26 Nov Basement vs Loft Conversion – Which is Best for You?
More and more people are choosing to improve their existing home rather than moving on to pastures new. Still, finding space can be a big problem. Thankfully, there are solutions to this problem that don’t involve moving to a new home. Loft conversions have been commonplace in UK cities – London in particular – for a number of years, though more recently more homeowners are opting to dig down into their basement to create more space.
So if you’re struggling for space and you’d rather not have to uproot yourself and your family, you can have your loft converted or you could convert your basement instead. But what are the pros and cons of each? Let’s take a look.
Affordability and convenience
When it comes to cost, there’s really no contest – loft conversions are much cheaper than basement conversions. It could cost you up to £2,200 per square metre to have your basement converted into additional living space, depending on the extent and the nature of the work that needs to be done. Another key advantage to opting for a loft conversion is that it’ll most likely be ready a lot sooner. Completing a loft conversion can take between six and eight weeks.
Obtaining planning permission for loft conversions is also pretty simple. There are some restrictions in place when it comes to head height, for instance, but when it comes to loft conversions the planning regime isn’t particularly strict. You should still, however, familiarise yourself with it first. It’s worth running your ideas past an expert to see what they think – and if you do need planning permission, you must make sure you obtain it before starting work.
It’s worth noting that basement conversions also tend not to need planning permission – though there are other guidelines you need to stick to – and you can usually dig as far as you need to or your budget allows. Building regulations still apply though and you’ll need to make sure an inspector improves the work. Work on basement conversions can be disruptive, so you’ll need to think about the effect it’ll have on your family life while it’s ongoing.
Space and liveability
One important difference between loft and basement conversions is that with the latter, you can take advantage of natural light. This is obviously not possible with basement conversions underground. By positioning windows and skylights in the right places, you can effectively control how much natural light enters your converted loft space. Converted basements, on the other hand, require artificial light. Some people find that artificially-lit spaces are little too claustrophobic, so an airy loft conversion is more likely to be the better bet.
Both options have their advantages, but basement conversions at present are a bit of an elite concern – they don’t come cheap, so they appeal mainly to the very wealthy. Loft conversions, on the other hand, are popular, inexpensive and most of all very practical.
Get in touch with Econoloft to find out more about how you can transform your loft. We’ll take you through every step of the work to help you get that are right for your home.