Loft Conversions

Loft conversions are an excellent way of adding value to your home and creating more space without having to increase the footprint of the property. It utilises space which would otherwise be wasted or used for storage and is often allowed to be completed without planning permission and at a relatively low cost compared to a full extension.

Is my home suitable for?

You will first need to find out if your loft is suitable for conversion. This will be based on the head height and the practicalities of installing a staircase. Generally a minimum head height of 2.3 metres across half the floor area is recommended. You should also make sure you have a suitable space downstairs for the staircase to be put in place.

Loft Conversions: Will I need planning permission?

Under permitted development you may increase the floor area of your property by 40 or 50 cubic metres without needing planning permission (depending on the size or your property). With Loft conversions you will be limited on where you can place windows (they need to face away from the road) but otherwise you should be able to complete a loft conversion with building regulations approval only. They will ensure that the work has been carried out to the correct standards. You should bear in mind that listed buildings or those in conservation areas may require planning permission for Loft conversions. Also, if your loft conversion involves any extension of the roof space, you may find that planning is needed. Always check first.

How much will it cost?

It is very difficult to say how much a loft conversion will cost to complete. This very much depends on how large the conversion is, what building work will need to be done, if any plumbing or electrical work is required and what the eventual purpose of the room is. However it is usually the case that a loft conversion is significantly cheaper than adding an extension to your home. You can expect that adding a loft conversion will increase the value of your home or its rental value by more than you will spend. It is almost always a good investment and worth the time and effort to complete. However you should never squeeze a loft conversion in if it means sacrificing a bedroom elsewhere (to house the stairs as an example). Your loft conversion should add to the home and never detract from it.
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