So you’ve decided that as well as utilising some much needed space through a loft conversion, you’d like to ensure it adds value to your home. However, when it comes to property development it is important to thoroughly research all aspects of development.
Setting a realistic budget
One of the most common reasons a loft conversion won’t add value to your home is because any value that may have been added has already been wiped out by an out-of-control or unrealistic budget. As a general rule, you should always allow for an extra 10% on top of whatever you intend to spend in case of unexpected costs. This could be the unexpected need for removal of hazardous materials, such as asbestos in pre 1980s builds. A professional loft conversion company will assess your property and provide a full projected schedule of costs, which they will agree with you before any work begins. Whilst budgets are only a projected figure, they will help you determine what a realistic figure is and whether you can afford to undertake such a project.
Comparing cost to value
Making major changes to your home, such as a loft conversion, can add invaluable space to your property. However, if you are hoping to downsize or upsize in the future you will want to make sure your investment does not outweigh the value of the space when the time comes to move on, both in monetary and practical terms. An extra bedroom, bathroom or study can be an attractive addition to any home, and more importantly a great USP for potential buyers.
Thankfully, when it comes to adding space, converting a loft space is widely acknowledged as one of the cheapest and simplest ways, as there is relatively little red tape (be mindful of the Party Wall Act if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property), and if you are not intending to add a dormer window as well the costs can be kept to a minimum. It counts as an extension of your home but not extensive building work, as you’re generally just converting the existing space into a useable home environment. A key feature of adding value with your loft conversion is to repurpose the space for maximum effect.
Perhaps your house lacks a second bathroom, in which case this would be an obvious choice. If you are expecting a new baby and require an extra bedroom, or simply lack a guest bedroom, lofts can be ideal – due to the sloping roof they can often be smaller than a conventional bedroom but are ideal for children or to house guests over the weekend. It is up to you to decide what kind of room would be of most value to you and factor in the cost of such a conversion so that the two balance.
Professionals not cowboys
With the rise of reality television shows showcasing the duping of the public by dishonest cowboy builders, you’d hope that the increased levels of awareness would help to prevent against this happening in the future. However, for an unlucky few the lure of a cheap, too-good-to-be-true building contract simply leaves them with cut corners that don’t meet building standards and cause problems in the future. This can be anything from a leaky loft conversion to structural beams that have been compromised – all of which are expensive problems to correct. For this reason it is important to thoroughly research your intended loft conversion company.
There are three obvious ways to research a company to give you peace of mind: accreditation, customer testimonials, and their portfolio of work. Unfortunately many cowboys will operate under a trusted name, which in reality they are not affiliated with in any way. This can include accrediting bodies, large building companies, and even trusted local builders, so make sure they are who they say they are. This can be done by taking to the internet, calling the company in question to ensure they genuinely do work there, or asking to see certification.
A portfolio of work will indicate the level of service they provide, and also provides you with a point of contact (if the previous clients are happy to oblige) so that you can get a thorough ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ testimonial. It may seem like a lot of effort, but a trustworthy professional company will be completely transparent and assist you with a no-pressure policy every step of the way.
JL Properties are a professional property management and maintenance company based in Lincolnshire who specialise in top quality loft conversions.
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