Will A Loft Conversion Add Value?

Loft Conversion

With the dramatic increase in house prices it’s no surprise that people aren’t able to afford upgrading to bigger, more suitable homes. A lot of families are finding themselves in situations where they need more living space as their families are growing. As a solution, people are starting to build upwards- converting lofts into suitable areas for habitation. It’s a significantly cheaper solution than moving homes. It’s not just expanding families that are exploring the loft conversion route, but also developers, in hope to add value to a property.

So, will a loft conversion add value to a property?

Loft conversions are one of the most useful ways to add value, with extra space coming high on the wish list of potential buyers. Loft conversions have the potential to add value by a large amount, but at the same time homeowners could be throwing money away if they get it wrong. Various factors come into play that determines whether a conversion will add value. The best way to grip onto a conclusion is by getting in touch with a few local estate agents to find out whether the conversion will benefit financially. The value will often depend on other houses in the area and whether they have a loft conversion or not. Additionally, over-developing the wrong property can be a costly mistake in terms of adding value.

How much will a loft conversion cost?

The pricing structure can vary drastically, depending on location and the complexity of the work. Basic conversions can start at around £10,000. This rises to £25,000 – £40,000 for a more complete conversion, perhaps with ensuite bathroom and with a dormer window, which changes the shape of a room considerably and maximises its living potential.

Types of loft conversions

There are three main types of loft conversions:

Types of loft conversions

Rooflight/Velux

This option involves converting the existing space and adding roof lights flush to the roof. It’s the least disruptive method. This option is generally adequate for those contemplating the smaller loft conversion, generally for a single bedroom; study etc

Dormer

If the existing loft space is not large enough to accommodate the proposed conversion, a dormer extension can be a good option. It creates extra headroom.

Mansard

This type of conversion is popular with inner London local authorities. The roof space is extended to the rear and sometimes to the front – usually they have brick sides and vertical windows.
Again, it might be worth discussing these options with your estate agent to determine which would add most value.

Loft conversion tips

Is your loft big enough?
You need to consider how much space you can actually squeeze out of your loft once the conversion is complete. There’s no point converting your loft into a room if there’s not enough space to serve its purpose as a comfortable room- you’ll need up with very expensive storage space. A lot of lofts are restricted by height, so don’t just measure the floor space, you need to measure how much space you will have in which you can actually stand in. Using a good architect will aid you in designing a plan that will give you the best results.

Planning permission
You will need some kind of planning permission or permit from the local planning authorities to convert your loft. Failing to get permission before making any structural changes can be a costly mistake, as the local authorities can make you restore the loft to its permitted condition. Planning permission alone can add value to the property, even if the work doesn’t get executed.

Forget cheap finishing
Loft conversions are complicated transformations that only work well when done properly. Ensure the conversion is finished to a high standard; otherwise you could be pouring money down the drain. Cheap conversions are easy to spot.

Get the best quote
Loft converting is an extremely competitive industry, so prices can vary drastically. Ensure you get several quotes from builders and make enquiries about previous work they have completed so you can get references. However, seeking a builder through recommendation is always the best option.

Meet the essential regulations
For a loft to be classed as a living space, such as an extra bedroom, it is essential that the loft conversion has a proper staircase, windows and meets fire and building regulations. An agent will not be able to class this space as anything other than a storage room if those regulations aren’t met and there will be very little, if any value added.

Make the conversion apart of the house
A loft conversion should not look or feel like an add-on. The staircase is the key to making a conversion look as though it is part of the original house. Wherever possible the stairway should be a natural continuation of the house so that the transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’ is seamless. The conversion itself, in terms of style should follow that in the rest of the house.

9 Comments- join the conversation...

Guest Avatar
Darren Scott 22nd September, 2009 @ 21:37

I can confirm that loft conversions are a great "hidden asset" having built many over the past 20 years.

Darren Scott
www.dscottloftconversions.co.uk

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Guest Avatar
Howard Johnson 15th January, 2010 @ 14:20

The trick is to make the work look like it was part of the original construction, I have been converting lofts for over 25 years and know all the tricks. Take a look, www.johnson-joinery.co.uk

2
Guest Avatar
Loft Conversion London 18th February, 2010 @ 10:47

Get your Internal Wall Modifications completed on time and within budget by choosing a company that's run by experienced Project Management specialists. Our specialty is Loft Conversions.

3
Guest Avatar
Sam Graham 21st December, 2010 @ 11:55

How difficult are loft conversions to insulate? I am wondering whether a loft conversion will add value long term or just increase my utility bills?

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Kirsty Hulse 21st December, 2010 @ 12:16

I have just received a reasonable quote from www.trussloft.co.uk, has anybody used them before?

5
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jools 22nd December, 2010 @ 13:09

Sam, insulating a loft conversion should not be too difficult as the loft will have to conform to the relevant building regulations reglating to U values in both construction techniques and materials used. Any decent builder will happily discuss this with you or why not do some enquiring at your local building merchants - they should only be too happy to give advice.

The rafters, perlins and roof space should still be breathable to prevent rot due to condensation. I used 2 x 2" jablite polystyrene sheets conterbattened to provide air flow in mine and it is fine. Snow stays on the roof for ages therefore proving that insulation is doing its job!

Whether it will add value is down to how much you spend, the standard of work and what space you actually achieve and whether it is useable. Obviously very difficult to say as I dont know your specifics. My advice - get lots of quotes and make sure you take up references and not those just given to you by your contractor. Get independent refs. Be aware of costs of things like plasterboards, plaster etc so you can see if you are being ripped off and get an idea of local daily rates for skilled tradesmen, labourers etc.

Dont forget that most loft conversions must also comply to building regs regarding fire egress and most will need 1/2 to 1 hr fire resistant construction products (pink drywall), a fire door and a closer unit on the door especially if the room is to be used as a bedroom. If you don't comply you may have difficulty when trying to sell if you dont have the appropriate certificates.

Good luck

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Guest Avatar
Kevin Fitzpatrick 27th October, 2011 @ 09:46

Having worked in the loft conversion industry for over 20 years and designed and built hundreds I completely believe that a conversion not only gives you a beautiful new space usually the best room in your home but also adds real value. K.fitzpatrick additional rooms ( loft conversions)

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Tina 19th April, 2012 @ 09:10

Are their any materials, tips or tricks that can be used to increase the internal height of a loft conversion. the council will not allow us to raise the roof and my husband is very tall.

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Vinod 28th February, 2013 @ 14:41

When considering a loft extension, do you consider the floor area to be storage places that are behind knee walls when considering the total area? for example if planning to be within 50m2, do you include the storage area or just areas that you can walk without hitting the sloping roof.

Furthermore this is important as if a side extension is done, then potentially this could hit the new CIL 100m2 levy.

Thanks

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