Adding Value with A Loft Conversion

If the main reason you're planning to start a home improvement project is to eventually sell your home at a great price, then you should know the best way to add value. 

One home improvement that will almost certainly make a difference to the value of your home, is a loft conversion. 

According to Nationwide, a loft conversion with a double bedroom/bathroom can add around 20% to the value of a three-bed/one-bath home.

Is your loft suitable for a conversion?

While the idea of having a loft conversion can seem like a great idea, you need to make sure that your loft is suitable before you set your heart on the project.

If you don't have enough headroom in your loft, then a conversion may not be possible. Experts recommend a minimum height of 2.4 to 2.6m for a modern trussed roof. However, if your house is older or has an unusual design, then you will need to have your loft professionally inspected by a structural engineer to see if it will be suitable for the work.

The type of roof you have can also affect your plans. For example, a modern trussed roof can be more complicated to convert than a traditional cut roof design. If you have an older house that has had the roof space altered in any way, then this can also affect the viability of your project.

Lighting your loft space

You will also want to let natural light into your new loft and there are three main options: dormer windows, mansard, and roof light. If your budget is tight the cheapest option will be a roof light conversion because it is the most simple and straightforward way to add light.

Roof lighting requires few alterations to the existing space and is a simple as adding windows into the existing roof slope. If you have a pitched roof, then you can choose dormer or mansard windows.

These box-like shaped windows extend from the sloping roof and can create extra headroom and floor space. If you have the available space and budget, you can choose a single dormer, side, or L-shaped dormers, depending on your needs.

Mansard style conversions are better for lofts with little headroom as they can extend out from one or both sloping roof sides and have an almost flat roof.

Do we need planning permission?

In most cases in the UK, a loft conversion is considered to be a permitted development. This means that you don't usually need to get planning permission. However, if you are planning a major conversion that will extend your roof space by more than 50 cubic metres (40 cubic metres for a terraced house), you will need to seek planning permission.

Planning permission aside, it is worth having your plans checked out by a structural engineer or architect because there are rules in place about the materials you can use. For example, you should only use building materials that are in keeping with the style and appearance of the rest of your house.

You will also need to check your permitted development rights if you live in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) etc. Your local planning authority will be able to tell you everything you need to comply with local building rules and regulations.

Although a loft conversion adds financial value and creates versatile living spaces. It will involve a sizeable investment of time and money, so should not be undertaken lightly.

Will a loft conversion benefit your home? Our team will be happy to offer advice. Get in touch with us here.