The dos and don’ts for a loft conversion

A loft conversion offers a great way to expand livable space within your property without having to encroach upon your garden or lose a valuable garage. A loft extension can accommodate additional family members as an extra bedroom or become a quiet office away from the general hubbub of the home. A spacious loft presents the opportunity for a dream hobby room, craft room, or gaming room, and this potential adds value to your home. With gains of 10-20%, a loft conversion can make a sound investment. If your loft space is structurally sound, a reinforced floor, wall insulation, and windows could get the job done.

The dos of a loft conversion

Do make sure that your loft is viable for a conversion. How much head height do you have? Are there roof trusses or rafters? As a general rule, a vertical clearance of 2.2 metres from floor joist to ridge height is needed across at least half of the loft space to make a comfortably usable room.

Do find out if you need planning permission for your project. Most loft conversions come under Permitted Development but there are exceptions, such as listed houses or property in conservation areas. You’ll also need Building Regulations approval, plus a Party Wall Agreement, depending on your conversion type.

Photo by Ron Lach

The don’ts of a loft conversion

Don’t go with the first quote you’re given–not until you’ve compared it with at least two others. Choose specialist loft conversion or building companies that are registered with an official body and have insurance.

Don’t dive in without a contingency fund of around 10%. Things don’t always go to plan and costly problems can arise. You’ll also need to budget for fixtures and fittings, and statement lighting.

Aside from the nitty-gritty, it’s always fun to consider the more luxurious side of a conversion, from skylights that look out at the stars to romantic juliet balconies. Why not check out our directory of property auctions to find your next home makeover and loft conversion project.

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