Whether you’ve outgrown your home or have no room for guests to stay, a loft conversion could be the answer to your extra space dreams. Going up instead of out is a fantastic way to gain an extra room, especially when extending your property in other ways is too costly or too complicated. A good loft conversion can add between 10 and 20 per cent to the value of your home, without sacrificing any garden space on the ground floor. So, once you’ve decided that your loft is the ideal extra office, playroom or bedroom, what next?
The first step is to get a specialist company in to have a good look around your loft. The ceiling height is crucial here. Lofts with a minimum head height of 2.3 metres are generally considered fit to convert, but water tanks, chimneys and sometimes the pitch of the roof can affect the decision. In any case, even if the roof is decreed too low, all is not lost. For instance, Mansard conversions replace either one or both roof slopes with very steep sloping sides and a flat roof over the top. This is a more complicated conversion so will need planning permission (most loft conversions don’t) and your costs will certainly go up, along with the roof.
Careful consideration and preparation during the design stages are key to getting the most from your loft conversion. Decide where you want to position key pieces of furniture before work even begins. Loft conversions can create awkward spaces, but angled ceilings add instant character and charm and being creative with design will maximise the full potential of the new room. Built in storage can work wonders, filling in the awkward spaces within the eaves of the room which saves the valuable head-height space you do have.
Costs will vary wildly depending on the ambitions you have for the space. If you’re handy with a hammer, or know someone who is, you could reduce the costs by up to half. Loft conversions are an excellent opportunity to make your home more energy efficient, which will go some way to offsetting the outlay in the long run. Just be prepared for the fact that if you have older children still living at home, they may well move up and never move out.