There has never been a better time to convert a loft space and build a Side Return Extension at the same time. At Build Team, we routinely get asked to undertake Loft Conversions as part of a client’s Side Return plans. Our clients are typically seeking a “one-stop shop” and given the efficiencies of undertaking both projects simultaneously, there are often some cost savings too.
There are 3 good reasons why it is worth considering undertaking a Side Return and Loft Conversion simultaneously:
1. Adding space and value to your home
Extending upwards and outwards can give a house a whole new dimension not to mention significantly increasing its value. Many Londoners choose to improve rather than move. The benefits of staying put and improving a home are clear. The cost of an extension is generally far lower than the combined cost of the stamp duty on a bigger new house, legal and mortgage fees and moving costs.
Converting the loft space is one of the most cost-effective ways to add space and value to your home. Typically, people use the converted loft space for an additional bedroom and en-suite, a home office or gym, depending on how much headroom is available. You can keep costs down by adding a rooflight without changing the shape of the roof. However, to get more headroom and more useable space, you could consider a dormer extension, hip-to-gable or mansard roof conversion. We highly recommend a zinc clad dormer. They are a little more expensive than the traditional slate and felt construction, but will last a lifetime.
2. Streamlining Planning & Party Wall Matters
It is important to ensure two separate applications are prepared to avoid the risk of one project prejudicing the other. At Build Team, we generally advise preparing a full planning application for the ground floor extension and an application under Permitted Development for loft. This ensures that the combined developments avail of the maximum gain under the respective planning processes.
Having good relations and communications with your neighbours may save you both money and hassle when it comes to Party Wall matters. Build Team can help smooth the way by ensuring the requisite Notices and Schedules of Condition are served and undertaken in the correct legal manner. If a full Party Wall Award becomes necessary, Build Team have a qualified Party Wall Surveyor to deal with the necessary formalities.
If you are on good terms with your neighbour, why not ask if they too would like to extend their house. You will then both benefit from a better deal with the builder, save on the party wall settlement costs and maximise the space on your Side Return.
3. Saving money on the build
Executing a Side Return and Loft package delivers cost savings around site set-up, access and project management – and this means we are able to pass on a more competitive quotation for the works to the client. There are also some efficiencies in terms of the project programme – as some of the works to the Side Return and Loft can be undertaken concurrently.
From a build perspective, it is important to execute the works in a clear and logical sequence. At Build Team, we generally strip out and prepare the ground floor whilst working on forming the dormer to the loft. When the dormer has been created and weather sealed, we can then strike the scaffolding which is typically footed within the Side Return void, before enclosing the void with the new roof structure to the ground floor.
Build Team have a special Design Phase offer for homeowners wishing to undertake both a Side Return and Loft Conversion. We are currently offering to undertake all of the necessary Planning, Building Regulation Drawings and Structural Engineering calculations for the Side Return and Loft Conversion for a fixed fee of £4,995 + VAT. Our standard “two-stage process” also applies, meaning that clients are free to consider their options with respect to the build when they have the benefit of the full design package.
Finally, we would like to say ‘thank you’ to the clients who have instructed Build Team for a Side Return & Loft over the past 4 weeks: Alloa Road SE8, Littlewood Road SE13, Denman Road SE15, Corrance Road SW4, Brocklebank Road SW18, Dault Road SW18 and Myrtle Gardens W7. Keep an eye on our Planning and Design Database for these and other Side Return & Loft plans undertaken by Build Team.