building can cope with the alterations safely and what implications there are from a cost versus added value basis.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as surveyors!

Can I convert a garage, outbuilding, loft or basement myself?
If you are just doing a basic conversion and have experience of building work in the past, then it is possible to DIY. However certain jobs can't be done by yourself, such as electrics, gas, glazing, unless you are qualified.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when buying materials for converting rooms in your home!

Should I use a specialist company to convert my loft, basement, garage or outbuilding?
There are advantages to using a specialist company in that should be able to show you jobs they have done in the past. Specialist companies often have all the services that you need from an architect, to a surveyor, building control expert as well as qualified trades. However you can sometimes pay more for the work, so always get other quotes from general builders or contractors and check the cost of the materials.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist conversion companies!

What's the advantages of using different tradespeople to convert my loft, basement, garage or outbuilding?
Using individual contractors to carry out a conversion project can save you money, but you do have to be very organised and ensure that the contractors do the work in the right order and on time.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as builders or local trades services!

How do I get light into my basement?
There are lots of ways of making a basement lighter from adding additional lighting to using 'natural light' with sunpipe systems.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist lighting systems for basements!

What is the downside of installing a macerator in my property?
Macerator toilets such as Saniflo are good for areas where it isn't cost effective to run pipes to the drainage system. They have been known to be quite noisy, but companies have worked hard to reduce this - but always check them out in an existing home where they have just been fitted. 

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when buying Saniflo or macerator pump systems!

Should I add the new conversion to my current electrics or gas or use a separate system?
This depends on how up to date your current electrics and gas systems are and how easy it would be to add the converted area of the property. It's certainly worth considering putting in its own electrics and/or gas system, if the existing one fails at all you end up with a 'back up' loo/shower/bath/heating system.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as electrical or gas companies!

I have a terraced property, what are "party wall" considerations?
Party Wall considerations are incredibly important to be aware of. Effectively any substantial work such as a loft or basement conversion which impacts on a neighbour directly (because you share walls) will require a Party Wall agreement for you to go ahead. This can be done by a specialist company, which is often a surveying practice.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist party wall surveyors!

How do I damp proof a basement - should I use a professional or can I do it myself?
This depends on whether you are experienced or not and whether you want someone else to take the responsibility so it can be put right if it goes wrong. Damp is a major problem if it isn't done well from the start, so if you do it yourself make sure you do your research.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as damp proof systems for basements!

Will I need to move the water tank from my loft if I want to convert it?
It is likely that you will need to move your water tank and this is best done and re-sited by a plumber.

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when using a plumber.

Can I get a fixed cost for converting my loft, basement, outbuilding or garage?
Ideally you should always get a fixed cost for major work otherwise the job could go way over budget. You are more likely to get a fixed price from a specialist loft, garage, basement conversion company or from an experienced builder that uses their own qualified tradespeople. With any quote you receive always make sure you get a separate quote for labour and materials and check the material costs you are being charged. 

Need to find out more? Try our Converting a Home store or join as a member of Designs on Property and receive support throughout your property project including all our factsheets and ebooks for free. We will even save you £££s money when booking services such as specialist conversion companies!

 

 

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