A loft conversion can completely transform any home and is one of the most lucrative ways to renovate your house. It’s a great way to add more space and can be used for all sorts of things, from an extra bedroom to a cosy hideaway.
“A good loft conversion adds about 10 to 20 percent to a property’s value and in a lot of cases you don’t need planning permission – although you should check first” says Battersea estate agent, Eden Harper. It’s a fantastic space creator, adding around 40 cubic metres to the average terrace and 50 cubic metres to a semi or detached house.
As with any major structural change, it’s important to do your research and be sure you’re going for the right option. There are lots of different types of loft conversions to choose from and their price tags vary accordingly. Many people choose a straightforward Velux option because it’s a more affordable choice than something like a Dormer, which is taller and offers more possibilities for room style. Mansard loft conversions offer a stunning visual with their 70 degree slopes, but they usually require planning permission.
To help you decide, think about how you want to use the space. Is it to create a spare bedroom or additional bathroom, or are you looking for something more adventurous like a studio for art or music? “Having a clear idea about what the room will be used for and the kind of furniture you’re going to have will help you ensure you’re choosing the best shape and style” says Best Gapp.
Although you might not need planning permission, there’s still some red tape to get through. You’ll need a Lawful Development Certificate from your local council and the loft conversion will have to be approved by an inspector. The build will need to meet basic standards for fire safety and insulation, as well as structure and ventilation. When you’re choosing someone to undertake the checks, make sure you shop around and check they have all the right certification. Your local authority will be able to recommend someone if you’re unsure.
If your loft conversion adjoins a neighbour’s property you’ll also need a Party Wall Agreement. This is a contract between you and the other party that confirms everyone is happy for the works to be undertaken. The neighbour also has the right to ask for a surveyor to inspect the plans and outline how to progress, or they can just choose to sign a waiver.
So, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, let’s take a look at some ideas for loft conversions this Summer.
Clean, fresh and contemporary, white is always a great way to create a feeling of space so works well in loft conversions. Add some bold artwork or colourful accessories to make it look less sterile and more inviting, or create a serene room in which to practice yoga and meditation.
A Hygge retreat
Scandinavian cosiness has been a big design trend for a couple of years now, and it’s a fantastic way to create a really snug and inviting loft room. Think texture, neutral tones and cosy fake fur blankets.
It’s a dream that many people think is just for Hollywood A listers and penthouses, but having your own dressing room is completely attainable with a good loft conversion. If walk in wardrobes and lots of storage for your shoes is your idea of heaven, it’s a great way to spend your money and will easily just be an extra bedroom if you ever want to sell.
The internet has made it possible for millions of us to work remotely, so home offices are a really big thing these days. As long as your internet works up there, it’s the perfect way to create a work/life balance.
Music or art studio
For a real wow factor, a studio is a wonderful way to use that extra space. If you’re going for an art room you’ll need a higher ceiling and lots of light, so a Mansard will be a good choice.
LDG says, “A loft conversion adds real value, but it’s costly too, so always choose a reputable builder and have a clear timeline in place.”