Everything you need to know about loft conversions

An empty loft is, quite literally, a waste of space. If you live in the UK and have a loft attached to your home, converting it could result in extra living space or even as a side income if you rent it out through Airbnb.

Not only can you turn your loft into an added bedroom, but it could also be your new work from home office, a playroom for the kids, a home cinema or even a personal yoga sanctuary – the possibilities are endless.

Before you decide to convert your loft into a new space, there are few things you need to know.

What they cost

The cost of converting your loft into a new living space can cost anything from £25,000 for a 20 square metre dormer loft conversion all the way up to £100,000 if you’re thinking large-scale and are working with a bigger than 40 square metre space. Conversion costs depend on what it is you want to turn the space into and what the size of the space is.

The value it adds

Converting your existing loft into additional living space is a really clever and lucrative way to add value to your home. A converted loft can add up to 14% value to your home. That’s £70,000 on a £500,000 property. In the long run, a loft conversion is a true investment.

Head height is a determining factor

A major factor that will determine whether your loft is suitable for conversion or not is the head height that space has. When you measure from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist, you need to have at least 2.2 metres of usable space for a conversion to be possible.

Planning permission

A question we often get asked is whether planning permission is required to convert an existing loft. The answer depends on the type of loft you have as well as whether you will be altering the roof height or not.

In most cases, loft conversions are considered as permitted development. However, your design will have to adhere to several specifications. If you are going to be extending beyond the conditions of permitted development, or if your property is located in a conservation area, you will need to apply for planning permission.

Building regulations

Regardless of the type of loft you are converting and its size, building regulations approval will always be required when converting a loft. Building regulations cover the structural aspects of development and progress throughout the construction process.

Building regulations (also known as building control) are implemented by a Building Control Body to ensure that the conversion work falls within certain regulations in terms of design, construction, and alterations. A building control surveyor will inspect your conversion at various stages and will be responsible for issuing a completion certificate during their final inspection.

You need an architectural designer

Whilst it is possible to design your loft conversion yourself, we don’t recommend doing this. It is best to make use of the services of an architectural or structural designer. Although you will not be doing the planning yourself, you will still be able to steer the design to your exact specifications.

We plan and design loft conversions and extensions in the UK that focus on realising the full potential of an otherwise unused space. We will work closely with you to determine what will add the most value to your life as well as consider your budget. We also have a structural engineer available if you need one to carry out your conversion.

Adding a bathroom

Although this will raise the cost of your loft conversion, adding a bathroom to the space is a great idea if you are planning to use the space as a bedroom. Adding hot and cold-water supply is not terribly complicated and can be worked into the technical designs you have drawn up.

Whether it’s a scaffold-free renovation, the addition of a loft staircase or a full-on loft conversion, we can draw a plan up for you. We can help with dormer loft conversions, hip to gable loft conversions, mansard loft conversions and roof light loft conversions. Contact us to get a quote.