Loft Conversions In Earlsfield SW18
At Encompass, we’re experts in Loft Conversions. We’re construction specialists, project managers, designers and visualisers; who enable home-owners to maximise their space, and achieve their dream home.
Through over 30 years of working in this industry, we know that clients expect and deserve certain standards when they choose a construction firm to undertake their loft conversion. High on the list are transparency, honesty and integrity.
At Encompass; these values are at the foundation of our service.
We work in and around London and we’re based within an office in Earlsfield High Street SW18, opposite the train station, in a building that we own. So we’re visible, we’re open and we’re accessible.
We also operate total transparency from the moment we send your estimate. You’ll receive a highly professional document following a thorough survey; which highlights every single anticipated cost with details of products and works down to every last socket or tile. All presented in clear jargon-free language that you’ll understand.
Our whole approach, personality and values as a company are around personal service. We’re in regular communication, with site visits and meetings, and we’re friendly and personable professionals.
You are welcome to visit recent projects to see our work.
Giving you your personal space
We’re experts at visualising and delivering the absolute maximum benefit that you can get from your loft, and your budget. Our designer/Architect will work closely with you, starting from your goal; whether that be to maximise space, add value or add rooms for an expanding family.
Planning the layout of rooms and storage to ensure value and practicality is a real skill. We’ve challenged existing ideas, proposed ones that have led to increased values of property and found solutions where clients have been told their aspirations weren’t possible. We’ve even lowered ceilings to make a loft conversion possible as well as employing innovative techniques to incorporate storage and offering bespoke carpentry and joinery.
Our services don’t have to finish with the build. From designer bathrooms; to high quality interior decorating and soft furnishings via a full interior design service; your space, by the end of the project, will be the stunning look that you wanted.
If you’re living at the property during the work, we’ll also respect your personal space. Not just respect it, but protect it, through solutions to minimise disruption.
We’ll take great pains to minimise on dust, noise and inconvenience. Strategically sectioning off parts of your home will form part of the planning and project management process.
Building trust through quality and innovation
You can trust the quality of our loft conversion work. We’ve amassed many years of experience in construction, with a diverse portfolio of projects, including challenging ones. We understand structural engineering. We are qualified loft designers.
We have a large team of vetted, skilled builders and tradespeople; who conduct themselves with professionalism, conscientiousness and respect at all times.
We’re also on top of the latest innovations and trends in construction, design and interiors. With specialist knowledge and experience in fitting a wide variety of features including unusual staircases, balustrades, wet room solutions and environmental innovations such as solar panels; we can provide ideas and options to enhance your renovated home.
Loft conversions – The lowdown
If you’re thinking about a loft conversion, here’s what you’ll need;
- A survey to check the measurements and specifications of your loft make a conversion feasible; fear not though, there’s often a solution to challenging shapes and heights
- Plans and drawings for your planning permission application
- To know what you want from your loft. More bedrooms for a growing family? A luxury floor away from the family? A playroom for children or games room for grown-ups? This will all impact on the plans and price
- To work out your storage requirements
- To establish your budget – including all the bells, whistles and finishing touches
10 reasons to choose Encompass Design & Build for your loft conversion
- Earlsfield-based office
- Wide range of flexible services; architectural services only, design and construction works; bathrooms and kitchens, full interior design service
- Detailed estimates
- Weekly site visits with minutes
- Highly experienced and qualified in all aspects of the design and construction process
- Always isolate the work before project starts, to minimise disruption
- Can do it all for you; from the planning application, through to finishing touches – taking away the stress and hassle
- Fully insured (employer’s liability, public liability)
- Gas safety certified
- Roofing guarantees
Encompass Directors Leon Morrell and Jason Hunter have run this successful Earlsfield-based construction and design business for over 30 years. Over that time, feedback has been consistently positive resulting in high rates of referrals and repeat business.
Jason and Leon are often commended on their personal, approachable demeanour and clear communication. They are absolutely driven by completing projects to the highest standards and leaving clients with their dream home.
Jason’s experience spans from working as a modelmaker and film set designer, to working on the renovation of high profile innovative properties such as the Millennium Dome and Bristol waterfront. He applies his creativity and interior design skills to construction projects; meaning clients benefit from innovative solutions and ideas that will enhance and add value to their home.
A qualified carpenter, joiner and graphic designer; through Leon’s extensive experience in refurbishing and construction works, he has also amassed considerable architectural skills and knowledge of structural engineering. Leon’s communication style is popular with clients, due to his ability to translate technical jargon into clear, understandable and helpful guidance.
Types of loft conversion
The type of loft conversion you settle on can depend on many things; the most important being how much you want to spend. Then there’s the very real question of whether or not the space is suitable (ie what type of roof you have and whether there’s enough room for what you want) and thirdly, if you’re likely to get any necessary planning permission.
Velux – the least expensive option involves affixing one or two windows to the roof in order to introduce light. Cost: £21,000-£41,000.
Dormer – the most common type of loft extension in the UK today, the Dormer is a small flat roofed extension with a window. It’s common to have two of these on the one roof for the sake of symmetry. But side dormers and even L-shaped Dormers (where an extension is added to the rear of the Dormer) are possible too. In the case of the latter it could result in up to four new rooms. Cost: from £31,000-£58,000 for a standard Dormer and £40,000-£60,000 for an L-shaped Dormer.
Hip to Gable – this is whether either one of both of the end sloping parts of the roof are replaced with a gable wall. Cost: £42,000-£65,000.
Mansard – the most extensive option, a Mansard extension means replacing one whole side of the roof to form a straight wall and flat roof. It could mean extending both sides, resulting in a whole new storey. The renovation is major and would involve planning permission (more later). Cost: £45,000-£75,000.
Further down the page you can find more in-depth explanations of the different loft types.
Types of tradesmen
- Builder – to construct those walls in the first place and find out what is structurally possible. You’ll also need insulation and sound proofing. Ask what type of insurance s/he has.
- Glazier – to deem what type of windows are best.
- Electrician – there’s no question you’ll need lighting, as well as sockets for electrical equipment (especially if you plan on turning the space into an office). Is this tradesman qualified and listed on the government’s Registered Competent Person Scheme? Can he give you a BS7671 test certificate once he’s finished to allow you to pass Building Regulations?
- Heating engineer – thanks to the awful British weather, heating is a must. This engineer should be able to tell you the best place to put a heater. Also, if you’re going for a big extension, would it be an idea to fit solar panels? Again, you’ll want him or her to be registered with APHE or similar.
- Plumber – you may want an en-suite if you’re planning to make the conversion an additional bedroom.
- Joiner – you will probably need new ceiling joists since there’s going to be a lot more traffic. You might also want to ask your joiner about bespoke storage solutions (loft conversations can be an awkward shape and you’ll want to maximise space).
- Plasterer – to smoothen out the new walls.
- Scaffolder – if you’re going for the larger extensions such as Hip to Gable and Mansard then you’re going to need temporary roof support.
- Painter – unless you plan on doing a bit of DIY decor, that is.
At Encompass we have all these tradesmen on hand so you don’t need to worry.
Length of time to build the conversion
How long your conversion will take to complete depends, of course, on what type you plan on getting in the first place. The Mansard, for instance, is the largest and can take up to two months from start to finish. With a Dormer you’re looking at a timescale of from four to six weeks while a double Velux should take around a month.
Again, whether or not you need your local authority go-ahead depends on the type of conversion and the status of your home (if it’s listed then you’ll definitely need to inform the planning department of any intended alterations).
If the loft conversion is higher than the original roof or going to affect the view for others (as in the case of the Mansard) then neighbours are informed by your local planning authority and given 21 days in which to lodge an objection.
At Encompass we can handle the planning application process for you.
In the case of your property sharing an adjoining wall with a neighbour, there must then be a written agreement between both parties before any work can commence.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, states that any property owner who shares a party wall must notify their neighbour in due course about the work they plan to have on their property. Because of the shared ownership of the party wall, you must therefore receive consent from your neighbour through writing with a Party Structure Notice and an Acknowledgement Form. It is common for neighbours of a party wall to agree and give consent to any work you wish to carry out, however if this is not the case the following are instructions for possible scenarios:
If a neighbour is unreachable and therefore unable to sign any agreement concerning the party wall, it is then you as the proprietor’s responsibility to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor on your neighbour’s behalf.
In the unfortunate circumstances that both you the proprietor and your neighbour are unable to agree the terms of your loft conversion, you are then able to appoint an “Agreed Surveyor”. This will be an agreed decision from both parties and the Surveyor will then contract an ‘award’ certificate that satisfies both parties.
Another possible instance in the case of an unwilling neighbour is they appoint their own Surveyor to write an award certificate. If this occurs, we strongly advise that you too appoint your own Surveyor. Once this has occurred, both appointed Surveyors will then meet and draw a contract that best satisfies both yourself and your neighbour.
However, if the two separately appointed Surveyors fail to reach an agreeable contract, a nominated third party Surveyor will be contacted. The nominated third party will then go on to draw the most impartial and satisfactory award with both parties in mind.
It should be made clear that any costs for required surveyors usually fall to that of the proprietor.
Types of loft in detail
- Velux Loft Conversions
- Dormer and L-shaped Dormer Loft Conversion
- Hip to Gable Loft Conversions
- Mansard Loft Conversion
Velux loft conversions are also known as rooflight loft conversions. Velux is the leading manufacturer of roof windows so hence the name.
With this type of project, the roofline is unaltered, as the velux windows are installed fitting flush to the roofline, leaving the original roof structure untouched. Therefore, planning permission is not generally required, making it an attractive option for many. Also, due to the fact that no large alterations need to be made to the roof, the cost of the conversion generally remains lower.
A dormer loft conversion is an extension to the existing roof that projects vertically from a sloping roof, creating additional floor space and headroom within the property. Internally, a dormer has vertical walls and a horizontal ceiling. It is the most common type of loft conversion, as the flat roof dormers often add the maximum amount of additional space. In addition, it is possible to create a gable front and a hipped roof dormer to make it look more attractive, however these types of dormers do not offer as much internal space. Additionally, due to the added complexity, a gable front and hipped roof dormer will cost more to build. The l-shaped dormer loft conversion is also very popular and is often considered the best way to extend a mid-terrace period property to maximize space as it can give around 40m3 of space or slightly more under planning.
Advantage: Normally a dormer loft conversion can be constructed without gaining planning permission, although planning permission may be required depending on the specifications.
The main styles of dormer conversions include:
- Flat-Roof Dormer – A Dormer Conversion with a flat roof
- Gable-Fronted Dormer – Sometimes called ‘Doghouse’ Dormer
- Hipped-Roof Dormer – A Dormer Conversion with a hipped roof
- Shed Dormer – A Single Planed Roof that is pitched at a lesser angle than the main roof
A hip to gable conversion will also allow for a more seamless staircase fitting due to the newly created space within your home. All changes made to the property externally will be fitted and matched with all pre-existing aspects of the house, allowing for an overall aesthetically pleasing look inside and out. However, if your property should require planning permission, there are other alternatives you can consider.
When a property is converted with a mansard style conversion, the additional space created is tenfold, to that of a dormer loft conversion for example. The mansard has a flat roof with the back sloping inwards at 72 degrees. The reason for this is due to planning criteria as the councils view 72 degrees as a roof, rather than a wall, allowing for the build to incorporate as much space across the conversion as possible.
The windows built into the loft conversion are constructed as small dormers, and are by far the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of the loft conversion. The parapet walls on either side of the conversion are also raised in brick work to match all existing aspects of the property.
What our clients say
"We’re thrilled with the finished result and so I’d highly recommend Encompass. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.”
"They were quick to answer any concerns, ensure the work was carried out to a high standard and have been excellent in keeping in touch post the works. We’re thrilled with the job they have done for us."
"The professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment shown by the Encompass team is the same, regardless to the budget."
"Professional and extremely knowledgeable , Encompass team is reliable and approachable. Great upholstery and carpenter work , solid building and painting work, overall a good experience."
"I have worked with Encompass on various projects over the last 8 or so years and have always found them to be very professional and understanding of the client’s needs and wishes."
James L Burford
"Encompass delivered, designed and transformed our ideas into reality, on time and on budget."
"Leon and Jason’s friendly and knowledgeable service shone through in our first few meetings and their advice left the other building firms that came to look and quote for the job, in the shade."
" The quality of the building and structural work was good, and because of challenging dimensions in the loft space, Felix was adaptable to any new ideas/suggestions I made, and introduced some clever design ideas himself."