Loft conversions Essex

SCL Construction, based in Epping, Essex, have been building loft conversions in and around Essex for 11 years.

Our loft conversions add space and value to your home. We pride ourselves on delivering a quality product on time and on budget.

Loft conversion Essex

Pictured: Loft conversion on the Essex / Hertfordshire border by SCL Construction. This is a dormer loft conversion.

Our loft conversion process

We guide and advise our clients through the entire loft conversion process.

  • When you contact us, we can chat about your project, and can outline recommended next steps.
  • We can also give you a free price estimate, which will be dependent on the final specifications.

Every loft conversion is different, but typically, next steps are…

  • We visit your site, with the architect if appropriate.
  • Architect creates drawings and specifications.
  • SCL issues a formal quote.
  • Submission of drawings and structural calculations to Planning and Building Control.
  • Approval from Planning and Building Control obtained.
  • The construction stage begins. SCL Construction offer the complete package; Floor and beams, stairs, walls, windows, bathroom plumbing and electrics, fire safety, sound insulation, thermal insulation, quality checks and more.
  • After construction completes, SCL obtains the appropriate certificates for your loft extension.
Bathroom in Essex loft conversion

Pictured: Bathroom in an Essex loft conversion by SCL

Loft conversion guide

Whether you need a new home office, more living space, or an extra bedroom with an ensuite bathroom – SCL Construction can deliver your project.

On this page we’ve written a brief loft conversion guide for Essex homeowners who want to transform their lofts successfully.

There are various types of loft conversions, each with their own pros and cons. Loft conversion designs that are often seen enhancing Essex homes include:

Velux loft conversions, dormer conversions, Mansard loft conversions and hip-to-gable loft conversions.

Bedroom in an Essex loft conversion by SCL

Pictured: Bedroom in an Essex loft conversion by SCL

Velux loft conversions

Velux loft conversions, also known as roof light conversions, are the simplest option for Essex homeowners on a budget. Because the windows (usually Velux windows) are inserted into the roof, without changing the shape or pitch of the roof, it’s usually the most affordable type of loft conversion.

This type of conversion is ideal if your property already has enough roof space to create a room. It’s also useful if planning constraints mean the roof shape cannot be altered, for example if you live in a conservation area.

  • Advantages:
    • Less structural work means it’s typically more cost-effective.
    • Doesn’t usually require planning permission.
    • Retains the original character of the house.
  • Considerations:
    • Limited headroom compared to other types.
    • Best suited for lofts with ample existing space.

Dormer loft conversions

Dormer loft conversions are one of the most popular types of conversions in Essex. If Velux conversions are usually the least complicated and therefore the cheapest option, Dormer conversions tend to be the second-most expensive.

A Dormer conversion extends the roof to a flat front (90 degrees), providing additional usable room space, often used for an additional bedroom and bathroom. Dormers are suitable for nearly any sloping roof, and because the entire roof does not need to be restructured they usually cost less than a mansard or hip-to-gable conversion.

  • Dormer Conversions:
    • Suitable for most house types, including terraced, semi-detached, and detached homes.
    • Provides significant additional space.
    • Allows for the installation of conventional windows.

Hip-to-gable conversions

A hip roof, or hipped roof, has four sides, all of which slope upwards to meet at a seam at the top of the roof. In Essex, hipped roofs are often seen on detached, semi-detached properties and bungalows/chalets.

Hip-to-gable conversions extend the hip end – the triangular sloping surface – into a new vertical gable wall, creating more usable internal space.

Properties with two sloping sides can be eligible for double hip-to-gable conversions, creating even more space.

Compared to other types of loft conversions, hip-to-gable is usually more expensive than Velux and dormer conversions.

  • Advantages:
    • Provides more space than Velux conversions.
    • Allows for a larger living area or even an additional bathroom.
  • Considerations:
    • Not suitable for mid-terraced homes.
    • May require planning permission, especially in conservation areas.

Mansard conversions

Mansard conversions create a lot of internal space and are suitable for most property types, including terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.

These conversions create lots of space by altering the entire roof structure. The sides of the roof are raised until they are nearly vertical, and a flat roof connects to the near-vertical sides. They’re often seen on older properties in Essex.

Because of the large amount of work required to alter the roof structure, Mansard loft conversions are usually the most expensive of the four loft conversion types mentioned on this page.

  • Advantages:
    • Maximises available space.
    • Suitable for various property types, including terraced homes.
    • Offers flexibility in design.
  • Considerations:
    • More expensive due to extensive structural changes.
    • Almost always requires planning permission.

Design considerations for your loft

A successful loft conversion isn’t just about adding space; it’s about creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing area that integrates with the rest of your home and improves quality of life. Elements to consider, include:

Maximising natural light:

  • Skylights: These are perfect for bringing in daylight without compromising privacy.
  • Dormer windows: They not only add space but can also flood the room with light.
  • Juliet balconies: These can be incorporated into larger dormer conversions, allowing for both light and ventilation.

Storage solutions:

  • Eaves storage: Utilise the spaces under the eaves for cupboards or drawers.
  • Built-in furniture: Custom-built wardrobes or shelving can fit snugly into sloping ceilings.
  • Multipurpose furniture: Consider furniture that doubles up as storage, like ottoman beds or storage benches.

Room purpose:

  • Decide on the primary function of the room. Whether it’s a bedroom, office, playroom, or gym, the purpose will influence the design.
  • Consider future needs. A space that’s a nursery today might be an office in a few years.

Acoustics:

  • If the loft will be a home cinema or music room, consider soundproofing measures to avoid disturbing the rest of the house.

Heating and ventilation:

  • Ensure the room has adequate heating. This might mean extending the central heating or adding electric radiators.
  • Proper ventilation is crucial, especially if the loft will house a bathroom.

Loft conversion cost Essex

A question we are often asked is: “How much does a loft conversion cost in Essex?”

The answer is, of course, it depends on the type of loft conversion you require, the suitability and size of your property and the cost of materials.

When we speak to you and understand your requirements, we can give you a free personalised quote.

That said, loft conversions typically cost between £25,000 to £50,000, in total.

Bear in mind: loft conversion is an investment. Nationwide Building Society has calculated that a loft conversion could increase a property’s worth by about 22%.

Costs include professional fees. For example: Architect fees, structural design fee, planning application, lawful development certificate, building control, and building regulation fees.

The type of loft extension needed will also impact on the price of conversion. For example:

  • Velux Conversion: £20,000 – £25,000
  • Dormer Conversion: £30,000 – £40,000
  • Hip-to-Gable Conversion: £40,000 – £50,000
  • Mansard Conversion: £45,000 – £55,000

Factors influencing the cost:

  • Type of conversion: As mentioned, Mansard conversions tend to be more expensive due to the extensive structural changes, while Velux conversions are generally more cost-effective.
  • Size and complexity: Larger conversions or those with complex designs, such as the addition of a bathroom, will naturally cost more.
  • Materials: The quality and type of materials used can significantly impact the cost.
  • Labour: Rates can vary based on the expertise and experience needed.
  • Planning and permissions: Acquiring planning permissions or dealing with building regulations can add to the overall cost.

“Loft conversions add value to your home

“Nationwide Building Society has calculated that a loft conversion could increase a property’s worth by about 22%.”

Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion in Essex?

The answer is; it depends on the type of conversion. Contact us and SCL Construction will guide and advise on permissions, and obtain any certification required.

Typically, converting the loft of a house is considered to be permitted development (not requiring planning permission), subject to limits and conditions – which SCL can help you with.

Each of the 12 councils in Essex is a Local Planning Authority, responsible for determining planning applications in their area. The twelve councils are: Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Tendring and Uttlesford.

Dormer loft conversion Essex

Pictured: A loft conversion in Epping, Essex by SCL. We also remodelled other parts of the house

Trends in loft conversions

Over the years, we’ve kept up with changing styles and tastes. For example, open-plan living is a major trend that is influencing loft conversion design. Many homeowners now want minimal walls or partitions, creating a sense of spaciousness.

Other trends include:

Sustainable and eco-friendly conversions:

  • With growing awareness of environmental issues, more homeowners are seeking sustainable solutions for their conversions.
  • Features: Use of recycled or sustainable building materials, solar panels, and green insulation methods.
  • Benefits: Reduced carbon footprint, potential for energy savings, and a healthier living environment.

Smart home integration:

  • The rise of smart home technology is influencing loft designs.
  • Features: Automated lighting, heating, and ventilation systems; voice-controlled devices; and integrated security systems.
  • Benefits: Enhanced comfort, energy efficiency, and security.

Multi-functional spaces:

  • As homes become more versatile, lofts are being designed to serve multiple purposes.
  • Features: Convertible furniture, adaptable layouts, and modular design elements.
  • Benefits: Flexibility to change the room’s function as the household’s needs evolve.

Connecting with nature:

  • Biophilic, “bringing the outside in”, design emphasises a connection to nature.
  • Features: Large windows for natural light, use of natural materials, and incorporation of plants.
  • Benefits: Enhanced well-being, improved air quality, and a calming environment.