Don't Move, Improve: How Much Does a Loft Conversion Cost?
21 January 2021 | Knowledge Hub
Written by: Sarah Hastings
2020 was one of the most difficult and challenging years for us all and it seems like 2021 will continue to change the way we live for the foreseeable future. This is especially true in regard to the housing market and, after the frenzy of activity that followed the governments stamp duty break announcement, there is suspicion that the market could take a major downturn – not really the news you want to hear if you’re planning to sell up and move this year.
But less of the doom and gloom, this year we want to show you that you don’t necessarily need to move to a new house in order to increase the value of your property assets. Renovating your home can add value without all the faff of moving – and potentially losing money on it.
A loft conversion is one of the least disruptive ways of adding space. If you’re interested on how much value it could then add to your home, check out our article here.
They can come with pretty price tag though - costing anywhere between £15,000 to £90,000. Depending on the size and type of conversion, whether it will change the silhouette of your house and how the space is going to be used will have a knock-on effect on the total price. As a general rule, a builder’s quote should include the following:
Roof windows, skylights & doors
A loft ladder or staircase (please bear in mind a loft ladder can only be used for a non-habitable room)
Electrics & plumbing
On the other hand, you need to be aware that it is very unlikely that the following will be included in the quote so they will need to be budgeted for separately:
Planning or building regulation fees
A loft conversion with roof windows, to be used only for storage, can cost in the region of £15,000. This is at the lower end of the price range as the silhouette of the house (generally) won’t need to be changed and therefore planning permission shouldn’t be required. But mainly, the standard of finish can afford to be a little lower too – some simple floor boarding, insulation and plaster boarding will suffice for getting the Christmas decorations and suitcases down once a year!
You should be prepared to spend around £25,000 if the space is going to be used for more than storage - this could be anything from a home office, a spare bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe or even a man cave. Loft conversions are so versatile so you can really make the space into whatever you want it to be - just be mindful of your budget restrictions as your brand-new room will need kitting out.
So, if you’re planning a home office, you’ll need to think about the added expense of a desk, a desk chair, or if you’re like me, a snack fridge is top priority. This is the most cost-effective way of adding value to your property as it can turn your property from three to four bedrooms - in monetary terms, you should expect a £50,000 to £60,000 increase on the value of your home!
A dormer loft conversion is one of the most common types of loft conversions as it gives added headroom by building out sections with vertical walls - this can cost anywhere between £30,000-£60,000. You will need to check out the planning and building regulations for this one as the outside structure of the house is being changed. Once again, the room will need all the finishing touches to make it the perfect space. For example, if the space is to be used for a bathroom, waste and water pipes will need to be considered and could have an additional expense if not pre agreed with the builder.
Mansard loft conversions are mostly situated at the rear of the property and usually have a flat roof with the rear walls sloping inwards giving maximum headroom. Because of the extensive building work that needs to be carried out, this type of extension can cost upwards of £45,000. If you are looking to stay in your property long term then this type of conversion could be a beautiful addition however, if you are planning to move, once the housing market improves, then spending upwards of £45,000 may not bring you a return on investment.
There’s so much to think about when making adjustments to your home so we’ve broken it down into a checklist of things to consider when planning a loft conversion. You can download and print it off here.
If you need any more information or help, then please get in touch via live chat. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram in your loft conversion projects and hashtag #RW4YConversionStories.