Lofts for many of us are spaces in our homes that go unused or act as storage areas, filled with old toys and seasonal decorations.
But what if this space could be utilised to give you and your family extra room and increase the value of your property? Recent research* from Nationwide Building Society suggests that converting your loft can increase the value of your property by up to 20 per cent.
Separate research** from the Federation of Master Builders has found that in the next three years, up to £6 billion is predicted to be spent on home improvements. The research shows that many in the UK are now looking to home improvements to solve their space problems.
More than one in five homeowners revealed that as they are unable to afford to buy a new home, they feel compelled to upgrade their current living space. The rise in young adults living at home for longer was also shown to be a contributing factor to this increase in planned home improvements.
Why a loft conversion?
Loft conversions can be a more affordable option than other extensions as they allow you to make use of the space you already have in your home. Depending on how large your attic is, the space can be converted into a variety of rooms. For example, converted roof space can make great office rooms, as well as private bedrooms for grown-up children. Alternatively, they can also work well as playroom areas, guest bedrooms or extra living room spaces.
The building process of converting a loft can vary, depending on what type of work you want to do. As all of the basic structures needed are already there, there are ways to convert your loft without having to have extensive work done. Whether or not you need planning permission, loft conversions always need to be approved under Building Regulations. If you’re unsure whether you will need to get planning permission, check first with your local council.
As a loft is already part of the existing structure of a home, maintenance costs can be kept to a minimum. As well as this, loft conversions can be very energy efficient depending on the quality of your home’s insulation. In the winter, as long as the rest of the house is heated, heat will rise to the top to warm up the loft.
Tips for if you are considering a loft conversion:
Ask to see your neighbours
If you feel as though a loft conversion will help you to improve your home, ask to see one of your neighbours’ conversions if they have one. Seeing how someone in a similar property to you has converted their roof space will help you to understand what ideas you like and don’t like. Speak to your neighbour about costs and gain insight into what they would do differently.
Keep in-line with regulations
There are many regulations around loft conversions, so make sure you are in the know before you start any building work. Some regulations to look out for include staircase, fire safety, insulation and planning permission.
Let the light in
When thinking about converting your loft, one of the most important features to consider is light. Natural light is a great feature in any room, especially if you want to convert your loft into a bedroom or other living space. For a more affordable option to dormer windows, you could try skylights or roof windows.
Utilise the space
To utilise your loft space, think about what is lacking in your home and come up with some ideas on how best to use your loft for this. If you have an older child who is desperate for their privacy, consider converting the loft into a bedroom for them.