How much is a loft conversion?

If your loft is simply a cold area used to store boxes then you have the potential to create a whole new area of living space – and add value to your house at the same time.

The cost will vary depending on the type of conversion you go for and there are several basic options to consider.

The cheapest option involves keeping the roofline unaltered and simply adding velux windows into the roof.   This works well in Victorian style houses with steeply pitched roofs, but the resulting room will have sloping ceilings, which may limit the useable space.

A rear dormer loft conversion creates a square end to the back of your house and has a flat roof.  This creates a substantial amount of extra floor space and height.  It is possible on most terraced and semi-detached properties and allows for a greater choice of rooms within the loft space.  You normally will not need planning permission for this type of extension.

A Hip to Gable Loft conversion involves changing the sloping side of your property to a flat, gable end, creating a big loft room.

A Mansard loft conversion is a construction to the rear of the property which has a flat roof.  However, the back wall slopes inwards at an angle of 72 degrees.

If you live in a semi-detached or terraced house, you will need to consider your neighbours.  You will need a party wall agreement, which will ensure that the wall you share is structurally sound and that your neighbours are happy with the proposed alteration.

It is worth consulting your neighbours before you start planning – if they are considering a conversion then you may be able to do both projects at the same time and save some costs.

Other factors which can affect the cost of a loft conversion are:

• Plumbing works – do you have a cold water tank in the loft?  If so, you will need to replace this and then you will need to consider whether your existing system has enough pressure to supply the needs of your whole house.

• Storage: if your loft is full of stuff now – where it is going to go in the future?  Can you build in storage to the loft conversion?

• If you are putting a new bedroom in the loft, is it worth considering putting in an additional bathroom at the same time? 

• Emergency access: you will need to consider how you would escape from the loft room in a fire.

Roofing: you must check the condition of your existing roof when planning any kind of alteration.   You are most likely to need a new roof for the whole property when you carry out a loft conversion, so check that the contractor doing the work is suitably qualified.

Many builders will sub-contract the roofing work to specialist roofing contractors.  Do check, and remember that members of the Redland Select scheme will offer the unique HomeSpec ten year guarantee for the roof system.

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