There are two ways to convert a loft. One involves removing the roof and building work, the other utilises the space “as is”. The latter can be quite an expensive business but on average a loft conversion will add at least the cost of the work to the value of the property – or around 20%. A lot depends on the quality of the work, which is why it is important to get the job right.
Compared to relocating to a bigger house, with all the problems and expenses involved, a loft conversion can certainly be the more cost-effective solution. The overall cost depends on many factors, according to Mark Hughes of Touchstone Builders. Here are some of the primary features.
Age & Location
The age of your house, therefore the way the roof trusses are built and height of them will make a big difference. There are minimum heights required. If your home does not meet them for example, the roof might need to be raised and that can be costly. The location also influences cost – Access might be tricky and so the work harder to carry out. Additionally, roof extensions and conversions might not be permitted in certain locations like conservation areas. Or, there might be more conditions attached which can mean higher costs.
Going with the flow with regards to planning can save money. It might be something relatively simple like moving the bathroom from the left to the right, nearer to the existing plumbing and outlets for example.
The type of conversion you have will vary the cost. Rule of thumb tends to be if the conversion needs planning permissions costs can go up quite substantially. If the outer structure does not need to be altered or extended it usually does not need permission and so costs will certainly be lower. These conversions are within the realms of “permitted development” which also has certain limits and conditions attached: No verandas or balconies, materials must be in sync with the existing building – Full conditions are listed on the legislation.gov.uk website.
Labour & Materials
The quality of the work and experience of the builder invariably affects costs. Getting several quotes is a good step forward. Check out their previous work to ensure they are capable of the job. The quality of the materials used is also a major factor. Insulation, windows, partition walls, electrics and heating come in all shapes and sizes so to speak. The decisions you make here will affect the cost of your conversion the most.
Get a Comprehensive Quote
There can be added costs outside labour and materials. There’s usually a lot of clearing up to do and old materials and rubbish to clear away. When you get a quote ensure it is clear who does this work and the costs involved. Shop around before deciding. Make sure your requirements are clear and everything has been accounted for with regards to design, material and labour costs. Loft conversions can be very cost-effective when planned with prudence. That way you can work your budget to produce the best possible outcome.