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written by naomi baron


The Benefits of a Loft Conversion

A loft conversion can provide additional usable space and often adds extra value to your property.  It can be more cost effective than relocating if you need extra living space, or it could be a good development to do if you are thinking about adding value to your home in order to sell it, and make an upwards move on the property ladder.

Where do you start and what needs to be considered?

Loft conversions are often very useful for large families, particularly if you don’t have the outside ground space to add an extension.  They can have so many different uses, from an extra bathroom, bedroom, study, or maybe a playroom for the children to hide away in!  It’s often beneficial to consider it a multi-use space; a flexible space can potentially add more money to the property in the long term.

Planning permission

Planning permission for loft conversion is not always needed. The exceptions are if you’re extending the roof space or exceeding specified limits. It’s vital that you check this with your local planning department so that you have a clear understanding what you are and are not allowed to do.

Building Regulations

You’re definitely going to have to ensure that your new loft conversion meets building regulations.  These will relate to the sound insulation, the structural quality of the new build, and checking the structural integrity of the existing building.  You also need to make sure that your loft conversion falls under The Party Wall Act 1996 where you need to give adjoining owners notice.

Can I do it myself?

We’re all for a good DIY session here, but taking on a loft conversion is a pretty significant task which will definitely involve your local planning department!  Unless you have the skills necessary to complete a project like this, we’d suggest contracting a specialist to take it on.

You could engage an architect or a building surveyor.  They will be able to mock up the correct drawings and designs and obtain the required approvals.  If you want them to, they can also assist in finding you a suitable builder as well as managing the project for you.

A specialist loft conversion company will be able to offer you the whole package.  As they will work solely on loft conversions, they’ll have a design department for the initial drawing part, the knowledge to get the required approvals, and then of course the skilled labour to build the conversion!

Sometimes, you will find experienced builders who have loft conversion experience and who could offer you a service similar to that of a loft conversion company.

Whoever you chose to go with, it’s important that they visit the site so that they will be able to provide you with accurate quotes.  This is also your chance to quiz them in depth about previous projects and their experience.  You need to have enough information about them so that you’re confident you will be making a strong, well informed decision.

 

Once complete, a carefully designed, planned and built loft conversion could add up to 20% to the value of your home.  This will of course depend on the final usage and the finish.  So, it’s a brilliant way of adding value and space to a home, whether you intend to use the space ­­­yourself, or use it as a platform to achieve a greater sale price on your home.