Everything You Need To Know About Loft Conversions

  • Loft Extensions ultimately adds the most value to homes.

  • This guide put together by the team at Diligent Developments features everything you need to know as a beginning when it comes to loft conversion from plans, cost to prices.

The Comprehensive Loft Conversion Plans, Costs & Price Guide

Depending on where you are located and how extensive your renovations, a loft conversion extension can end up costing as little as about £12000 or as much as £50000 or more. A simple loft conversion that is between 20 to 30 square metres and adds a new staircase, a roof light, and insulates roof structure would be less than £20000 pounds, but most people spend between £30000 to £50000 as the loft conversion average cost to get the structural changes and upgrades they want. If you are handy and now what you’re doing with construction, you may be able to get by with a do-it-yourself loft conversion price for as little as £10000. Some spend upwards of £50000 for an extension that provides extensive living space above with quite a bit of amenities and usually plumbing and electrical wiring and elaborate loft extensions that change the architecture and structure of the home.

Why Convert a Loft to Be Used as a Home Extension?

A Loft Conversion Space Holds Endless Possibilities

A loft conversion opens up a lot of possibilities for how you will use the space. You may want an extra bedroom or bathroom, or a sitting room, an in-home theatre media centre, an office, or maybe add a spot for a home gym to your attic conversions.

When you consider your options of adding more livable space, a loft conversion is often the most appealing choice since it is a less costly way of expending the size of your home when compared to a full extension or the thought of selling your home and moving entirely. A basic loft conversion can usually be done in a couple of weeks.

Attic Conversions Are Affordable

Extending your home with a loft conversion is fairly inexpensive, and depending on the design you want, it is not typically overly complicated to construct.

The end result adds space you desire within your home and usually adds value to the property as well.

Converting a loft will add space and usually add value to your home.

It is an easy way to create usable space since the structural elements are already there.

Property Value Will Typically Go Up

If the loft conversion is done well, your property’s value will most likely go up. The amount of value is going to depend on where you are located, but it could add approximately 15% to 25% onto the value of your home.

Consider Price Factors, Style Choices and Design

Price Factors That Impact the Cost

Factors that are going to make the price go up or down include how extensive your design is, where you live, labour and material prices in your city, the size of the loft you currently have, how much work is needed to provide the proper support of the loft area, whether or not you want dormer windows, whether or not you want to run the central heating to the loft, and whether or not plumbing or extensive wiring will be needed.

Choose Your Style

Some of the most commonly chosen loft conversion styles include Hip-to-Gable, Mansard, or Dormer loft conversion.

A hip-to-gable style will take the slope of the side of the roof and make it flat to supply extra space inside. For a hip-to-gable loft conversion, expect to start the price range at £30000. A dormer loft conversion, sometimes called box or kennel conversion, is a popular choice that extends outward from the back or from the side of the roof to form a box shape.

The final loft conversion cost is going to depend upon how many dormers you want and how extensive the rest of the design is going to be. Expect to pay £19000 on the low end and £30000 or more on the high end for a typical dormer loft conversion. A Mansard style is typically the most expensive choice since it usually involves a lot of structural construction to change the slope of the roof. However, a Mansard style loft conversion will also add the most amount of extra room, so the bottom line price may very well be worth it for your home. For a Mansard loft conversion, expect to pay approximately £35000.

Design Matters

Some main considerations when designing your loft conversion is to ask what is the best use of the loft space? You will need a “direct means of escape” in case of a fire which means a separated stairway and hallway with fire-rated doors in all rooms.

On a blueprint, many designs look as if there is a lot of floor space, but they don’t take into account the sloping ceiling height which will need to be raised for you to stand upright and clear your head. Don’t forget to make sure there is space for the furniture and for storage when it’s completed as well as the position of the stairs so that they give you the best use of the room you are creating.

You need a certain head height, of about 2 metres for headroom, other areas can be used for storage. The roof structure will need to be insulated and floor joists will need to be strong and possibly adding steel beams.

Lighting Options Determine the Cost

Finally, you will need to decide how you will bring light into the loft.

Natural and artificial lighting through roof or dormer windows can be added, with the dormer windows adding cost.

Anticipate about £1200 per square metre for a conversion with a roof light, about £1300 per square metre for a dormer conversion, and approximately £1400 per square metre for elaborate design options.

Planning Your Loft Conversion and Adhering to Building Regulations

Put Thought into Your Loft Conversion Plans

It’s always wise to consult an expert before building to make sure your loft conversion plans design is fitting within your budget and that the building regulations are followed. Unless your home is exempted from development rights, you won’t need local authority approval, but you will need to meet regulations planning approval to ensure you are following building codes such as fire safety access to the main door, enclosed stairwell, fire doors, and stairway.

Permission and Regulations Are Two Different Things

While most properties are not going to require special permissions, since loft conversions are generally considered to be permitted developments unless you live in a National Park, a Conservation Area, an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, a Word Heritage Site, or a listed property, you will still need to make sure your loft extension build adheres to building regulations.

All loft conversions will be expected to comply with building regulations of structural, sound resistance, conservation of fuel and power insulation, sanitation, water, electrical, ventilation and fire safety guidelines.

Party Wall Act of 1996 May Pertain to You

Of course, first make sure whether or not you need to apply for planning permission. If your wall joins a neighbours’, you will need to adhere to the Party Wall Act of 1996 which involves your notifying your neighbour of your plan to build. Some localities also have specific rules as to how far out you will be able to extend, window regulations, restrict the building of balconies, and ask that the materials you use match your current structure’s design.

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to permissions and regulations is that if you have any doubt about whether or not you need to apply for permissions to build, it’s a good idea to first check with your local council.

Be Prepared for Extra Expenses

Some extra costs to be prepared for in the loft conversion average cost that the home owner may be expected to pay might include a Certificate of Lawfulness at about £85, planning fees usually around £170, a Building Control Fee at about £500 plus Value Added Tax, VAT.

Consult with an Expert Before You Build

Before you build your loft conversion, consult with an architect or a loft extension company who has experience in this kind of construction and will be able to give you an accurate loft conversion price quote.

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