With House Prices On The Up – Extend Your Property or Move?

With property prices continuing to increase in many parts of the UK, the number of people deciding to remain in their current home and create extra space by converting their loft as opposed to moving, is rising according to the latest research by the London Lofts company.

The cost of moving can be very high, and when you consider a loft conversion will add between 10 and 20% to the value of a home, it is little wonder that so many homeowners are opting for a loft conversion.

Another reason why the trend is on the increase is due to regulations introduced in October 2011, which means in a higher number of cases planning permission is not required to convert a loft, which of course makes the whole process a lot easier and also less costly.

Loft conversion building regulations

While you may be able to carry a loft conversion without planning permission, you should be aware of the local building regulations in your area. The best way to proceed is to call in the experts, as the property needs to be tested for structural stability to make sure the ceiling joists, foundations and load-bearing walls can stand the additional weight. The conversion must also be in compliance with fire regulations, and ventilation and weather resistance are additional important factors that must not be overlooked.

Types of Loft designs

The majority of homeowners decide to convert their loft into an extra bedroom, often with a small en-suite bathroom. However, other options include converting your loft to a home office, a games room, a family room giving children extra space to play, or a room for teenage children to have their own space to spend time with their friends.

Whichever type of room you need, you can be sure that converting your existing loft space will be a lot cheaper and less problematic than moving to a new home that has an extra room.

The cost of converting your loft

The cost of converting a loft depends on many factors, but the highest designer loft conversion will usually not cost any more than £40,000. The average bill for converting a loft is between £20,000 and £30,000 if you employ a professional loft conversion firm. Yet you can reduce your costs if you are a skilled handyman and able to do part of the work yourself.

A basic loft conversion to convert the loft into a more organised storage space can be done in just a few days and usually involves the installation of joists, possibly a more accessible hatch to the loft, improved lighting and a decent ladder to access the loft. And this will usually cost somewhere in the region of £1000. It is a good option for those thinking about selling a home because the improvement to the property will likely yield a decent return on your investment.

Components which affect the cost of your conversion include the size and type of the conversion, the type of stairs you select, the roof lights or windows you choose, and the wiring and plumbing requirements.

Can any loft be converted?

The vast majority of loss can be converted. The loft should have headroom of between seven and 8 feet; if your loft is lower; a dormer conversion will be required which will necessitate planning permission.
If you live in a conservation area or in a listed building you will probably not be able to carry out a loft extension. To be sure things are in order; the best recourse is to contact a local loft conversion company who will be able to advise you if an extension on your home is plausible.

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