How to choose the right floor plan for your home

Choosing your home is an exciting prospect but when it comes to selecting a home, you need to make a number of considerations such as how it will be used and how it fits in with your lifestyle. Therefore, choose the right floor plan will ensure that you get the most from your house architecture and your experience of living there. The way in which you use your home comes down to the size and shape as well as the location of the rooms, all of which will come together to help you determined which floor plan is right is right for. So, how do you choose the right floor plan for your home?

Determine which sized home will fit the needs of your family

Every family has different needs and some will feel comfortable in a small property while others prefer and need more space. When it comes to choosing a floor plan that fits the needs of your family, you need to consider your lifestyle as well as the residential architecture. You will need to consider how many bedrooms you need, how much space you children need, the number of bathrooms you require as well as how you will use your living space on the ground floor.

Think about your design style

Every single person who owns a home will have their own design style. This will mean that you will need to think about the architecture design in your house and see how that can incorporate your style. Are you looking for a floor plan that encourages a more traditional way of living or do you want a more modern feel to it where you have open plan rooms, where one room flows into another? You can then visualise your furnishings and identify how that fits in with your floor plan.

Do you need to maximise space in your home?

If you are considering a new floor plan and seeking out ways in which you can enhance space in the home, you should also look to convert your loft. A loft conversion will make use of space that you probably don’t use and that will allow you to add in an extra bedroom or an office, depending on your needs. It can fit in seamlessly with the design of your home but it will give you more flexibility over the space you have and how you use it.

Consider your property

Sometimes, the style, shape and age of your property can determine the options available to you when it comes to floor plans. There can be problems such as the basic layout of your home that could prevent you from having that open plan living space that you wanted and so, it is always important to think about your property. Perhaps you live in an old property that still has a toilet downstairs or a property that only has a certain number of rooms downstairs. So, before you begin to choose your floor plan, the property you own is a serious consideration.

Choose your floorplan based on the layout

When the time comes to choose a new floor plan, you might get ahead of yourself and begin thinking about your appliances, your furniture and even your fixtures and fittings. Before you get to this point, you need to ensure that you make your choice based on the flow and feel of your home in relation to how you will use it on a daily basis. Carefully consider how rooms link up, where you want certain rooms to be located as well the space you require.

Loft Conversion Planning Permission: a short guide

Loft conversions can be a serious goldmine, adding an impressive average of 20% of value onto your property while increasing space without you having to move. With a range of window options (such as dormers), staircase placements and ways to maximise usable space, you could have one (or even two or three) whole new rooms to enjoy in just a few short weeks.

But there’s a question on everyone’s lips as they start to daydream about their loft conversion plans – Do loft conversions need planning permission?

 Do I need Planning Permission?

 Your loft conversion architect and/or construction company will be familiar with the rules and regulations regarding planning permissions and can advise you when it may be necessary to apply, but it’s always a good idea to know the regulations yourself.

The short answer is maybe, but probably not. Most loft conversion projects do not require planning permission as they fall under a “permitted development” to your property. A permitted development allows you to add up to 50m3 (or 40m3 if you have a terraced house) to your roof space without having to fill in any pesky forms and wait for weeks, or even months, for approval to be granted. There are, however, several circumstances when you will need to obtain planning permission.

For instance, planning permission will be needed if the total additions, including any previous roof extensions, add up to more than 50m3 (or 40m3 for a terraced house), you live in a listed building, would like a veranda, balcony or any feature that overhangs, or if you are extending beyond the roof slope pane or above the roof’s highest part.

For your project to count as a permitted development, you’ll also need to ensure that any windows on the side of the property have an obscured glaze (like many bathroom windows), any dormers or other extensions are set back at least 200mm from original eaves and the materials used are of a similar aesthetic appearance to the original house.

If your loft conversion project adheres to the points outlined above then you will not need planning permission, if it doesn’t then you will most likely need to apply. Your loft conversion architects or builders can help you with this, and may even deal with it for you.

 Following Building Regulations

 While you’re quite right to be asking “do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?”, there’s another question about Building Regulations you should be asking as well.

Even if you don’t need planning permission, all work still needs to adhere to Building Regulations. There are several to take into account when planning a loft conversion, and your architect/builder should be well versed in them.

So, what are the main Building Regulations to consider?

As well as being required to use a certified electrician for any electrical work, (Part P of the Building Regulations), your loft conversion will need to meet minimum insulation requirements to ensure minimised heat loss (Part L of the Building Regulations). You’ll also need a minimum headroom of 2m for all escape routes, including any stairs, unless accounting for a sloping roof – then it can be 1.8m (Part K of the Building Regulations), and you must ensure all doors on the escape route, including first-floor doors, meet minimum fire safety requirements (Part B of the Building Regulations).

So, now you know all about planning permission and the building regulations your loft conversion project needs to follow, so it’s time to turn your house into even more of a home and get started on those loft conversion plans.

5 best house floor plans to inspire you

5 best house floor plans to inspire you

When it comes to finding the right floor plan to inspire you, you have to consider a number of things such as the house architecture and the way in which space is utilised in the best possible way. Your home is your haven of privacy and it is where you spend most of your time and that makes it even more important to select the right floor plan for your home. The residential architecture will differ between homes but getting the most from your home is key to giving you a living space that you can embrace in every possible way, so what are the five best floor plans?

Loft Conversion in Richmond: Floor Plan

This floor plan provides the perfect blend of living space on both the ground floor and the first floor. The ground floor is perfect for those like to have an open plan living and family space that allows the home to flow while the kitchen dining areas are the perfect place to host parties or enjoy family meals while looking out over the rear of the property. The 1st floor offers three great size bedrooms and even manages to include a study which makes it ideal for homeowners who are looking for an additional space that can be utilised in a number of ways.

Loft Conversion in Barnet: Floor Plan

The Barnet floor plan offers spacious living while making use of an exceptional amount of space in the loft. This is a design this is perfect for those who appreciate vasts amount of space in their kitchen dining area, while the living space is separated, which is perfect for those who like to keep their kitchen and dining area separated from the living area. Two large bedrooms offer an exceptional standard of living on the 1st floor while the third room can be used as a study or perhaps a small bedroom such as a nursery. The bathroom consists of a good amount of space, allowing homeowners to design a bathroom that incorporates any design they wish. The loft is where this floor plan really excels. Light flows in through the roof windows while the en-suite bathroom and impressive bathroom provide an elegant living space for those who want to turn their loft into a space that is completely functional.

Loft Conversion in Kingston: Floor Plan

The Kingston floor plan provides homeowners inspiration and the ability to create a loft space that is truly unique to them. The vast open space enables them to turn this space into anything that they require ranging from a self-contained living area to a luxurious master bedroom that encompasses light, space and modern living. The simple, yet effective design incorporates angles, enabling an open space to feel as though it consists of different areas. This floor plan offers flexibility and an unparalleled living space that can turn an empty, unused space into a functional area that enhances the look and feel of any home, delivering a clever architecture design house.

Loft Conversion in Finchley: Floor Plan

A floor plan that really does deliver in terms of space, light and free-flowing living. Upon entering the home, the wide and expansive hallway delivers a feeling of grandeur, while the extended living space reaches out into the conservatory, enabling homeowners to feel as though it extends into the outdoors. The dining room and kitchen, although separated, offer the chance for owners to experience an element of open plan living, while the perfectly placed utility room enables homeowners to maximise their kitchen space. The 1st floor delivers three good sized bedrooms and a bathroom that perfectly fits the size of this home.

Do Loft Conversions Add Value to your House?

A house is not just a home because for many, it is an investment and so, there are some things we can do to add value. We can decorate it to a high standard or redesign the garden but they won’t have as much of an impact as a loft conversion. There are many reasons why people consider a loft conversion such as introducing a new room to the house for a growing family to making a property more appealing to a wider market. However, when it comes to loft conversions, many people wonder if that initial cost is all really worth it, so, do loft conversions add value to your house?

Will the price of your property increase with a loft conversion?

A lot goes into converting your loft such as considering loft conversion plans and using the services of a loft conversion architect. The experts will tell you that a loft conversion is the simplest way to get the most from your property both practically and financially because adding an extra room really will make a difference. In fact, homes with a loft conversion are in high demand and that makes your property easier to sell but when it comes to the finances, will a loft conversion add value to your house?

Effectively, yes it will but that will depend on whether it has been designed and completed by professionals. In fact, when completed professionally, a loft conversion can add as much as 20% to the value of your property which is a significant amount, especially when you don’t need loft conversion planning permission in most cases.

What does a loft conversion cost?

The cost of a loft conversion can differ depending on where you live as well as the complexity of the work. A basic conversion can cost £10,000 but this can increase to as much as £40,000 or more if the work involves the installation of a dormer window or an en-suite, as this will require more work. However, despite the cost, when you consider that it can increase the value of your property by 20% or more in some areas, it is clear to see that it is a worthwhile exercise.

To add value use reputable loft conversion specialists

For a loft conversion to add value, the work has to be completed to a high standard. The main way to do this is to use the services of a professional loft conversion company because if you fail to do this, it could lead to problems in the future. Your requirements will determine if you do need planning permission for a loft conversion but again, if everything is completed correctly, you will add value. To maximise the value that it adds, you will need to spend money on high-quality fixtures and fitting and if the room is going to be classed as living space it will require a permanent staircase, windows and meet all building regulations, essentially it will need to fit in with the design of the home and look as though it has always been there.

Does it require a lot of work to add value?

The great thing about a loft conversion is that they are not difficult to arrange, especially when you use a team of expert architects, managers and builders. They will ensure that the whole project goes to plan and is finished within an agreed timeframe. This means that you will benefit from an efficient service and a high standard of work, all of which will ensure that your loft conversion adds value to your property.

Is building regulations approval needed for a loft conversion?

If you are thinking about converting your loft into a space that you can make use of, there are some things you will need to consider. Despite the conversion taking place in your loft which is contained within your home, you will need to obtain building regulations approval, something which is completely separate from loft conversion planning permission. When it comes to planning permission and whether you need it or not, it will depend on the work you carry out. However,  you will need Building Regulations Approval as that will ensure that your loft is safe and that all the correct measures have been put in place.

What do the Building Regulations consist of?

In order for you to comply with planning and building laws, you need to ensure that you meet the specifics so that the work can be signed off. While the Building Regulations are quite intricate, Parts K and L are of significant importance.

What is Part L?

As part of your loft conversion plans, you will need to ensure that you meet the demands of Part L, where you are required to meet all thermal targets. This means that you will need to minimise heat loss through all walls, floors and the roof, all of which can be done through using modern insulation. It is important that the insulation is continued from the roof to the walls to ensure that cold bridging is avoided.

What is Part K?

This section is based on putting the correct measures in place to prevent falls, collisions and impact all of which can be achieved when discussing this with your loft conversion architect. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you have a minimum of 2m throughout all escape routes and that includes the stairs. Along the edges of a stairway, this can be reduced to 1.8m if the roof is sloping but the centre has to be 2m in height.

Parts B and P

Part B focuses on fire safety and because of the height of the loft, an escape window cannot be relied on. Despite this, it is a requirement that all loft conversions include a window that has an opening of 0.33m².

There is a risk that comes with escaping from a loft and so, the floor, the stairs and the doors of all rooms should be made to offer 30-minute fire resistance. This will involve the installation of fire doors and doors although intumescent paints or stains can be used over any finishes.

Part P relates to electrical safety and that means that all electrical installation will have to be carried out by a certified electrician. Upon completion of the work, it will be signed off and a certificate will be provided.

Building Regulations are Different to Planning Permission

So, along with the building regulations, when do you need planning permission for a loft conversion? If you are adding up to 50m³, it will be classed under permitted development but if you live in a listed building or conservation area, you will require planning permission. Along with this, should you be altering the shape or height of the room, then you will require loft conversion planning permission. All rooflights and dormers can be installed under Permitted development but that have to fall in line with the plane of the roof on the principal elevation and they must not sit higher than the highest part of the roof.

When planning a loft conversion, there are many things to think about. Building regulations are there to ensure that the conversion is safe and meets a certain number of criteria. Meet them all and you will have a conversion that will bring you pleasure for many years to come.

There’s a reason most of our clients come to us through recommendation

It’s because we make them happy. Here’s what they’ve got to say about us.

Loft Conversion Architects made the process so easy. They really came through with my new conversion!

Ben S

East Finchley

We chose them because of the fixed fee structure which made budgeting the rest of the project a lot more comfortable.

Steve R.

Staines Upon Thames

The architecture package is exactly what I’d been searching for.

Sophie G.

Clapham, London

Thank you guys, I couldn’t be happier with the final product.

Chris P.

Highbury, London

The design team were brilliant and I went on to use their builders. I can’t speak highhly enough of them. Really pleased.

The Thomas Family

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