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A Guide to Converting Your Loft

As more and more homeowners choose to improve rather than move in the current housing market, now is a great time to have a look at ways to add value to your home and make it work for you. Whether you need an extra bedroom, bathroom or just some extra living space, your loft may just be the easiest place to find it. A decent-sized loft can become anything from a play room or guest bedroom to a spacious new master suite.

In many homes, unless you pile your Christmas decorations to the rafters the loft hosts a lot of wasted space, making it an ideal candidate to add space and potential value to your home. In this guide we discuss the important considerations to take into account when deciding if a loft conversion is right for you.

Why choose a loft conversion?

Return on Investment: Converting the loft can be a cost-effective way of adding an extra room without extending. As the costs of working within an existing space are generally lower, the overall return on your investment is higher, adding more value to your home with less investment (especially if adding an additional bedroom). Your 4 bedroomed semi just turned into a 5 bedroomed semi with master en-suite across 3 floors… sounds tempting!

Permitted Development Rights: Loft conversions benefit from ‘permitted development rights’. This means homeowners can usually convert their loft without planning permission, providing the home isn’t listed or in a conservation area.

Potential: With a good architect and enough space the possibilities are endless. A professional will know how to make the most of your available space.

Views/Light: If you’re in the market for a stunning master suite, the loft’s potential for a skylight, windows to both sides and the best views should definitely tick some boxes.

Types of Loft Conversion

Velux Conversion

In essence, this involves simply insulating/reinforcing the existing space and adding windows, the cheapest option if you have enough space.

Flat roof/Dormer

The most popular type of conversion, especially if there is less existing space available. This involves a structural extension that projects from the existing roof, adding floor space and head room.

Mansard

A mansard loft conversion is constructed by raising the party wall, keeping the roof flat while one wall slopes inwards. This flexible design is often seen as more traditional and can be a winner in certain conservation areas.

Hip to Gable

A hip to gable loft conversion changes the roof structure by creating a vertical wall, adding floor space, head space and is popular if you need the head height to accommodate a staircase.

Loft Conversion or House Extension?

Not all roofs or lofts are suitable for a conversion. Trussed roofs, for example, can be difficult and you need to ensure you have adequate floor area, roof angle and head height to make a conversion achievable. Whilst changes and adaptions can be made in these cases, this usually involves additional costs. When weighing up whether a loft conversion is your best option, it is always best to consult an architect who will be able to assess your loft and draw up plans with cost estimates. It is also worth comparing the costs and space added with that of a standard single or two-storey extension. If it’s more living space you need, a single-storey kitchen/diner extension could be the better option. If you require a lot more additional space than a loft can give and don’t want to move home, a two-storey extension could be your solution.

Return on investment isn’t always the most important factor when weighing up costs for your home renovations. Ultimately, home improvement is about making your home work for YOU, within your ideal budget and timescale. Budget is an important consideration though, and an architect can help you to design a solution that won’t put you in negative equity.

Book a Free Consultation

In an initial free consultation we will discuss your specific requirements, budget and timescales to identify the right design solution for your needs. During a follow up design consultation we will show you multiple designs with varying costs, to help you compare and identify the best fit for your needs. Book now at https://www.house-architects.co.uk/book-a-consultation/

For all images credits check out: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/TheHouseArchitectsUK/loft-conversions/

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