Is a loft conversion worth it? Conversions & House extensions in London.
These days, more and more of us are considering expanding upstairs and adding a bedroom or playroom to our homes’ roof areas. A loft conversion can add value to your house while also providing much-needed extra space for a growing family.
How much value does a loft conversion add?
According to recent research conducted by the Nationwide Building Society, converting a loft area can boost the value of your home by up to 20-25%. This rise might be significant in locations where the average house price is high.
A loft conversion is appealing because it uses ‘dead’ space to construct an additional room rather than eating into an outside area as traditional additions do. Because much of the necessary framework is already in place, converting a loft is frequently less expensive per square metre than building a traditional expansion.
Most loft conversions don’t require planning approval if they don’t exceed a particular size limit (40 cubic metres for a terrace, 50 cubic metres for a detached house) or aren’t planned to protrude too far from the existing roof.
In addition to providing additional living space and increasing the value of your property, a loft conversion can also help you save money on energy. All of that added insulation can help you save money on your electricity bills.
What are the different types of loft conversion? 4 loft conversion ideas for different properties in London.
- Roof light conversions are the simplest and least destructive, requiring only the addition of skylight windows, flooring, and a stairway to make the space habitable.
- A (usually flat roof) addition protruding from the slope of the roof is erected in a dormer conversion. The most common conversion, ideal for almost any building with a slanting roof.
- Hip-to-gable conversions operate by extending your property’s sloping ‘hip’ roof outwards to create a vertical ‘gable’ wall.
- Mansard conversion – the most expensive, involving an extension that runs the length of a house’s roof and changes its angle to practically vertical.
What to think about when you decide a loft conversion
Cost of loft conversion and feasibility
The price of a loft conversion is determined by a number of factors, including the age of your home and the shape/pitch of your current roof. The following aspects have a role in creating a loft space that isn’t overly pricey or complicated:
- Having enough headroom in the loft area (a minimum of 2.2 metres). When you need to expand your roof space, it will have a significant impact on the overall cost and scope of the construction project.
- If the floor joists aren’t robust enough, deeper joists and/or steelwork will be required to sustain the loads.
- Having adequate space on the floor below to allow a fire escape and protection staircase that complies with Building Regulations.
An architect, builder, or specialist loft conversion firm can advise you on prospective ideas, what you’ll need to have in place to meet Building Regulations, and whether or not you’ll need planning permission. Before beginning any work, make sure you check with your local planning authority.
You should keep in mind that converting your loft will result in you losing a substantial amount of storage space. While it will provide an excellent opportunity for a thorough cleaning, you will need to make room in a garage or shed for all of the stuff you want to save.
You must also be prepared for a lengthy period of disruption. The time it takes to finish loft talks is frequently far longer than a builder will admit. The standard timescale of six to eight weeks does not include all of the finishing touches, such as flooring, decorating, and putting things away.
For several weeks, there will be a lot of dust and mess to cope with. Everyone has varied levels of tolerance, but even the most laid-back of us will want to conduct a daily clean-up while the construction is at its worst.
Unfortunately, existing carpets and furnishings on lower floors may suffer some damage as a result of this approach. Once the builders have ground in a load of dust and plaster, it’s not uncommon to have to re-carpet the entire house. It’s a good idea to leave some money in the budget for post-construction decoration.
If you choose to upsize
If you determine you can’t handle a significant construction project, you might want to consider upgrading to a larger home. It may also be the greatest option if your property is unsuitable in any manner or if you don’t plan on staying in it for more than a few years. If you won’t be able to benefit from the extension for a long time, it may be difficult to justify the large financial commitment and the inconvenience caused while the work is being done.
Even if you want to stay in the region, taking a step up the property ladder to get the necessary more room might be well worth it. We’d be pleased to give you a no-obligation appraisal of your home and tell you how much properties similar to yours have recently sold for.
We can advise that there is currently plenty of movement in the housing market, as many who have been hesitating due to the continuing Brexit negotiations appear to be finally making a move. Our recent blog post on whether now is a good time to move discusses some of the reasons why now might be a great time to upsize.
Of course, there are costs associated with moving (such as solicitor’s fees and stamp duty) that must be considered against the cost of a loft conversion. You may also need to extend your mortgage, so find out if your present one is transferable and what the rates would be if you needed to borrow more money. We’d be pleased to refer you to reputable solicitors and independent financial experts based on our local knowledge.
Moving home, like a loft conversion, can be a lengthy process, but it doesn’t have to be. With the correct help, it doesn’t have to be. If you’d like some free advice on whether a loft conversion is worthwhile, or if you’re wanting to take the next step on the property ladder, contact us now.