Many homeowners desire extra living space but lack the necessary income required to purchase a larger house and thus take on a larger mortgage. A solution for many is to make use of the loft space. However, this can be a more complicated and ambitious project than property holders initially realise. If you are unsure where to start, or are part way through the process and have hit a stumbling block, here is a helpful overview of how to convert your loft space into an additional bedroom.
Logistics and Regulations
In October 2011, new regulations came into force in the UK that stated the majority of loft conversions can be carried out without having to obtain a permit or permission. The exception to this rule is if the conversion will extend or alter the existing roof space and construction. For more information, read the government planning regulations.
While a permit may not be required, there are building regulations and logistics that can be a hindrance. To create a functioning bedroom as opposed to a vast storage space, the following must be considered:
• Ventilation: required to provide clean air and therefore prevent condensation and potential structural issues
• Structural stability: ensure your loft space has load bearing walls and adequate ceiling joists
• Weather proof: ensure that the structure keeps out the elements
• Access/Escape: appropriate stairs (like those from Globe Ladders), a closing fire resistant door and an escape access via skylight
Costs and Finances
In terms of financing a conversion, there are a couple of options that property owners can choose from. Many homeowners choose to release equity from their property, but this can be difficult to secure in the current economic climate. Others simply choose to take out a personal loan – although a good credit score is required to secure finance. Finances are a huge consideration when planning a conversion, from setting an appropriate and well planned budget to paying for the building work. The cost will largely depend upon the size of the loft space and the type of conversion planned.
All Photos above Parisian Attic by Marie Deroudilhe – see HERE.
The price of a loft conversion can fall anywhere in the region of £15,000 to £40,000, dependent upon materials and labour costs. This includes floor boards, plaster boards, insulation, stairs, sky lights/windows, lighting and architectural drawings. However, if plans include a bathroom or en suite, extra funds will be required for plumbing.