What You Should Know About Loft Conversions

Are you looking for a way to add more space to your home? If you’d like to increase your living space, you should consider a loft conversion. Loft conversions are an ideal way to add more usable space to a home.

With that said, the conversion process isn’t always easy. Here are a few of the questions you should ask yourself before you begin a loft conversion.

image of apartment with loft conversion

Why Should You Convert Your Loft?

The main reason people convert lofts is that they want more space in their home. However, space isn’t the only thing that a loft conversion can offer you. A loft conversion can also increase the value of your property.

Reports have shown that a loft conversion can increase the value of property by as much as 20%. If you think that you might sell your property in the future, you should strongly consider moving forward with a loft conversion. If you have a loft conversion, you’ll be able to list your home at a higher price.

Can Your Loft Be Converted?

Before you start sinking money into a loft conversion, you are going to want to make sure that your loft is suitable for a conversion. You should have your loft assessed before you move forward with the conversion.

To start, you’ll want to measure your loft. See if there is enough room for people to walk around comfortably. It’s recommended that a loft has a height of at least 2.2 meters.

You’ll also want to take a closer look at your roof. If you live in an older home, a loft conversion shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, some newer properties don’t have the kind of structural support you need for a loft conversion.

Can I Convert A Loft With A Low Head Height?

If your loft has a head height of less than 2.2 meters, you don’t necessarily have to give up on your conversion. You should still be able to convert your loft. The process will just be harder than it would normally be.

If you want to convert a loft with a low head height, you have two real options. First, you can elevate your roof. Secondly, you can lower the ceiling of the floor below you.

While both of these options are costly, they can both give you the kind of head height you need. If you have your heart set on a loft conversion, you shouldn’t let your loft’s head height keep you from moving forward with the project.


Can You Convert The Loft Yourself?

A lot of people prefer to tackle jobs themselves when they can. It’s easy to see why so many people want to convert their lofts on their own. Hiring builder certainly isn’t going to be cheap.

Unless you have experience as a contractor, a loft conversion isn’t going to be something that you can handle on your own. A conversion will go beyond surface changes. You’ll be making dramatic changes to a part of your home. That said, you may be able to handle some of the labor on your own.

What Do You Want To Do With The Space?

If you convert your loft, you’ll be able to add more space to your home. With that said, space won’t be on the main floor. You’ll have to think carefully about what you would like to do with that extra space.

It’s very common for people to turn a loft into a bedroom. Some people add a bathroom to their loft as well. Converting a loft allows you to add a master suite to your living space.

You can also turn an attic into a playroom or a media center. Lofts often have excellent acoustics, which means the right kind of sound system can shine here. You should be able to find a great way to use your extra space.

What Kind Of Insulation Should You Use For Your Loft?

Your attic probably isn’t insulated the way the rest of your home is. If you want to turn your loft into usable space, you are going to have to look for a new kind of insulation.

Thankfully, you should have plenty of insulation options. In many cases, a thick slab, like Celotex, is added to the loft. This is known as “cold roof” insulation. In other cases, insulation is used over the loft’s rafters. This is called “warm roof” insulation.

In spite of their names, both types of insulation will allow you to keep your loft warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They will give you more control over the temperature in your loft.

How Will I Access My Loft?

A lot of lofts aren’t particularly easy to access. Some people access their lofts by climbing a small ladder. If you don’t have a staircase that leads to your loft, you are going to have to add one.

Adding a staircase that reaches your attic is going to take away some of the living space that you have on the floor below. However, you’ll be gaining a lot more room than you lose. Many builders can add smaller staircases that will allow you to access your loft without losing much space.

How Can I Make Sure That My Loft Meets Fire Safety Standards?

Obviously, you are going to want to make sure that your new living space is completely safe. You should work to make sure that your loft meets all fire safety standards.

If your loft is being served by a single staircase, you will have to have some sort of escape window. The floor of your loft should be fire resistant. Your loft is going to have to have a smoke alarm, and that smoke alarm will need a battery backup.

As long as you take a few basic precautions, you should be able to make sure your law is safe. It’s important to make sure that your home is up to codes.

example of loft conversion

What Type Of Loft Conversion Do I Want?

There are several different types of loft conversions. The kind of transformation that you choose will have an impact on the price that you pay. You should think long and hard about the type of conversion that you want.

The most popular type of loft conversion is a “roof in roof” conversion. This type of conversion involves adding skylights and insulation to the loft and reinforcing the floors. Electricity, lighting and heating will also be included in the area.

Another type of loft extension is a dormer loft extension. This type of extension adds dormer windows to the space. If you have your loft extended in this way, you’ll be able to gain head height and floor space.

In some cases, people opt to change their roof when they convert their loft. This allows people to completely customize their new space. However, changing your roof can be very costly. If you’re interested in this type of loft conversion, you’re going to have to spend a lot.

How Much Are You Going To Have To Pay?

The price of a loft conversion varies wildly based on the builders you work with and the type of work you are having done. With that said, the cost of a conversion typically begins as £15,000. As the job becomes more complex, the conversion becomes more costly. You could easily wind up spending upwards of £55,000 if you want to do something complex.

It’s a good idea to talk to several contractors before you move forward with your conversion. You’ll be able to compare costs and find a contractor that can work with your budget.

How Can You Choose A Contractor For Your Loft Conversion?

Hiring someone to take on a loft conversion project is a major undertaking. You are going to want to be very careful about who you hire to do the job.

One of the first things you should consider is the contractor’s reputation. You’ll want to find someone that has received a lot of praise from clients that they have worked with in the past. The more positive feedback a contractor or building company has received, the better.

You will also want to look at their area of expertise. What kind of work does this company normally do? Are they familiar with the challenges of loft conversions? You won’t just want to hire an experienced team of contractors; you should try to hire contractors with experience that is relevant to the job.

Obviously, pricing is going to be a major factor for many people. The primary thing that will impact the price of the job will be the type of work that you want to be done. That stated it’s a smart idea to obtain quotes from a few different companies. You’ll be able to compare those quotes before you decide who you would like to hire.

Lastly, you’re going to want to make sure that you are comfortable with the contractors that you choose. If you hire someone for a job like this, they’re going to be spending a lot of time in your home. You should make sure you are entirely comfortable with the builders that you hire. Conversions take time, and you won’t want to have any issues with your builders.

Do You Need Any Permits?

You may need to obtain planning permission before you begin your conversion project. The contractors that you hire should be familiar with your local rules and regulations. They’ll let you know if you need to obtain a permit or permission before the work begins.

You should also read up on building regulations. In addition to making sure your home complies with fire safety rules, you should make sure that your converted loft is up to code. As long as you hire legitimate builders for the job, it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

What Could Go Wrong?

There are things that can go wrong with any renovation project. As long as you’re prepared for the worst, potential setbacks shouldn’t be a major issue for you.

In many cases, plumbing can cause a big issue. If you are going to be adding a bathroom to your new space, you will want to make sure you hire expert plumbers for the job.

You may have to have your insulation certified. You shouldn’t assume that the insulation you have selected is good enough; you should be careful about the approach that you take.

One of the most frustrating issues that people have with these kinds of projects is delays. In a lot of cases, loft conversions wind up taking longer than people expect them to. When the length of a project increases, the cost of the project increases as well.

You should talk to the builders you hire about their schedule. Check in with them and see if everything is proceeding according to schedule. Find out what will happen if the project winds up falling behind. Make sure that a big delay won’t wind up costing you a lot of cash.

What Else Should You Consider?

There are a few more things you should consider before you hire a team of builders and start off this job. You should make sure that you’re fully protected in case something goes wrong. Look into obtaining a RIBA building contract. It’s always smart to keep yourself protected.

Beyond that, you should think about how the conversion process is going to impact your life. Your home may be noisy during certain times of the day. If you have small children, you may need to keep them out of the home while work is being done.

Loft conversions can be incredibly exciting. The right conversion can transform an attic into a beautiful new space. With that said, a loft conversion is a major undertaking. You shouldn’t rush to hire someone for this job. Instead, you should carefully consider all factors and make sure you’re comfortable with the choices that you make.