A Guide to House Conversions in Kent

Chislehurst Pristine Builders has created a Guide to House Conversions in Kent.  “Unlock your hidden potential by navigating the key considerations of a house conversion project. 

Transforming a segment of your property to increase functionality is an excellent sway to future-proof your home and boost its value. However, property conversion projects can be complex, requiring careful consideration. This quick guide covers the essential information you need if you are considering a loft, basement or garage conversion project in Kent. 

Loft Conversions

If you are considering expanding your home with additional bedroom and bathroom space then a loft conversion offers an excellent solution. With thoughtful utilisation of the available space, you might even carve out room for a convenient home office, or playroom on your newly transformed top floor. 

Loft conversions provide a practical and cost-effective way to maximise living space, enhance your property value, and create a customised living environment tailored to your needs.

Things to consider with a loft conversion

Some loft spaces may be tricky or may not be suitable for conversion, and others might need costly structural modifications to render them usable therefore you need to fully asses the suitability.  There are many types of loft conversions to consider depending on the type of property you have including dormer, mansard, roof light and modular loft conversions. 

  • Structural Integrity

    You need to consider factors such as roof pitch, the position of chimney stacks and water tank as well as the condition of your existing structure. You may encounter the need to reinforce the rafters.

  • Roof Structure

    In roofing, a cut roof employs rafters, joists, and purlins, leaving ample triangular space below for potential use. Conversely, a trussed roof features W-shaped trusses that offer robust support but may impede the creation of usable space by running through the loft's cross-section. While both types are convertible, each demands distinct approaches for modification.

  • Ceiling Height

    A ceiling height of at least 2.2 metres (7.2ft) from the top of the ceiling joists to the underside of the ridge is needed to comply with Health and Safety Standards.

  • Available Space for a Staircase

    If you lack sufficient space for a staircase leading up to it, you might encounter obstacles. Building regulations mandate a minimum of 1.9 meters of headroom at the center of the flight and 1.8 meters at the edges (where sloping roofs are present). Additionally, you must allocate space for the staircase on the floor below.

  • Planning Permission

    The majority of loft conversions are covered by Permitted Development rights, meaning they do not need planning permission. Nevertheless, specific regulations within the Permitted Development framework must be adhered to for your project. Residing in a listed building will require you obtaining Listed Building Consent. Additionally, individuals residing in designated areas such as Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or National Parks typically must seek planning permission. If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, you might need to inform your neighbours about any planned work under the Party Wall Act.

  • Budget

    The cost for loft conversions vary, typically ranging from approximately £20,000 to £70,000 for more intricate projects. The most economical loft conversions are those where the space is entirely suitable for conversion. In such cases, minimal structural interventions are necessary to ensure the safety of the space.

Garage Conversions

Garages often serve as storage areas or unused spaces. Converting them into living space allows you to make the most of the square footage you already have.  Converting your garage space offers a practical solution for expanding your living space and improving the functionality and value of your home.

Compared to building an entirely new extension, garage conversions tend to be more budget-friendly since the basic structure already exists. This can save you money on building costs and materials. Furthermore garage conversions typically have shorter construction times compared to other types of home extensions or renovations. This means you can enjoy your new living space sooner.

Things to consider with a garage conversion

  • Structural Integrity

    Before you start a garage conversion project you will need to assess the structural integrity of the garage roof, walls, foundations and floors, as any additional works required will push your budget.

  • Adding Windows and Doors

    An essential aspect of incorporating a garage into the main house involves closing off the old garage door opening. This typically entails installing windows, glazing, or a doorway in its place. So therefore it is essential to ensure the foundations are up to scratch.

  • Insulation & Damp Proofing

    Garages were initially constructed without the intention of serving as comfortable living spaces, therefore they often lack adequate insulation which would need to be installed. Also where the garage structure usually butts up to the outside wall of the house, the wall can also become damp so you will need to consider installing a damp proof membrane to stop water coming up.

  • Electrics and Plumbing

    The requirements for heating, plumbing, and electrical systems in your garage conversion will vary depending on its intended use. You may need to integrate new heating, plumbing, and electrical installations to ensure the space is functional and comfortable according to your needs.

  • Planning Permission

    In many cases, garage conversions fall under Permitted Development Rights, meaning you may not need to obtain planning permission, making the process smoother and faster. It always a good idea to check with your local authority before first.

  • Budget

    The cost for a garage conversion is typically between £8,000 - £12,000 depending on the structural work required and the finish you want. Adding a high spec bathroom is going to cost considerably more than an additional bedroom or living space.

basement Conversions

By converting your basement into liveable space, you can enhance the overall comfort and functionality of your home. It can provide you with additional room for family members to spread out and enjoy various activities without feeling cramped. Basements offer great flexibility for customisation to suit your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to create a cosy family room, a stylish entertainment space, or a functional home gym, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Things to consider with a basement conversion

Among property conversion options, basement conversions are the least common in the UK. Nevertheless, in period homes, particularly prevalent in areas like London and Kent, basements are more frequently found, offering ample opportunities to expand living space.

  • Natural Light

    Basements often lack natural light, so you will need to consider strategic design solutions such as light wells, window wells, or skylights to enhance illumination and create a more inviting atmosphere.

  • Ventilation and Air Quality

    You will need to consider air ventilation as it is crucial to maintain good air quality and prevent issues such as mould and dampness in basement spaces.

  • Waterproofing

    Basements are prone to water ingress and will often require thorough waterproofing measures to prevent moisture issues and flooding.

  • Planning Permission

    If your basement conversion involves re-purposing an existing space without significant excavation or alterations, it will likely qualify under Permitted Development. However, given the potential complexities associated with basement projects, it's advisable to consult your local planning department before proceeding. In instances where your property shares a connection with another, such as a terraced or semi-detached residence, you may be required to notify your neighbours about your intentions in accordance with the Party Wall Act.

  • Budget

    Basement conversions can be more expensive than other types of renovations due to the need for specialised waterproofing, structural reinforcements, and utility installations. Nonetheless, the total expenditure will vary based on your intended use of the space, with kitchens and bathrooms requiring higher costs due to the necessity of additional services.

In conclusion, we trust that A Guide to House Conversions in Kent has provided you with valuable insights. Should you require further clarification or information on any of the points discussed, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to assist you.

Are you planning a house conversion in Kent?

If you're considering a house conversion project, feel free to reach out to schedule a complimentary site assessment and quotation. We offer all the necessary skills and expertise to guide you through every stage of your house conversion journey.

Comprehensive In-House Trade Skills

We provide comprehensive a wealth of trade expertise to transform your home.  Our team is experienced in planning and design through to the practical implementations, ensuring a harmonious and high-quality project.

From the artistry of tiling and decorating to the precision of carpentry and the intricacies of electrical and plumbing work, we cover it all.   With a keen focus on meticulous planning and precise installations, we turn your vision into a reality, using experienced trades people who create spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional.

We Always Take Good Care of Your Property

During very house building project, dust and debris can create a mess. However, we will always prioritise the protection of your home, including your house's carpets, doorframes, and soft furnishings.

No walkway, staircase, or doorframe is left vulnerable to damage, ensuring that the adjoining rooms and walkways remain unharmed.

We take complete responsibility for removing and disposing of all waste materials and debris once the project is complete to ensure a tidy and safe environment for you.