I recently attended a home improvements exhibition where I was talking to the boss of a loft conversion and building company, He was telling me that more and more homeowners in the UK are following the latest home design trend and opting to get a loft extension when they need more space as opposed to moving house. A loft conversion involves converting the attic space into a usable room -you could choose to have an extra bedroom for example, with a small en-suite bathroom; perhaps you need a home office or even an entertainment room. Obviously, it’s very appealing if you need more space but doesn’t really want to move.
Loft conversions are not cheap; if you hire local professional builders the usual cost is around £20,000 depending on the type of room you want and the quality of finish. However, when you consider the cost of moving, this really is not such a huge amount. In addition, you have to remember you are adding an awful lot of value to the home. The guy I was talking to said that a loft conversion will usually add around 20% of the value of a home and even more in cities like London where property prices are at a premium.
It got me thinking because although the moment we have enough room, my son will be 13 next year and probably won’t want to share a room with his younger brother for too much longer. Converting the loft will give him his own space where he can take his friends without disturbing the rest of us, or indeed us disturbing them.
It seems that there are many financing companies that are willing to loan to pay for loft conversions due to the added value it puts on the property. The other option is, of course, to re-mortgage to raise the funds. It is certainly worth thinking about in the case of our family.
Major Advantages of a Loft Conversion
Just like in many homes in the UK, our space is becoming increasingly cramped. With the kids and another one on the way, three-bedroom home I used the share only with my partner and our dog, is no longer adequate, in terms of living space.
Recently we have had about having our loft transformed into practical living space. At the moment the attic is used to store junk which quite frankly should be on the tip. Because our loft is quite large we could get two small bedrooms which will be really useful for when guests come or when the kids get older. Alternatively, we could have a larger bedroom and an extra bathroom which would also be great for guests.
A loft conversion isn’t the cheapest home improvement project you can undertake, but the boss of a local loft conversion company here in North London tells me that a conversion will add around 30% of the value of our property which is more than what we will pay for the work. In other parts of the UK, the added value may not be so much, property prices in our area are currently at the premium.
When you consider how great having extra space would be it really seems like a no-brainer.
The downside is that although my partner John is pretty handy does many DIY projects himself; it seems that in the case of a loft conversion you really are better off hiring professionals. However some companies will reduce the cost of the conversion if you are able to do some of the unskilled labour yourself.
While moving is another option, we would probably have to move to another borough to be able to afford a four bedroomed house, changing schools for the children and a whole lot more hassles. As we have lived in this area for years, and do not want to move, a loft conversion seems the perfect solution.