First-fix Loft Conversion

What is a first-fix loft conversion?

A first-fix loft conversion (also known as a shell loft conversion) is a form of basic loft conversion in which all of the major structural work will be completed. It is often used as a cheaper alternative for those looking to undergo a loft conversion on their home. This is because some of the work such as the plumbing and electrics can be completed by the customer, lowering the costs of the overall project.

What is included in a first-fix loft conversion?

Included in a first-fix loft conversion is everything up to the plastering, and knock through which is when part of the ceiling is removed to make way for the new staircase.

The rest of the work on the loft conversion, such as electrics and plumbing, is left to be completed by either the customer or tradesmen of their choice. This is known as the first and second fix electrics and plumbing.

A first-fix loft conversion includes:

  • A complete on-site survey
  • Detailed architectural drawings including all structural engineering calculations
  • All scaffolding
  • Suspended structural floor
  • Steel beams fitted to suit building control requirements
  • Construction of dormer/mansard
  • Installation of Velux windows
  • Tiling of new dormer(s)
  • Finished flat roof on dormer (torch-on membrane, GRP, EDPM finishes available)
  • External windows and doors
  • Construction and fitting of the staircase (handrail & spindles fitted by yourself)
  • Removal of all debris from site

The process of a first-fix loft conversion

A first-fix loft conversion will normally take place in four parts:

  1. The first step involves determining if planning permission is required for the loft conversion or if the construction work can be completed under permitted development. We will be able to advise on this during the initial meeting with our design consultant.
  2. After this, the architectural plans will be drawn up, showing all of the structural engineering calculations that are required for the work carried out to comply with current building regulations.
  3. Once the plans have been approved by the customer, the construction of the first-fix loft can begin. The beams, joists, suspended floor and dormers will be installed as well as the new staircase and windows.
  4. After the structural work has been completed, the conversion is handed back to the customer in order to allow them to finish the internal work. This involves all the plumbing, plastering, electrical installation and second-fix carpentry.

First-fix loft conversions are perfect for customers that are working to a limited budget, or for those that have contacts in the building industry that can help finish the conversions plumbing, electrics and decorating.