Is a Loft Conversion Worth it?
Rather than move house, more of us than ever are weighing up the value of extending and expanding upwards with a loft conversion project for that extra bedroom and en suite bathroom. Done well with specialist builders converting that dusty, unused space into a loft conversion could help you escape the hassle of moving to a new house. So, if you’re fighting for more house room and need square footage and when loft-conversion costs can start at as little as £35,000, having a straightforward home improvement project by converting your loft is a win, win solution…
Most loft conversions are generally allowed under permitted development rights, so there’s no need to go through the tedious process of obtaining planning permission for that new bedroom or bathroom. And, another plus is that you’ll get the extra room you want, but without having to sacrifice your garden space, as is usually the case with a conventional rear or side house extension.
Loft conversions can be one of the best returns on investment you can get when it comes to extending, with experts suggesting they add up to 20% to the value of your home. To make it worthwhile, the cost of your loft conversion shouldn’t be greater than the added value to your property, so do the sums and ensure what the ceiling price for properties in your area is to avoid disappointment later. But, in areas where average house prices are high, this increase can amount to a considerable sum.
A loft conversion is particularly appealing as it makes use of unused space to create an extra room by using the loft. It often costs less per square metre to convert a loft rather than build a conventional extension, as much of the structure you need is already in place. Your loft conversion can be carried out without planning permission with building regulations, as long as they don’t exceed a specific size – typically 40 cubic metres for a terrace or 50 cubic metres for a detached house. As well as creating that extra bedroom and adding value, a loft conversion can even make your home more energy-efficient as well as worth more. All that extra insulation can help bring down the cost of your utility bills.
Organizing a loft conversion involves everything from getting the correct paperwork signed – although you don’t usually require planning permission, deciding on roof type, how the staircase will reach the new room, choosing the insulation, and keeping to height regulations. Of course, some loft conversion decisions will be made for you by your architect or loft builder – but it’s always worth getting ahead of the game so that when you’re asked, you know what living space you want, where you’d like the plumbing to be. The type of material you want for your window frames, you’re ready! There are various types of really usable living spaces you may consider:
- Roof light conversion– the cheapest option where just a dormer window will fit, floor joists are reinforced, and stairs are added to make the space habitable.
- Dormer conversion– where a new loft space protrudes from the slope of the roof. This is the most popular type of home conversion space as it’s suitable for pretty much any property with a sloping roof.
- Hip-to-gable conversion– these work by extending the sloping ‘hip’ roof at the side of your property outwards to create a vertical ‘gable’ wall space.
- Mansard conversion– the most costly, involving a loft conversion running the whole length of the property’s roof, altering its angle to make it almost vertical.
Are you thinking of extending your home into your loft?
If you converted your loft, you might be adding to your house’s value, but you may be losing a significant amount of storage space. So, you may need to create space in a garage or shed for all the existing items you want to keep hold of. Think of it as an excellent excuse for a clear-out. You’ll also need to be ready to disrupt your property with all the building work going on within your home, which could go on longer than you think. You’ll have to bear in mind all the finishing touches such as laying flooring, putting in stairs, decorating, and building in storage.
So, there could be a fair amount of dust and mess to deal with for several weeks, but as long as you keep focusing on what your property will eventually look like while the worst of the building works are going on, you’ll find you won’t need to move out while the work is going on! Unfortunately, existing carpets and furnishings on lower floors can take a bit of a battering in the process. It’s not uncommon to re-carpet the entire house once the builders have ground in a load of dust and plaster. It pays to make sure you have a bit extra in the budget for additional redecorating post-completion.
Aim High with Your Loft Conversion
Sympathetic home improvements are a great idea significantly when they dramatically improve the appearance and layout of your property. But when it comes to loft conversions, you’ll need to ensure your planning is done by the book if you want to add value back. If it’s going to be a bathroom, it needs to be converted in accordance with building regulations because if you don’t follow the rules, you’ll effectively lose a room when you market your house.
If you do decide that you can’t face a large building project, then it might make sense to look at upgrading to a more significant property. It may also be the best solution if your property isn’t suitable in any way or if you don’t expect to stay in the property for over a couple more years. If you don’t benefit from the extension for long, then it can be hard to justify the significant financial investment and the upheaval involved while the works are taking place.
Contact Colin today for a freee no obligation quote