When it comes to loft conversions, the question most people ask us, after ‘How much will it cost?’ is ‘How long will it take?’ What they’re thinking, but don’t say, is “How long will I have to put my life on hold whilst work is in progress?”
The truth is that, in experienced hands, a loft conversion is far from being a major upheaval. To give you some idea of what’s involved, here’s our loft conversion timeline, which would normally take no longer than six weeks from start to finish for a 2 or 3 bedroom semi-detached house.
This is when most of the major structural work to the floor and roof takes place. Steel joists will be fitted to provide an independent weight bearing floor and through-space created by replacing existing roof trusses.
If dormer windows are to be fitted, dwarf walls will be built to support them and the roof will be stripped back and protected with temporary cover. At the same time, dimensions for access stairs will be taken so these can be put into production off-site.
This week we concentrate on carpentry. The timber frame of the dormer windows is built and internal room partitions – e.g. between bedroom and en suite – are erected. The dormers are felted and battened and roof tiling commences.
UPVC windows are measured up and ordered for the dormers, and Velux windows, if specified in preference, are fully fitted at this stage.
With roof tiling completed and most of the major construction work behind us, the plumber and electrician now arrive on-site to attend to the vital behind-the-scenes work that will make your loft space a fully serviced extension of your home.
You’ll probably be scarcely aware of them: all eyes will be on the delivery and assembly of your new staircase, which arrives back from the joiners and will now be fitted to give you walk up access to your new domain.
We’re over halfway through our loft conversion timeline. This week we install the previously ordered windows for the dormers and ‘tack’ plasterboard to the loft rooms in preparation for plastering.
It’s worth repeating here that as loft conversion specialists with our own dedicated team of tradespeople, we control the whole building program, ensuring that everyone turns up in his slot without any gaps in the schedule.
This is where you’ll start to see some really dramatic changes as the plastering work is done. Our team sometimes complain that plasterers get all the glory because they transform work in progress to something very close to the finished job.
At this stage the electrician will be called back for a final ‘fix’ – fitting wall plates, ceiling roses etc.
The finishing touches. The plumber and carpenter will make their final visits to install your bathroom suite (where appropriate) and ceramic tiling will be laid. At last you have a brand new living space that looks and feels like home!
One final detail remains before our loft conversion timeline is complete, and it’s one that as thoroughgoing professionals we never neglect: a full clean down of the site to ensure that everything is in pristine condition for the handover.
There. Not half as bad as you thought, was it? Especially as a good deal of the work is external or completed off-site. Besides, in another six weeks the brief interruption to your routine will be forgotten as you settle back and enjoy the luxury of all that additional living space!