There is a lot of information out there for homeowners who are considering making improvements to their property, and trying to read and understand everything can be quite a daunting task. Any decision to convert your loft shouldn’t be one made on impulse, so we’ve put together a few initial questions to ask yourself before getting in touch with a specialist loft conversion company like Herts and Essex Lofts.
Do you need the extra space?
This question should have a fairly straightforward answer. If you are already considering converting your loft, chances are you need the space. If you are unsure about the best way to utilise the new space, have a read of our ‘Five top reasons for converting your loft’ to give you some ideas.
Can you afford a loft conversion?
Most lost conversions cost between £20,000 and £40,000, with an average price somewhere around the £32,000 mark. On paper, that may look like a lot of money. Think of the holiday you could have, or the car you could buy for that kind of cash! But unlike nice holidays and new cars, a loft conversion can add up to 40% to the value of your property. If you apply that to the UK average house price (£250,000), that £20,000 to £40,000 investment would see the price of that property rocket to between £300,000 and £350,000 – an increase of £50,000 to £100,000.
Is your loft ready for a conversion?
While we would love to be able to say that your loft is without doubt 100% suitable for a conversion, we won’t be able to tell this for sure until we’ve had a quick look at the space. There are a number of structural and safety points that need to be considered before work can begin:
Ceiling height – your loft ceiling must be at least 6ft 6in high (at its highest point) to comply with building regulations. Ceilings over 7ft 8in may need to be lowered to ensure structural integrity.
Access – your loft needs to have easily accessible escape routes, either in the form of an open stairway, large window or skylight. (Many lofts don’t have easy access escape routes, but we will install these as part of your conversion.)
Energy retention – your loft will need to be thoroughly (and correctly) insulated to avoid wasting heat.
Ventilation – your loft will need to be well ventilated to prevent against mould and damp. We can advise you on the best form of ventilation before we start work on your conversion.
Listed buildings – if you live in a listed building or conservation area you will more than likely need to obtain planning permission before we can start work on your loft conversion. Most domestic, non-listed properties only require building regulations approval (we can advise you if this is not the case for your home).
Will a loft conversion disrupt your home life?
Sometimes we talk to clients who are worried about making adjustments to their everyday lives while their loft is being converted. This is a common misconception. Most loft conversions take just 6 to 7 weeks from the time the scaffolding goes up to the point at which the new space is ready for decorating, and the vast majority of any work takes place within the loft itself, without disturbing your use of the upstairs hallways and bedrooms.
Hopefully these questions have helped you to think about some of the things we would normally discuss with a new client during our first meeting, but if you have any other questions, or would like to arrange a free, no obligation quotation, please call us today on 01279 654 716 or fill out our online form.