Loft conversions have become very popular with British people when it comes to adding more space to a house. It is a fantastic way to extend the living space without relocation, and it is a renovation process that is possible even in tight urban areas, especially when extending the footprint of the house is not an option. A loft conversion can also significantly add to the overall value of your property without being excessively expensive. If you are looking into the cost of a loft conversion, and you need more information, here is everything you need to know.
Types of Loft Conversion
As you plan a loft conversion, you should know that there are different types of loft conversions that you can choose.
- Room in Loft Conversion - the least expensive and the most simple type of loft refurbishment available; it involves using the loft space you currently have and only adding new windows or skylights, with this conversion you don't change the current structure of the roof; you most likely will have to, however, reinforce the floor, add stairs, and invest in proper electric connections, insulation and plumbing.
- Dormer Loft Conversion - pretty similar to the room in loft conversion, but with the use of dormer windows; adding such windows increases the usability of the floor space, which is a fantastic solution when you are an owner of a high angle roof; it also provides you with more stair placement options.
- Bungalow Loft Conversion - a reasonably simple refurbishment for a single storey house with a pitched roof; it involves converting your attic space into a loft by adding the capacity for extra bedrooms and living space; one of the most popular loft conversions in the UK.
- Mansard Loft Conversion - it enables you to add a whole a storey to your house and involves changing the existing roof structure to make the walls almost vertical, while the final roof is flat; most of such conversions run from one gable wall to the another.
- Hip to Gable Loft Conversion - this conversion requires you to convert the hipped, slanted roof section to a vertical wall (the gable end); the structure then is given a pitched roof that creates the loft space, while the vertical walls allow for standard window openings; a popular way to go is to also combine dormer and hip to gable conversion together.
The Cost of Room in Loft Conversion
As already mentioned above, a room in a loft conversion is considered the cheapest method of converting a loft. Unfortunately, it is only suitable for certain types of homes, those that already are equipped with an attic or have adequate loft space. The cost associated with this conversion is generally between 15 and 20 thousand pounds, with prices being higher in London and South East England.
Bungalow Loft Conversion Cost
If a property is suitable (single-storey building with attic space) and the planning conditions are met, this attic loft conversions can be performed with the costs being reasonably low. When doing a bungalow conversion, you can expect to pay anywhere from 30 to 70 thousand pounds depending on the complexity and size of the refurbishment.
Hip to Gable Loft Conversion Cost
Hip and gable loft conversions tend to be more complex than other types of refurbishment, which result in them typically being more expensive. The lowest price for this particular conversion starts from around £40, 000, but it can go up to 65 thousand pounds. On average for a hip and gable loft conversion, you will pay around £55,000.
The Cost of Dormer Loft Conversion
Dormer loft conversions are relatively simple to complete, so they are considered to be on the cheaper side of things. The cost typically comes in at around 30 to 60 thousand pounds, depending on the size of the operation, as well as other factors. Dormer extension cost on average is close to £45,000.
Mansard Loft Extension Cost
The most expensive type of loft conversion on our list is, for sure, the mansard loft conversion because it is the most invasive technique to create additional space inside your house and involves changing the current roof structure. The costs involved start at £5,000 and can go up to around £70,000, with the average renovation costing at around an estimated 60 thousand pounds.
What Do the Quoted Costs Include?
The amounts you can expect to pay for certain types of loft conversions mentioned above include:
- the reinforcement of the floor,
- loft staircases,
- heating, electrics, and lighting,
- additional insulation,
- plaster boarding,
- fire safety measures (according to the Building Regulations).
As you can see only the basics are covered here, any extra work will increase the total amount of money you will need to spend to complete such a refurbishment.
Additional Costs You Can Expect
Apart from covering the basic expenses associated with extending the living space inside your house, you might want to set aside additional funds in your budget for possible costs you might incur during the refurbishment. Here the most common ways you can incur additional costs:
- floor finishes,
- planning or building regulations fees,
- any repairs of the existing roof,
- professional design fees,
- final decoration.
Keep in mind that the final amount you predict to pay can change throughout the works being in progress. Typically, there are some additional parts needed or problems that need solving. It is safe to set up an emergency fund of around 5% of the final cost estimate, that will cover any of those unexpected situations.
Planning Permission for Loft Conversion
You should be aware that there isn't always a need for planning permission to embark on a loft renovation. In fact, the majority of loft conversions are considered PD (Permitted Development), as long as your design is within the specified parameters outlined on planningportal.co.uk.
However, if your property is listed and located in a conversation area, or you are planning to extend beyond the conditions and limits of PD, then there will be a need to apply for a planning permit. Another occasion when you will require permission like that is when you want to change the roof height or shape. Currently, in England, planning permission application costs £172.
Building Regulations for Loft Conversion
When planning on converting your loft, Building Regulations' approval will be needed to start the refurbishment. You will need to ask a building control surveyor to inspect your site at various different stages of the renovation. The surveyor will have to issue a certificate of completion upon the final inspection. Also, if you are an owner of a semi-detached house, you will be obliged to inform your neighbours of the planned work.
Making sure that your loft conversion is constructed while conforming to the building rules is a requirement that will add to the overall cost of this renovation. Submitting the plans for inspections and the on-site visits from the building control surveyor will cost you between around £400 to £750. You might also need to provide a Party Wall Agreement if your refurbishment will impact surrounding properties. Such an agreement can cost you a few thousand pounds depending on its complexity. The last cost associated with the Building Regulations is the bat survey, that will only apply to some loft conversions, and it can be priced at around £400.
Loft Conversion - Frequently Asked Questions
Loft conversion and its cost is a relatively broad topic, so to help you understand it even more, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
How Much Value Does a Loft Conversion Add to Your House?
Increasing the living space of a house can improve significantly its value. Loft conversion might seem like a sizable investment, but once you discover that, on average, it increases the value of a house by 20% (one with an additional bedroom and bathroom), it makes it worth considering. Loft conversions not only increase comfort, but they also make sense financially and will improve the selling price of your property.
Do You Need an Architect For a Loft Conversion?
You can design a loft by yourself, however, employing the services of a professional designer or architect is recommended. The project needs to follow the current building regulations and that requires some specific knowledge. A DIY is possible, but without any experience in design, it could prove to be difficult to finish on your own. An alternative to hiring an architect would be to look into a design and build company. Regardless of the design option you will go for, make sure to find somebody who will be willing to listen and make your dream loft come alive on a blueprint.
Generally speaking, there are two main options when it comes to designing a loft conversion. You can either steer and direct the design to your liking and include particular specifications chosen by you, with the design fees likely to be high, or you can ask an architect or a designer to provide you with ready-made blueprints, which will cost you significantly less, as you won't have to involve a structural engineer.
How Long Does a Loft Conversion Take?
Increasing the living space inside your house with a loft conversion is a major undertaking that you can divide into several phases. Start with a planning phase that should take from days to a couple of weeks depending on the availability of a designer or an architect and the complexity of the project. It can take even longer if planning permission and/or Party Wall Agreement will be needed.
Next is the building process, which will take around six to eight weeks, depending on the scale of the project. Fortunately, in most cases, you can live inside your house during the renovation taking place, and with minor disruption.
How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Loft Into a Bedroom?
Converting a loft into a bedroom costs anywhere between 10 thousand pounds to 20 thousand pounds, depending on the scale of the refurbishment. Even though you might think that it would be significantly cheaper than other loft conversions, it still needs many of the services, like:
- installing windows,
- reinforcing the floor,
- heating, electrics and lighting,
- and so on.
If you are planning to do a loft conversion it might be more beneficial to invest in a more advanced project than just a single bedroom.
How to Keep Your Loft Conversion Costs Low?
In order to keep the cost of a loft conversion down, you need to look for a team of experienced building and designing specialists who have a history of managing successful refurbishment projects. Search for companies that do loft conversions exclusively. This way you will avoid hiring additional experts. You can also do some of the work yourself, like plastering, for example.
Make sure that you know enough about the tasks involved to provide successful oversight during the renovation process and control the timing and quality of execution. This way, you won't be taken advantage of, and risk unnecessary costs.
Another helpful tip is to try to fit in the loft plumbing over plumbing already installed in your house, which should help to keep the costs of the refurbishment relatively low.
A loft conversion is a major refurbishment that can improve the quality of life inside your house and increase the overall value of the property. They are the perfect solution for properties in tight urban areas where extending the footprint of the house is not possible or where a two-storey extension is not allowed under current local planning rules.
We hope that the question of how much for loft conversion has been answered, and you now have a clear picture of what kind of costs to expect and how to prepare your budget for the coming expenses. The sums mentioned in the article are most of the time an average and can vary between locations and loft projects.
Upgrade your home with a loft conversion and make it more comfortable and modern than ever. You won't regret this investment anytime soon.