How Much Value Does a Loft Conversion Add to Your Home?
Estimated reading time 7 minutes
Quite often we set ourselves new property projects with the aim of increasing the value of our home. Newly refurbed kitchens, exquisite new bathrooms and fantastic conservatories often top the list but what about that untapped resource, the loft?
The loft tends to be a forgotten part of the house, maybe used for the storage of the Christmas tree, items from your childhood and random clutter you haven’t yet established a purpose for. What if you gave it some purpose though? A loft can be transformed into another bedroom, a games room, an office or pretty much any other type of room you feel your house could benefit from.
And this is why it is potentially one of the best options for home improvement. Figures indicate that you could see as much as 20% added to the value of your home if you convert your loft. That is a figure worth considering, especially when the latest house prices index shows that the average property price in the UK sits at £286,489. Add an extra 20% to that and you are potentially seeing close to an additional £60,000 attached to the value of your home.
Whilst the 20% increase in value could be tempting, it would be worth noting that this is not guaranteed with every property that opts for a loft conversion. Several factors can come into play to determine the level of increase if there is any at all.
How much does a loft conversion cost?
Before committing to a loft conversion, it will be beneficial to work out the costings behind your loft conversion plan. If, for example, it was to cost more than the value of the anticipated 20% house value increase, is there much benefit to you? Does your house need it?
On the other hand, your family may be growing and at this stage, it could be more cost-effective to convert your loft than look to buy a new property.
So how much will a loft conversion cost?
This can be a tough question to answer, a loft conversion can come in many forms depending on the structure of the building and the purpose you are giving your loft. Some loft conversions totally transform the shape of your roof whilst others simply convert the existing space and nothing more. This means for a standard loft conversion you could be looking at spending anything from £15,000-£20,000. Should you opt for a Mansard loft conversion, the most expensive type, you could be spending as much as £70,000.
These approximate costs are inclusive of labour, equipment and any work related to a loft conversion.
To help you get a better idea of the costs of a loft conversion, you will need to factor in:
- The current roof structure
- The type of conversion you are aiming for
- How much space you have
- Whether any special alterations will be needed for access
- Whether your house is detached, semi-detached or terraced.
Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?
In many cases, you will not need planning permission for a loft conversion but before this sees you head off and get to work on converting it, you would be best to check first.
Whether you need planning permission for a loft conversion will depend on a few things, including:
- The type of loft conversion you are looking to have
- The size of the loft conversion
- Where you live
- The type of house you live in
Some people can benefit from a government scheme where expansions to properties can be made without the need for planning permission. Known as Permitted Development Rights, your property must fit certain criteria to be eligible and should work have been done on the property before, things can get a little confusing. To find out if you are eligible to progress down the route of permitted development, we would advise you to contact your solicitor and an architect for full information.
If it turns out that you are eligible to convert your loft with permitted development rights, you should make sure a Lawful Development Certificate is obtained. This then helps protect you in the future should permitted development rules change. It also proves to any future buyers and the local authority that the alterations to your home were legal at the time of completion.
It should be worth noting that the permitted development rights that are a bonus to many, do not apply to all. If you live in a flat, listed building, a maisonette or a house within a conservation area, you will have to seek planning permission for a loft conversion to become possible.
Should you go ahead and convert a loft without the relevant permissions, you could face a heavy fine and, in some cases, even see the conversion demolished!
The types of loft conversion
There are a variety of loft conversion types for you to consider, each posing its benefits depending on the purpose you want your loft conversion to have.
Roof light loft conversion
The loft keeps its floor space as it is and has no form of expansion added to it. It simply has a window added to the roof and sees the floor reinforced to make it into a living space. For these, you will rarely need any form of planning permission.
Dormer loft conversion
The Dormer loft conversion is probably the most popular. A structural extension that creates a box shape on the roof. With the way it is set, windows can be positioned as they would in the main parts of the house. With no dramatic changes to the size of the house, there is often no need for planning permission.
Hip to gable loft conversion
Often chosen by those living in a terraced or detached house, these are becoming more and more popular. A hip-to-gable loft conversion straightens an inwardly slanted end roof to create a vertical wall. This then helps create a very different aesthetic inside and outside for the converted loft. These particular types of loft conversion are likely to require planning permission.
Mansard loft conversion
The biggest and most expensive type of loft conversion, these more often than not will require planning permission. Suitable for all property types, they are built by raising the wall shared with your neighbours with one outer wall sloping inwards.
Important considerations for a loft extension
Not all lofts are suitable for conversion so it will be best to discover whether yours is before going ahead. You can always ask for advice from an architect or surveyor but as a rule, you will need to consider:
- Roof height- if converting to a bedroom, you need the distance between ridge timber and ceiling joist to be at least 2.2 metres.
- Roof pitch- The higher the pitch, the easier a conversion.
- Roof structure- Certain properties will require additional reinforcement to allow a loft conversion to be safe. Discover what structure you have before getting to work!
- Water tank- Many water tanks are located in the loft so if you are converting your loft into a liveable space, you will need to consider moving it.
- Cost- as we mentioned earlier, the cost could easily escalate to well over £20,000.
- A surveyor- With their knowledge, you will be able to get a much more in-depth insight into what you can and cannot do.
If you still want to proceed with a loft conversion, go for it! You could not only be increasing the value of your home but also giving your family a fantastic addition to your home.
If you are looking to sell your home and capitalise on its newly increased value, speak to Gaffsy, we buy any home and as cash house buyers can make you an offer that sees funds into your bank account in as little as seven days! We work to sell your house fast and we even cover the legal fees so you can just sit back and let the process work itself through! Why not contact us today for a free cash offer?