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Loft extension cost - the reality

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Gilgongo
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Loft extension cost - the reality

#36464

Postby Gilgongo » March 5th, 2017, 5:55 pm

I've just put through the final payment on a dormer loft conversion for our 1900 terraced house in North London. This is the second structural project we've done on the house, having had a ground floor extension seven years ago (which went well). So I wasn't completely green.

The quote for the build was £39,330.00. I'd estimated I'd need another £10,000 on top of that to cover things like fittings, unexpected extras (I had suspicions about the roof, and sure enough it needed re-doing), decorating etc. But in fact it's just topped £11,940 with maybe about another £2,000 to go since the wife now wants new carpets.

The project's gone pretty well. Work started mid November. Men on site pretty much every day until the three weeks around Xmas/NY. There was also a long delay delivering the windows, which were eventually fitted in February. Otherwise it was all pretty much the eight weeks of work they predicted, just spread over sixteen weeks in total!

Anyway - just thought I'd share that in case anyone else is contemplating similar. Feel free to ask me about anything. I found it was unexpectedly difficult to explain to the electrician that I wanted an Ethernet cable run up from the ground floor, but we got there in the end. We also splashed out on a Powrmatic Vision air conditioner ('cos you have to have a gadget to talk about at parties), and a heat-exchanging extractor for the bathroom. But otherwise it was all pretty standard stuff.

The decorating is going to be a right faff though.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36471

Postby Lootman » March 5th, 2017, 6:25 pm

When I did my roof conversion in a North London terraced house, I chose to use two thermostatically-controlled fans on the North side of the roof, to keep the attic space cool. The dormer windows were to the south so it does get hot up there in the summer. The fans are more expensive to install than an A/C unit, obviously, but cheaper to run thereafter.

Since it was to be used as a childrens' playroom, I didn't bother with internal partition walls, choosing instead to have one large space, 50 feet by 25 feet. There was an area at one end with assorted bedding so that their friends could have sleepovers.

If access is constrained then you probably need to furnish the space with flat-pack furniture. Doesn't matter than if the kids destroy it over time.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36481

Postby MrDoppleGanger » March 5th, 2017, 6:48 pm

Hi Gilgongo,

Did you go down the Permitted Development, or get planning permission? Did you use a local builder or 'loft specialist' company?

Have been thinking about one for a couple of years, indecision's got the better of me ..

Thanks in advance
P

Gilgongo
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36495

Postby Gilgongo » March 5th, 2017, 7:49 pm

"thermostatically-controlled fans on the North side of the roof"

Interesting about the fans - I didn't do a great deal of research into air conditioning. The unit we got keeps the space warm enough at the moment, but then the structure is chock full of insulation. So we'll have to wait and see what it's like in the summer. The dormer is East facing.

"Did you go down the Permitted Development, or get planning permission?"

Permitted Development, but I took the precaution of getting a Certificate of Lawful Use for that beforehand just in case.

"Did you use a local builder or 'loft specialist' company?"

Specialist. I got four quotes - one of them from a builder, but he wanted me to get a designer and structural engineer (which is the route we took for the ground floor extension we did several years ago). Nothing wrong with that I don't think, but the specialists just seemed easier.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36496

Postby Lootman » March 5th, 2017, 7:55 pm

"Did you go down the Permitted Development, or get planning permission?"

Gilgongo wrote:Permitted Development, but I took the precaution of getting a Certificate of Lawful Use for that beforehand just in case.

Does that lead to an increase in your Council Tax assessment?

Gilgongo
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36511

Postby Gilgongo » March 5th, 2017, 9:08 pm

Does that lead to an increase in your Council Tax assessment?


Blimey I hope not! As far as I know it's just a way of getting the Council to formally say that what you're doing doesn't need planning permission. Getting the certificate is completely optional, but it might be handy if you sell the house and the buyer wants to be reassured that what you did was kosher (similar to a buildings regs certificate in that regard). I'm not planning to sell the house, so in my case it was just peace of mind. There is a slightly unusual situation around the back with an access road, so there was an outside chance that may have affected something. There was only one other house on my side that had had a dormer loft built.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36513

Postby Lootman » March 5th, 2017, 9:31 pm

Gilgongo wrote:
Does that lead to an increase in your Council Tax assessment?

Blimey I hope not! As far as I know it's just a way of getting the Council to formally say that what you're doing doesn't need planning permission. Getting the certificate is completely optional, but it might be handy if you sell the house and the buyer wants to be reassured that what you did was kosher (similar to a buildings regs certificate in that regard). I'm not planning to sell the house, so in my case it was just peace of mind. There is a slightly unusual situation around the back with an access road, so there was an outside chance that may have affected something. There was only one other house on my side that had had a dormer loft built.

OK, I wondered about whether a council valuation of a property could be increased if you formally apply to do work that, say, adds 100K to the value of your home? It seems at least possible that a Council might view large extensions and enlargements as a candidate for a hike in council tax.

It didn't happen in my case but then I was fairly modest in my dealings and communications with the Council in respect of the work.

saechunu
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36572

Postby saechunu » March 6th, 2017, 8:32 am

As I understood it, a revaluation (rebanding) following extension works may only occur following a change of ownership, ie. if you sell it to someone else after the works are completed, or as part of a national revaluation exercise.

For example I know someone who extended a 2 bed cottage into what an estate agent would probably describe as a double-winged country house, which still sits in band B. Pretty ridiculous really.

PinkDalek
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36715

Postby PinkDalek » March 6th, 2017, 4:36 pm

saechunu wrote:As I understood it, a revaluation (rebanding) following extension works may only occur following a change of ownership, ie. if you sell it to someone else after the works are completed, or as part of a national revaluation exercise.


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/council-tax-band-changes includes (if the alterations are relevant):

A band increase due to alterations only takes place after the property has been sold.

I haven't delved deeper.

Dod1010
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36742

Postby Dod1010 » March 6th, 2017, 5:53 pm

My change of band for Council Tax only happened after I bought my current property. It was a two bed cottage and was extended by the previous owner with an enormous L shaped extension so as to increase the floor area probably four times. On the change of ownership it was rerated from the second lowest band to the second highest (I live in Scotland if that matters) I expected that having been advised of the likely change before buying. It is a weird arrangement.

Dod

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#36922

Postby PrincessB » March 7th, 2017, 1:40 pm

We also splashed out on a Powrmatic Vision air conditioner ('cos you have to have a gadget to talk about at parties)


Hi there,

Which model did you buy and how much noise does it make?

I had one in mind for our cold and North facing front room and almost won that round before spouse decided that something like that would be impossible to live with as it would unbalance the period feel of the room.

I do like the idea, and I was looking towards the heat pump (heating and cooling) inverter model as an ideal solution.

To add some more information for other readers:

Air conditioner/heaters used to come in two formats. If you don't mind putting a huge hole in the wall you can find an all in one 'window rattler' which you'll recognise from any American film set in a city - They used to pop them into the gap a sash window would create when partly open hence the name. In the UK they are a good option for a conservatory.

The other option is the split system which has a box with fan the size of a suitcase outside the house and an ugly thing in the room to be cooled.

The third way is a box that looks similar to a storage heater and two four inch pipes running through the wall to allow the device to function. Essentially if you've got an outside wall and a room that is overly hot or cold, one of these units will improve things dramatically. I've seen the vents that indicate this type of installation on a couple of city centre hotels (Travelodge Bristol central has them, but as no one can drive into central Bristol without dying of old age due to the traffic I'm yet to experience one first hand)

Would be very interested in your experience, I might angle for one in the bedroom - The opportunity to warm a room fast for naked cuddle time appeals greatly.

B.

B.

Gilgongo
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#37031

Postby Gilgongo » March 7th, 2017, 10:53 pm

Which model did you buy and how much noise does it make?


The Vision 1.8, which I believe they've now discontinued. But I got one on eBay, where I buy basically everything now:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DIY-Fitted-Ai ... SwQItUIHBx

It's pretty quiet. Noticeable if you listen out for it, but easy to ignore otherwise. About the same as a kitchen fridge compressor I'd say.

It's designed to keep the room at a constant warmth very cheaply, rather than bring it from cold up to toasty in a short time. That may or may not affect naked cuddles. We also fitted a heat-exchanging extractor fan in the bathroom for this reason.

Gilgongo
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#37304

Postby Gilgongo » March 8th, 2017, 5:19 pm

BTW another fun fact is that so far I've run up £550.62 in decorating materials. Mainly paint and varnish (we're painting two staircases as well as walls and woodwork both inside the loft, down the stairs and including the second floor hallway, including a new box room they built there), but also a ladder, trestles, dust masks, sand paper and sundry bits and bobs. And I had a fair amount of things left over from previous decorating work (like gloves and tools).

In fact the list just keeps growing. A wireless access point (about £80), a fitted wardrobe (£1,700 quoted, assuming the carpenter deigns to come and do the work)... and I've just realised that at some point we'll want to get some furniture, a rug or two, pictures, shelves...

So I'm basically I'm looking at about 30% extra from the base quotation for the build work. And I don't even think I've been extravagant (maybe the heat pump?).

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#146775

Postby bruncher » June 19th, 2018, 9:46 pm

We have a loft conversion which we inherited when we bought the house. There are two rooms (office and guest room), with low ceilings and sloping walls. It's too hot in the summer and is the last area to warm up in the winter. It's second floor level. I'm thinking of getting an authorised Daikin installer to come and advise, unless someone can advise a better course for investigating the options.

Thanks for any ideas.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#147033

Postby dspp » June 20th, 2018, 11:29 pm

bruncher wrote:We have a loft conversion which we inherited when we bought the house. There are two rooms (office and guest room), with low ceilings and sloping walls. It's too hot in the summer and is the last area to warm up in the winter. It's second floor level. I'm thinking of getting an authorised Daikin installer to come and advise, unless someone can advise a better course for investigating the options.

Thanks for any ideas.


Consider a remote operated solar power velux. magic. dspp

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#147043

Postby PinkDalek » June 21st, 2018, 12:10 am

I'm in a similar situation and have a hand-operated Velux and window. They simply do not keep the room cool in hot periods. If the tiles were reflective or some such maybe that would keep the room from overheating. No problem in the Winter months as the radiators do the business.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#147045

Postby bruncher » June 21st, 2018, 12:16 am

We have three velux windows, are you saying we should open the windows and let natural air flow keep us cool? We already have reflective blinds.

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#147092

Postby PinkDalek » June 21st, 2018, 10:29 am

bruncher wrote:We have three velux windows, are you saying we should open the windows and let natural air flow keep us cool? We already have reflective blinds.


I think you are asking me, who knows nothing and am interested in any informed replies you receive. For us, natural airflow does help but I do get the feeling it is the roof tiles that absorb the sun and that heat is dispersed into the room.

I have fitted sliding Velux roller blinds within the structure of the window and that does help somewhat:

https://www.velux.co.uk/products/blinds ... ler-blinds

I didn't buy the externally fitted awning blinds as described here https://www.veluxblindsdirect.co.uk/pro ... ing-blinds, but they may have helped and the Solar powered blinds described there are probably what dspp mentioned.

Even then, as I've suggested, to me much of the heat comes via the tiles and there is little room for insulation between them and the sloping walls. It was there that I was partially jesting the tiles, themselves, could be covered with some sort of reflective material. Such as solar panels!

Good luck with it, I'm usually boiling up here when the hot summer days arrive.

dspp
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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#147270

Postby dspp » June 22nd, 2018, 10:31 am

PinkDalek wrote:
bruncher wrote:We have three velux windows, are you saying we should open the windows and let natural air flow keep us cool? We already have reflective blinds.


I think you are asking me, who knows nothing and am interested in any informed replies you receive. For us, natural airflow does help but I do get the feeling it is the roof tiles that absorb the sun and that heat is dispersed into the room.

I have fitted sliding Velux roller blinds within the structure of the window and that does help somewhat:

https://www.velux.co.uk/products/blinds ... ler-blinds

I didn't buy the externally fitted awning blinds as described here https://www.veluxblindsdirect.co.uk/pro ... ing-blinds, but they may have helped and the Solar powered blinds described there are probably what dspp mentioned.

Even then, as I've suggested, to me much of the heat comes via the tiles and there is little room for insulation between them and the sloping walls. It was there that I was partially jesting the tiles, themselves, could be covered with some sort of reflective material. Such as solar panels!

Good luck with it, I'm usually boiling up here when the hot summer days arrive.


bruncher,
My apologies bruncher but I was travelling and did not see your response/query.

You open the velux windows in hot weather if the outside air temperature is lower than the inside air temperature in your attic room. Then, provided that you have an airflow path up through the house from the cooler/shadier side is open, then you will draw cool air up through the house to your hot attic room. This approach will fail if you are pulling hot air in from outside (think 40C bouncing off the black tarmac type stuff), but is really good if you are pulling the air through somewhere that is a store of cold (I could use my cellar in this way if I made an effort, but I don't need to).

With the solar/remote control veluxes it is easier to open them if they are high up. There are also programs you can set up in the control panel. The basic control has an auto-close-if raining feature that allows you to calmly leave the veluxes open and not worry about thunderstorms and that is the real advantage.

The other approach to tackle overly warm summer temperatures in your loft room is to stop the energy getting inside your loft room. This basically comes down to shading your loft, or reflecting the solar energy (light, uv, ir) off before it penetrates inside your loft's internal space. Assuming you have insulated properly most of that energy will be solar gain which will be coming through the glazing of your veluxes, so best to concentrate on either reflecting or shading those.

You can combine both strategies.

Personally I have a well insulated loft bedroom with three veluxes, in my case just the standard double glaze ones, facing west. No curtains, no blinds. The tiles are dark (red) concrete types. A lot of my roofs are shaded by the solar (pv) panels. I do not find a need to do anything other than crack the trickle vents on the veluxes and prop open the internal door on the stairwell. That keeps my place self-regulating. If we had a a prolonged spell above 30C in the UK and everything became heat-soaked then I would adopt more measures (reflective blinds) and a slightly different management strategy.

There should be no need to put in AC, as that is just a substitute for engaging brain in the UK.

regards, dspp

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Re: Loft extension cost - the reality

#151218

Postby bruncher » July 9th, 2018, 5:06 pm

Hi dspp

I do not find a need to do anything other than crack the trickle vents on the veluxes


Are the vents waterproof? I've always been nervous about leaving them open when I'm out.


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