There are many things to consider when planning to convert your loft; such as your budget, what windows to get, insulation, energy efficiency, planning permission, hiring the right builders and more. This can be daunting, especially if it is your first time. We have put together a helpful guide, with tips and expert advice that should equip you to make the right decisions about your loft.
There are many types of loft conversions, but the suitability of the conversion type depends on your roof, location, purpose and budget. We have listed the 4 main types of loft conversions below.
- Roof light: Add skylight windows, a staircase leading to the floor below and a functional floor
- Dormer: Most popular and quickest type of conversions that are suitable for most sloping roof houses. It consists of a vertical extension from rear roof slope of a house.
- Hip-to-gable: Only suitable for semi-detached or detached properties, maximises headspace.
- Mansard: Similar to Dormer loft conversion but requires planning permission.
9 Expert Ideas and Tips
- Do your research when hiring tradesmen. Ask friends, family and neighbours on their recommendations or check the many online forums, and try to get at least 3-4 quotes. When making the final decision, take into consideration the price, recommendations given and flexibility of the tradesmen. It may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, however, if you want a good loft conversion make sure you choose the best-qualified company within your budget who is willing to show you work they have done before.
- You should find out whether you will need planning permission for your loft conversion and how much it will cost. You won’t need planning permission if your development rights permit loft conversions, however, it entirely depends on the type of property you own, where it is, and how extreme the change will be.
- Do you really need a loft conversion? In some circumstances, a loft conversion may not be the best option. What is your intended use for the loft, will it be an extra room or a storage space? Decluttering, self-storage or moving to a bigger house may be a better choice.
- A key question is how much does it cost to convert a loft? The cost of a conversion depends on a multitude of variables; such as the structure of your roof, location, added insulation, skylights, electrics, fire safety measures, staircase alternations, if you want to change the structure of your loft, etc. The cost of a loft conversion ranges from £12,000 to £40,000 +.
- Whilst your loft is being converted you may need to keep your belongings in storage, finding a high-quality, secure, transparent storage provider like Bishop’s Move is important.
- Check if your roof space is big enough to convert as the minimum head height is 2.3m. If your roof is not big enough then you will have to either lower the ceiling below or get planning permission, dissect the roof, increase the size and increase your budget.
- Take the room’s configuration into account when planning the interior design of your loft. You can make your loft room feel cosy yet spacious with a light colour scheme and natural materials.
- You could utilise your loft conversion for many different purposes such as a gym, guest room, home spa room with spacious bathroom, dressing room, library, home office, games room, cinema room, kids’ playroom, studio for a lodger or Airbnb guest, and more. There many options, so consider the intended use of the room in the planning process.
- Skylight windows are a great way to utilise the daylight in your loft and one of the many ways of making your loft energy efficient. Solar panels are another thing you could consider.