If we are unable to build sideways, maybe we should build upwards? Homeowners in Britain are increasingly thinking that way.
Large lateral extensions to a property can sometimes be impractical or unlikely to receive planning permission in crowded urban areas. In contrast, loft conversions – so long as they do not clash with the surrounding buildings – are a different matter.
The once neglected attics of homes across the country are now used as bedrooms, offices, or playrooms for children. It benefits the family in the short run, and in the long run, the property is worth more – often a lot more.
Adding additional bedrooms and en-suites to a loft conversion can add 21% to the value of a property, according to a Nationwide study. According to Abbey Lofts’ study, the increase in value in London was likely to be even higher, at 24.5%.
Depending on the property and the area, the financial costs and benefits are quite finely balanced.
An average dormer loft conversion with a double bedroom and en-suite will cost you between £35,000 and £45,000.
To compensate for the storage space you are losing, you will also have to consider how to add more storage space to your home.
Loft conversions can be excellent investments and greatly increase the value of a property, but the process will require a significant amount of time and money.
The following tips will help you:
1) Determine whether a loft conversion is the most suitable option for extending your property.
Consider other options, such as ground-floor extensions, if they are available. Get a quote from a local estate agent on how much a loft conversion would add to your home’s value.
2) Determine whether you need planning permission.
Start by visiting the planning page on your local borough’s website. Certain loft conversions require planning permission in certain areas, such as conservation areas.
3) Decide whether you want a simple loft conversion or one with a dormer window.They are significantly more expensive and may require planning permission. You will certainly gain more value from them and they may be the best option for you and your family.
4) Loft conversions both take up and add to existing space.
Your clutter will have to go somewhere else if you have been storing it in the attic. In order to access your new loft conversion, you may have to sacrifice a small bedroom on your landing.
5) Compare quotes from multiple contractors and look at their previous work.
Many reputable specialist firms exist, but it is important to make sure that you have chosen the right firm.
6) Budget for possible overspending.
A contingency fund of about 10 percent is necessary for any unexpected problems once work begins.
7) Install an en-suite bathroom if your loft conversion will be primarily used as an extra bedroom.
A trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night is not something anyone wants to do.
8) Determine how long the building work is likely to take in advance.
Loft conversions have the advantage of being accessed from the roof, which minimises disruption, but it will still take at least six weeks, if not longer.
9) Check for fire safety regulations before converting your loft.
The planning authorities and your builders should be familiar with this critical area, but you will sleep better at night if you familiarise yourself with it.
10) Be sure to notify your insurer if you add an extra bedroom.
In many house insurance policies, this is a standard requirement.
There is no doubt that loft conversions are a feature of modern Britain. A good conversion adds financial value as well as creating versatile living spaces.