Lofty Ambitions – Should You Invest In A Loft Conversion?

With house prices experiencing their fasted rise in rate since 2010, which has been fuelled by the governments £80 billion attempt to kick start the economy. As a result of this, a lot of families are now finding themselves holed up in properties which are far too small for their needs. Even with the recent implementation of bedroom tax, families are becoming too big for their houses, with many families having to put up to four children in one bedroom. A possible solution to this is to consider adding a loft conversion

There are three different types of loft conversions to choose from. There is the Mansard, in which the roof space can be moved to the back, and often to the front, with the exterior featuring brick sides, and vertical windows. There is the Velux, which embraces the existing space in the loft, whilst adding a roof light which fits the slant of the roof to provide sunlight. Another option is the Dormer, which is where headroom is manufactured by building outside of the property. The type of extension a property can have is obviously dependant on the build of the property, and so anyone considering investing in a loft conversion would obviously need to consult their local authorities.

When considering a loft conversion, home owners must ask themselves the following key questions:

Is it affordable?

Whilst investing in a loft conversion is far cheaper than purchasing a new house, anyone considering a loft conversion must be certain that they have the funds available to pay for it, whether it be through savings, or by taking out a loan.

Is it big enough?

Those interested in a loft conversion need to be sure that their loft is actually big enough to build an extension, and that it is big enough fit the required room space required. There’s no point in building a loft conversion if it’s not big enough to actually use.

Do I have planning permission?

Before an extension of any kind is built, local authorities will need to grant planning permission. Failure to do so can result in authorities making the loft converter restore the loft to its original features, causing cost and hassle.

Is my property structurally competent?

Ensuring a property is able to withstand the pressures of extra building work is something which a building surveyor is able to do. With this in mind, it is of clear importance that one is brought in so as to assure that when a loft conversion is put into place, the property doesn’t collapse.

Can I make it meet regulations?

For a loft conversion to be considered as living space, it is essential that there is a staircase to the room, there are windows, and that it meets the fire regulations standards. Without these standards being met, the room will only be considered an additional storage space, adding little to no value to a property.
Written by Nick Le Chat, writing on behalf of Blackstone Construction & Design, the loft conversion specialists.