Do you need more space in your home?
Any family home that has a loft conversion is happy to have it. In addition to enlarging your home’s space, it also significantly raises its sale price, adds an additional layer of insulation, and reduces energy consumption. Lofts are frequently one of the largest and easiest to convert areas of unused space in a home.
There are a few crucial factors to take into account in order to create the ideal design that suits your home as well as the needs of your family, regardless of whether your dream loft conversion requires structural work or you’re planning on minor alterations to make the most of the space you already have.
How much does a loft conversion cost?
You may be wondering- if it’s extra space you’re after, why not just move to a larger house? Well on average, the cost of a loft conversion is one third of the cost of moving to another house with an extra room, meanwhile increasing the value of your home by up to 25%. With such vast financial benefits, it’s clear that choosing to take on a loft conversion is a worthy investment- but how much does it actually cost?
The average loft conversion costs anything from £20,000 to £50,000, but this number, of course, depends on a list of variables. For example, are you adding a bathroom? How big is your existing loft space and how much are you hoping to extend it by? How much structural work is required? The final consideration has a significant impact on the price – if you can get away without having to perform any or only minor structural work, the cost of your loft conversion can drop dramatically.
It’s up to you how you pay for your loft conversion. If you have a stricter budget, it may be worth working with a specialist loft company for an all-inclusive price so that you can stay within your allotted costs. On the other hand, you could find an architect or construction company to draw up the plans and then gather quotes from the relevant contractors. With the latter option, you’ll have to pay the various parties (builders, roofing specialists, door and window experts, etc), however, you’ll benefit from their specialist knowledge on each aspect of your renovation.
Is my house suitable for a loft conversion?
Once you’ve weighed up the costs and you’re happy to go ahead, you next need to work out whether a loft conversion is actually possible in your home. Most importantly, there needs to be at least 2.1m between the floor and the roof in the tallest part of your loft – for a comfortable bedroom or living room, at least half of the space should offer this amount of headroom. Not only will this ensure your conversion complies with building regulations, but it also means that you won’t be uncomfortably crouching or knocking your head.
With their steeply pitched roofs, Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and other pre-war properties are the perfect fit. You just need to remember to contact a chartered surveyor before the work goes ahead to ensure the building is structurally sound.
After sussing out whether your loft is suitable internally, you’ll secondly need to work out whether you need to apply for planning permission. Most loft conversions fall under the ‘permitted development’ category, meaning that you won’t need planning permission to renovate your loft. However, if you want to add a balcony or terrace, your plans must be approved. Equally, if your house is listed or in a conservation area, getting permission may be more difficult.
How can I make sure my loft design complies with Building Regulations?
Whatever type of property you have, you’ll need Building Regulations approval. Your building contractors should ensure that your loft complies, however, it’s worth understanding the standard building regulations yourself so that you don’t get caught out after spending your hard-earned cash on your building project. Make sure you’re aware of these important rules:
- Often there are restrictions to the size (area) of the loft.
- You shouldn’t raise the existing roof height or alter the front facade of your home. If you want to make major alterations to the back of your home, check with your local council before going ahead.
- As mentioned above, the head height in the loft should be at least 2.1m in some or most of the space.
- Your new loft area should be accessible via a permanent staircase. If you have limited space, opt for a spiral staircase or fixed ladder – these also make for a quirky design feature.
- There should be a good standard of insulation in the loft in order to overcome extreme temperatures. It should be between 150mm and 250mm thick.
- Fire regulations must be incorporated into the design. For example, install a smoke detector or sprinkler system and swap the internal doors around the staircase for fire doors.
Of course always check your local building codes to check what’s possible in your area. Asking an expert for advice is always worth it – even if it costs a little extra.
What styles of loft conversions are available? What will suit your house and budget?
When it comes to loft conversions, there are plenty of different options out there. The design you choose is predominantly down to how much space you want to add and your budget, however, it’s also important to consider planning restraints and the aesthetic impact of your chosen style on your house – it should fit the architectural style and not look like an add-on.
There are four main loft styles for standard properties:
- Dormer – This loft is a structural extension of the house which projects vertically from the slope of the existing roof. Dormers tend to have a flat or gabled roof, offering good head height and plenty of additional space. They’re also relatively inexpensive.
- Mansard – In this style, the party wall is raised while the roof remains flat and the outer wall slopes inwards. It works particularly well for period terraced houses and is supposedly more aesthetically pleasing than a dormer.
- Hip to gable – This is when an inwardly slanted roof is straightened to create a vertical wall. A hip to gable conversion is perfect for an end-of-terrace or detached home as it blends well with the existing building.
- Roof light – Using skylight windows, you can make the most of an already spacious loft space without having to alter the existing roof structure. All you’ll need to do is reinforce the floor and insulate properly. This option is around 25% cheaper and is more likely to be approved in conservation areas.
Conclusion – adding extra space will add value to your home
Therefore, a loft conversion could be the ideal addition, whether you want to expand your home with an additional bedroom, create a second living space, or even flip your house upside down with a bright and roomy open plan kitchen diner at the top of your home. Just make sure to work with a specialist loft company, architect, or construction company that has experience and accreditation if you want to design and construct a loft conversion that is both attractive and long-lasting.
Meet Some of Our Top Handyman Service Professionals.