If you’re thinking about getting a loft conversion, one of the first questions you want to be answered is probably: “How long does a loft conversion take?” This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the exact details of your conversion project and what stage you’re currently at. A rough estimate of how long a loft conversion build takes to complete would be four to eight weeks, including interior decorating.
How long will my specific loft conversion take?
In this article we will try to give you a more accurate idea of what to expect based on your current situation. How long it takes to build your loft may vary from company to company, with some catering to clients looking for the fastest solution possible. Our advice would be to stay clear of anyone offering suspiciously short timescales, as this will likely mean that the build will be rushed and the quality of work will suffer as a result.
Which type of conversion is it?
The most basic type is the ‘Velux” loft conversion and typically takes around four weeks to complete, which is an impressively short amount of time considering the amount of work involved and the difference it will make to your home. A Velux loft conversion adapts to your loft space by leaving the roof structure unchanged and installing roof windows. There is usually enough room for a bedroom and bathroom.
If you would like your loft to be a little more spacious, then you may want to consider a dormer or mansard loft conversion. These are more complex in nature and may take between four and six weeks to complete from start to finish. The dormer and mansard conversions maximise available space by altering your roof profile with a vertical or sloped wall, window and straight roof.
A hip-to-gable loft conversion is the most complex of all and requires the most work. The build usually taking around six to eight weeks, with the benefit being the absolute most space of any conversion type. Bear in mind, a hip-to-gable conversion requires the property to be detached or semi-detached as the slope of the roof will need to be altered in a particular way.
If you would like to find out more about the four loft conversion types, please feel free to check out our in-depth guide to the four loft conversion types.
Timeline of a simple loft conversion
This will involve preparing materials and equipment so expect some deliveries. Scaffolding will be put up and a hole may need to be made in your roof in order to allow access to your loft space. You can usually expect construction on your roof to begin in the latter part of the first week – although at this stage any work carried out is limited to the outside of your property.
Interior construction work can now begin, with floor support installation being the first step. Internal components such as ventilation, wall studs and insulation are also installed. In this case, this conversion would be a Velux type, which does not require any alterations to the roof structure, meaning you can move right on to fixing your windows and completing any work still to be done on the roof.
The final two weeks of your loft conversion will be taken up by applying the finishing touches to the interior and decorating. This will include installing doorframes, doors, skirting boards, plasterboarding, plastering, painting and so on. But not before your staircase is installed and your plumbing and electrics are ticked off the list.
As you can see there’s a good reason why loft conversions take so long!
What if I still need a design?
The first big step in the process of having your loft converted is having architectural plans drawn up according to your desired specifications. This is a two-step process and will begin with a survey of your property in order to obtain all the measurements and identify potential planning requirements needed to come up with a design.
Once the survey is complete you can work hand-in-hand with an architect\designer to come up with the perfect design for your loft. The first draft is rarely the final one and you may need to go through a few iterations before making a final decision – which is okay and your designer should understand that getting this stage of the process right means everything.
The design of your loft conversion will most likely take between two and four weeks to complete, at which stage you can go about obtaining planning permissions if need be.
What if I still need to obtain planning permissions?
Building a loft conversion used to be a lot more difficult than it is today due to strict planning requirements, but thankfully most conversions these days do not require planning permissions. However, you must still adhere to existing building regulations in order to satisfy your local planning authority. Here are the planning authority guidelines for London and Essex.
It’s important to note that the process of obtaining planning permissions for your project could take four to six weeks and so planning ahead is a must. Failing to produce a design that meets regulations will mean having to wait for approval again, turning this into a very slow and tedious ordeal. That’s why working with an experienced designer is so important, as they will have the know-how to ensure your project is approved the first time around.
How long does it take to get a quote for my loft conversion?
This also varies from company to company. Getting a quote for a loft conversion could take up to four weeks if you require a survey and design to be drawn up from scratch. However, if you already have existing plans in place then getting the quote should only take a few days at most.
We always aim to respond to just-build quotation requests as soon as possible, ideally within 48 hours. Quotations are never set in stone and you always have the option of changing certain features after which we will adjust your quotation accordingly.
As you can see, it’s quite difficult to tell how long a loft conversion will take to complete without finding out which stage of the project you’re at and what kind of loft build you have in mind. The four to eight week estimate is spot on in most cases. However, it is not uncommon to see larger scale and more complex projects go beyond this timescale.