30 Nov 5 tips – Pulling off the perfect loft conversion:
Loft conversions can add thousands of pounds to the value of a home. Of all the home improvements you could make, none will boost the worth of your property like a loft conversion. Even if you’re not planning to sell up any time soon, converting your loft into another room could provide you with valuable space – just what you need if you have a growing family and you’re struggling to find room.
There are some key points to remember before you get started on creating your own loft conversion, though. Here are some of our top tips.
Work out what you actually want to do with your loft conversion before you do anything else.
1. Don’t start designing your loft conversion without knowing what purpose you want to put it to. Your choice of use for your converted loft space will have a big influence on its design. The great thing about loft conversions is their versatility – you can use these converted spaces as chill-out rooms, as studies, as kids’ playrooms, and so on. But if you don’t have a clear purpose for your loft conversion, you won’t get the end result you really want.
- Is your loft more useful to you as storage space or for something else?
If you really need your loft to store belongings in, then a loft conversion might not be for you. But the chances are that you can afford to get rid of some of your old bits and pieces to create a bit more space. If you really aren’t prepared to get rid of the belongings you’ve stored, though, you can always have some of them sent off to self-storage instead. And you could always use part of your newly-converted loft space for storage while you use the rest for something else
- Think about the cost.
Typically, loft conversions cost around £40,000 including décor, furnishings, a bathroom and the various finishing touches – and while that’s a substantial amount of money, you need to weigh it against the likely benefits. Loft conversions could add an extra 20 per cent to the price of your home, according to research from the Nationwide Building Society. You should also consider whether you want to add other features to your loft conversion, like skylights or windows. These will add to the cost, but they’ll also add more to the value in the end. Budget carefully – it’s worth having a buffer in case of emergencies. You could add an extra ten per cent to your budget so you have some leeway in case of unforeseen expenses.
- Think about access to your converted loft space.
Before you get to work on your loft conversion, you’ll need to consider just how people are going to get in and out of it. You’ll need generous access to your converted loft space so you can get your furniture and belongings in without too much hassle – so stairs are the only way forward. Staircases can be as practical as they are attractive. Ladders won’t be up to the job if you want your loft to be a habitable space. Think about what sort of stairs you want to complete the job – hardwood stairs are more expensive, but they look great. If you have a small box room, you could do away with this to create a more spacious landing. While you’ll lose some space, it should ensure that more light fills the landing making it more airy. If thought out properly, you could also use the remaining space as a small library or study.
- Don’t do anything until you’ve spoken to an expert first.
Loft conversions are challenging undertakings and it’s always best to have an expert cast their eye over them. Get in touch with an experienced loft conversion specialist and discuss your plans with them. They’ll provide you with essential insight into how you can make your loft conversion work for you and to get what you want from the project. They’ll also take you through any regulatory requirements you’ll need to abide by.