Converting an attic into living space is a popular home renovation trend, but does a loft conversion add value to your property?
Does a Loft Conversion Add Value?
The quick answer is yes, a loft conversion can add 10-20% to your home, depending on the quality of the work, what you do with the space and where you live.
As a rule, the closer you are to London, the more this home renovation adds value. In the capital itself, a loft conversion can add up to 24.5% to property prices.
How you repurpose the space is also important. Any addition is good but, as a rule, the more bedrooms and bathrooms you have, the better, so an extra bedroom with en-suite bathroom is highly desirable. In London, this can add up to £200,000 in high-value neighbourhoods.
Benefits of a Loft Conversion
If you need more space, a loft conversion is a good alternative to building an extension that’s quicker and cheaper and often doesn’t require planning permission.
1. A good way to add space to your home
Most people move house because their needs have changed or they have literally outgrown their current home. It’s a lot of hassle and expense, though, so if you can gain the additional space you need and stay put, so much the better.
Extensions, conservatories and garage conversions will all give you more room but are a bigger, more complex home renovation than loft conversions. Plus, the use of the space is often conditioned by the location. Most ground floor extensions work best as living rooms, kitchens or dining rooms, and tend to stay that way for years. By contrast, a simple loft conversion can be easily be repurposed if your needs change again further down the line.
The most popular use for a loft conversion is an extra bedroom, whether master, guest or teenager’s hideaway. However, a loft is also ideal for a home office away from the bustle of the rest of the house. Other popular ideas include a hobby room, den, kids’ playroom, games room or even a home cinema.
2. Going up, instead of out
Most people’s attics are a little more than a dusty dumping ground, underused and overlooked, so a loft conversion allows you to make the most of that dead space. Plus, if you don’t have a lot of land around your house, building upwards rather than outwards means you don’t have to choose between indoor and outdoor and can increase the size of your property without increasing the floor plan.
3. They are easier than extensions
Building an extension involves knocking down existing walls, digging foundations and building a completely new structure, which takes a lot of time and money. With a loft conversion, you’re mostly just optimizing and adapting the existing space, so it tends to be quicker, cheaper and less disruptive. The most complex stages are installing the stairs and any alterations to the roof.
Depending on the purpose and structural work involved, a loft conversion takes 8-12 weeks and costs £35,000-£50,000, compared to 12-20 weeks and £60,000-£130,000 for a single-storey extension.
4. Likely do not need planning permission
Planning permission is usually required to build something new, including extensions depending on the size and location. However, loft conversions can usually be done under Permitted Development Rights as long as they’re under 40 m3, don’t raise the roof height or have certain features like balconies and are not in a listed building or conversation area.
You do need sufficient head height to be able to legally use your attic as living space. If you do, then simply adding rooflights is a quick and easy conversion. Otherwise, you’ll need planning permission to raise or alter the roof shape with dormer windows or more radical extensions.
Either way, your loft conversion must meet with Building Regulations Approval to ensure it’s structurally sound, safe and up to modern standards. You’ll also need a Party Wall Agreement if shared walls are affected.
Your home improvement company or architect should be able to advise on regulations and how to make the most of the space to add maximum value to your home.