Loft Conversions Ideas – Key Considerations When Doing a Loft Conversion
Need more living space? Has your home become a bit cluttered due to your growing family? A loft conversion is an excellent way to introduce extra living space into your home. With a loft conversion you can add an extra bedroom, bathroom or even a lounge to your home thereby increasing the overall value of your property without incurring the significant investment of a house extension or moving to another home. We have gathered some of the important things you need to take into consideration before you embark on a loft conversion.
Loft conversions typically mean transforming space in an attic or loft into a functional room that could be a bedroom, office space, lounge, gym or for storage. They are an effective way of utilizing space in the home that was otherwise not in use. Recent research by Nationwide Building Society has shown that converting a loft space can increase the value of your home by as much as 20%. Usually, adding another bedroom or guest room to your home can move the property to the next pricing level. Loft conversions are part of permitted development therefore you should not be looking for planning permission before you embark on a project.
Before you jump into the deep end, engaging architects, and builders etc, here are a few key points to consider:
What are my needs?
It is important to clearly detail why you are converting your loft or attic. What are you set to achieve? Do you want an extra bedroom or office space? Are you looking to have a home gym? What is the practicality in relation to the rest of the property? For instance, if you add an extra bedroom, who in the family will be using the bedroom? Depending on the design of your home, does the attic feel distant from other parts of the home? It is important you have a clear picture of what you want to do. If unsure speak to an experienced architect or builder. There are various free consultation options with free advice.
Size and dimensions of the loft or attic
What is the size of the loft or attic in relation to what I set out to achieve? Take an example of a home that has the family bathroom on the ground floor, if the attic can only accommodate an extra room without a bathroom, it means anyone in the attic almost 2 floors up has to come down to ground floor to take a shower. It is important to understand the practicality of a loft conversion in relation to the expected benefits. Again, make sure that the loft conversion is practical in relation to how your home is structured.
Planning the layout
If for instance you are adding an extra room as part of a loft conversion, It is key that at the design phase you have a clear idea of the furniture layout otherwise you may end up with a challenge. Going with our example of adding an extra bedroom, at this stage, have a clear idea of where the bed will be positioned, wardrobe and other furniture. Have a clear idea of position of the en-suite bathroom and how it fits with the rest of the room. For the en-suite bathroom, consider the ceiling height in the space they are to be located so that there is enough headroom specifically for the shower and hand basin areas.
Structure of home
It is important to understand the structure of your home and how durable it is for the addition work required for a loft conversion. Therefore, we advise you speak to an experienced builder. Builders can offer free assessments on a site visit and if additional advice is required, then a structural engineer may need to see the property. For homes that have chimneys, confirm that the chimney is positioned such that it will not have an adverse impact on what you have set out to achieve. It is always important early in the process to tick off all the issues so that there are no problems when you are far down the process.
Loft Conversion Cost
This is so important and is one of the most asked questions. How do you know you are getting value for your money? Well it is difficult to say as it there are several variables – what you set out to achieve, where the loft or attic is located, the area your property is located etc. As a rule of thumb, we suggest the following: is the loft conversion cost more than 20% of the expected new value of your home? For instance, if you are adding an extra bedroom which would move the value of your property into the next price level, is the loft conversion cost higher than that value? You can do basic research by reaching out to your local estate agents. If you have a 2-bedroom house now and you do a loft conversion adding an extra bedroom, what is the value of a similar 3-bedroom house? This will help you assess if you have a high budget for your loft conversion project.
It is advisable to keep the cost down as much as you can. As suggested earlier, what you set out to achieve, the planning and proposed layout need to be clear from the beginning. Once you have set out a plan, better to stick to it as additional requests in the middle of the project may lead to increased costs. Find an experienced builder, that would be fully responsible for delivering the project from start to finish.
Loft conversion costs could be estimated anywhere between £25,000 to £50,000 depending on the size, if you need to alter the staircase access, the area your property is located and the type of conversion you are embarking on.
In summary, the conception stage of a loft conversion is so important. Research and ask lots of questions at this stage. There are a lot of available materials that can help you on this journey. Also, you can speak to a lot of experts – architects, builders, surveyors etc to get more insight into the entire process.