There comes a point when you simply don’t have any more space. The storage boxes are forming additional inner walls or the new baby has no room of her own, and you simply cannot stub your toe on the cot one more time.
Most people in this position look to move, which means a long and stressful process of house hunting. Having your loft converted avoids all that, but is it really going to be worth the hassle and mess?
To go up or not to go up, that is the question.
A loft conversion is usually better than an extension
This is the most obvious advantage, by extending up into your loft space you not only create more room for you and your family without losing any of your garden. If you opt for a simple Velux window, the amount of work is minimal. You also aren’t looking at knocking down walls. Odds are that you won’t even need planning permission. The Government’s Planning Portal gives further information as to when permission is needed for conversions that extended beyond the existing roof plane. For example, if you want to add a dormer style window you would have to apply for permission.
Loft Conversions add value to your home.
With the average cost of an extension being in the region of £15,000, you can expect your property value to increase in a similar fashion. It’s also an investment – as property prices rise, so will the amount ‘added’ by your extension. However – this doesn’t apply if you don’t do the thing the right way. A mistake many make is to attempt to do the work themselves, or to fail to take into account the rules and guidelines set out for such things as stair widths, head height, and floor weight. If the work is done to regulation standard you can officially list the conversion as an additional bedroom. If it isn’t to code, you cannot.
Getting your loft conversion right.
As well as the danger of impacting your property value, there is the issue of reduced storage. Some roof heights are not suitable, and will require a dormer extension. Whereas in other homes, placing the stairs into the new room will mean losing space in other rooms below. Another area often lost to cost cutting is the insulation, leaving the room too hot in summer and too cold in winter. To ensure the best outcome it’s advisable to obtain quotes from a number of professionals, including architects.
So is a loft extension the way to go? That’s up to you. But if you make sure to look at all the advantages and disadvantages clearly, you can make the right choice for your home and your family.