Loft conversions in Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hailsham, Sussex



With space at a premium, many of our clients look towards a loft conversion to facilitate that extra bedroom, study, or hobby room. Whether you are looking for a complete ‘design and build’ loft extension company, or if you already have the necessary detailed plans drawn and passed by the local housing authority, and are looking for a qualified and fully guarantee building contractors to turn your dreams and plans into reality, we can help.


On 1st October 2008, and again more recently, the planning regulations were simplified and as a result the number of householders opting to convert their lofts vastly increased with some households no longer requiring planning permission. We can help establish the relevant requirements for your property as it may be possible to convert your loft conversion under Permitted Development regulations. If you would like to add extra living space, increase the value of your home and avoid the stress of moving, we offer loft conversions that are of the highest quality in terms of design, craftsmanship and sustainability. Our work will not only give you additional space but will enhance both your property and your lifestyle.


Types of Conversion

There are 3 basic ways in which you can convert your existing loft void into a valuable and useful space.
Velux conversion Fit Velux roof windows to front and back roof slopes to create a new bedroom, accessed by new stairs positioned above the existing stairs.


Possibly the easiest of all the loft conversions as it does not change the existing roof-line. For tall lofts that have no height issues, a Velux loft conversion offers the easiest and most simplistic of the three loft conversions, as it does not change the existing roof-line. With the minimum of disruption, our fully qualified builders can construct a velux loft conversion at a very affordable price.

Dormer conversion

Rear roof slope replaced with full length dormer, front roof slope fitted with two Velux roof windows. The dormer increases the usable loft space and head height to create a new bedroom (with possible en suite), accessed by new stairs positioned above the existing stairs.

If low head room is a concern, a dormer loft conversion will often provide the solution. As long as you can stand up comfortably at the apex of your roof, our qualified architects and structural support engineers can design a dormer loft conversion to satisfy your needs. Using only the highest quality windows and building materials, we comply to all current health and safety legislation.

Hip to Gable

Side roof slope rebuilt as gable end (vertical). Rear roof slope changed to full length flat roof dormer, front roof slope fitted with two Velux roof windows. the dormer and gable end increase loft space and head height to create new bedroom and en suite, with new stairs positioned above existing stairs.

Hip to gable is a terminology used within the loft conversion industry. If you are after a loft Conversion and your property is semi-detached or end of terrace, this style of loft conversions allows you to maximise the space within your loft.


How much does it cost ?

Please look at our example prices these are what we would typically charge. But all projects are tailor made to suit your needs with a full written estimates with schedules of works.

Will it add value to our property?

A loft extension can cost £30,000 to £85,000 and may add at least £25,000 to £50,000 to the value of the house. Sometimes it could add a lot more providing it creates sleeping space with an en-suite bathroom. Most of our customers like where they live and their kids are settled in schools and do not want to move. Moving fees can be costly and could be put towards extending up instead of out.

How can I tell if my loft is suitable for a conversion? Are there any height restrictions inside a loft conversion?

Take a measurement from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling ; the useable part of the roof should be greater than 2.4m

What if its less than 2.4m ?

Lower the Ceiling in the Room Below:-  The ceiling height in some rooms in older properties may be 3m or more, so if the roof space height is limited there is the option of lowering the ceilings below, providing it still allows at least 2.4m. This will require all the existing ceilings in question to be removed.

Raising the Roof:- This would involve removing part or whole of the existing roof, and rebuilding it to give the required height and structure. This is structurally feasible, but the major problems are the high cost and getting planning approval

Will I need planning permission ?

Some conversions require Planning Permission and all have to adhere to Building Regulations.

Any loft conversion not exceeding 40 cubic metres in volume for terraced houses and 50 cubic meters for detached and semi detached houses will not require planning permission on condition that:

  • The conversion is no higher than the highest part of the roof
  • The materials are similar in appearance to the existing house
  • That there are no verandas, balconies or railed platforms involved

No extension of the roof beyond the plane of the principal elevation that fronts the high way. This means that only roof windows can be installed on this roof slope whilst a dormer may be constructed at the rear (or side elevation – under further restrictions.

If Planning does not apply to you we can obtain a “Certificate of lawful development “(COL)from the local council. We will advise you of this during our visit or look on local council website.

Do I Need Drawings?

Yes. If you conversion is a habitable accommodation it needs to be planned professionally to ensure that confirm building regulations . We offer the services of exceptionally skilled architects who will produce you plans to the highest standards and specification which will meet current legalisation and regulations.

What is the party wall act and do I need one?

A party wall is the adjoining wall between two properties. A party wall agreement is an agreement between you and your neighbours , which protects both parties when the work is carried out on the party wall . You only require this if you live in semi detached or terrace property . We will discuss this during our visit.

Will I have to move out of the house during the building works?

The construction of your loft conversion is carried out from the outside, all materials are taken into the loft through the roof, and the only time we are working in the habitable part of your home is when we fit the staircase at the end. It is not necessary for you to move out of the house during construction.

Will there be much disruption to our daily lives?

A building project such as a loft conversion will have some impact on the daily routine of the household at some stage depending on the scale and type of the project involved. The way we plan out our work schedules is to keep disruption at a minimum where possible. We will also keep you regularly informed and give good notice of major work and impact to prepare the household.

Are loft conversions built in the winter, as well as summer months?

Yes, at French & Thorley, we offer our products and services to our customers all year round.

How long will the conversion take to complete?

‘Typically, a rear dormer loft conversion on a terraced property will take six weeks to complete and a Gable end and rear dormer on a semi-detached property will take eight to 10 weeks to complete. These timings are an accurate guideline as we have four full time tradesmen that convert the loft and they have been with us for more than 10 years.. This means, barring exceptional weather conditions, we are confident of our agreed timescale with the customer.’

We have Water tanks in out loft what happens to them ?

We can relocate them or most lofts we do we change to a pressurised heating and hot water system.

Do I need fire doors?

If you have a standard two storey property then the following fire doors will need to be in place:
One at the top or bottom of the new stairs going from 1st floor into the loft.

  • All doors off the 1st floor landing which lead to habitable rooms (not bathroom, airing cupboard, cloakroom etc)
  • All doors off the entrance passage which lead to habitable rooms – living room, dining room, kitchen etc

Do I need to upgrade the ceiling under the new loft rooms?

No, the new flooring above combined with insulation between will take care of regulations concerning sound, fire and thermal.

Are there any other fees that I will need to pay?

The only additional fee is payable for Building Control and we will list that separately on our estimate.