A loft conversion is not a small project, and if you are not a builder it’s likely you would never even consider doing a large job like a loft conversion as a DIY project, says Jeff Mercer from Touchstone, a loft conversion specialist company. However, perhaps if you are a bit handy, and have some building skill and experience, you may contemplate a loft conversion. The skills required will be a long list and will include the following:
- Architecture or some good drawing skills.
- Structural engineering – to be able to provide structural calculations for the building inspector.
- The plans produced will need to be sent to the planning department for planning permission or a “certificate of Lawful development”, once you have figured out what is considered “permitted development” and which of the development requires planning permission.
- Crane operator- the steels that will be required for the floor and roof structure will be required to get the steel up to the loft and into the correct positions.
- The loft will no doubt be full of your old unused belongings and old insulation, these will need to be removed and skipped.
- A good carpenter with a full set of power tools will be required alongside a carpenter’s mate and of course a labourer for doing the carrying and cleaning.
- Once you have got the steels into place you can fit the floor level using joist hangers. The floor will require insulating and then over boarding with waterproof floorboards.
- The existing roof will require complete removal if a dormer is being built and the remaining roof will require re-supporting.
- The dormer will require insulating, breathable membrane and can be leaded and tile hung.
- You will have measured for the bespoke stairs and they would have arrived for fitting into place.
- The electrician and plumber would have visited and added there 1st fixes.
- Once fully insulated the walls can be plasterboarded.
- A dormer roof will be covered with GRP fibreglass which if correctly fitted will be guaranteed for 20 years.
- Facia’s gutters and downpipes are fitted.
- Plasterers double skim the loft.
- Three final fixes remain; an electrician does his final fix and issues certificate for the building regulation officer.
- A `plumber works around the tiler to complete the final plumbing fix.
- A carpenter will do the final fittings.
To summarise, while it is unlikely an unskilled person will be able to complete a loft conversion in its entirety, there are some parts of the work you will be able to do yourself, such as clearing the area, painting, and maybe insulting the loft. Therefore, it is a good idea to work with a construction company who will allow you to complete some parts of the process yourself, to help keep costs down.