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How much does a loft conversion cost roughly? Here’s how to keep the price down.

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Some of our favourite room designs for our Scandinavian style chairs have come from the conversion of a loft.  The simple, natural lines of this roof space are usually just the look needed.  The loft is such an intriguing place.  There is something so appealing of only seeing the sky from your rooftop skylight and something cosy about the triangular slopes of the walls.

Converting the loft could feel like a daunting project.  You are likely aware that adding a bedroom to your house could add more than £10k to the value of your property.  Therefore, it is possible for it to make much sense financially.  However, it is still essential to keep the costs down to make the most of this investment.

The bottom-line costs

The average cost of loft conversions is more than £15k.  This includes conversion of the heating, the insulation, the ventilation, as well as a ladder to get to the room.  It would help if you also considered lighting, including skylights, as well as electrics.  You will need to comply with building regulations, which means there needs to be a viable exit from the building, and you will need to install smoke alarms.

It can get more expensive to convert the loft if you choose a dormer loft extension.  This is like a standard loft conversion, but you are adding a dormer window and potentially adding to the height of the roof.  If you are just adding the dormer window, you can expect to pay about £20k.  If you are hoping to build in more room height by changing the roof structure, then you will need to set aside about £40k.

When making these choices, the cheapest is not necessarily the best way to keep the price down.  The more space you add, the more value you add to your home, and so the less you have paid ultimately.

Getting started

The more expensive choice at the start of your project would be to hire an architect or designer.  This is a high-cost option up front; however, the plans they draw up with be bespoke to your house.  Choosing an architect may be too costly for such a small project, but the plans produced will help you hire the best structural engineer and builder for the work.

The other option is a design and build company.  This is a company that offers an all-inclusive package.  Design choices will likely be more generalised, and the opportunities given will be based on predetermined supply chains that help keep company costs down. A less creative space might add less value to your home, but when balanced by the profits from the sale of the house, it may make more sense to choose this more generic option.

Whatever option you take, get the plans completed and approved as early as possible.  Any change to the work done after the job has started could be expensive.

Light, water and headroom

The easiest ways to add to your costs is by asking for more headroom and requesting natural light.  If you have to raise the height of your roof, you will need the help of a structural engineer, and you may need planning permission.  You may have no choice if this is the only way to make the attic space a viable living area.  However, if you can avoid such structural work, then you will keep the price down.

If you want skylights or dormer windows, again you are asking to add to the costs of your loft.  If you can live with artificial light that will just require an electrician to extend your wiring, then you will save a lot more money.  However, sometimes spending the extra for the natural light will make the loft space a wow factor that quickly sells your home.

Adding plumbing to your loft adds to the value of the house.  However, it would be best if you designed the loft cleverly to help keep costs down.  You should position the sink, shower, toilet or other plumbing features directly above a pre-existing bathroom. This layout means plumbing can be extended rather than diverted.

Maintain a budget

Being your own project manager for your loft conversion can save money up front.  However, by choosing to manage your budget and be responsible for sourcing materials, you have direct control over keeping the costs down.  Project managing is not the job for the weak-willed.  It takes a lot of time and commitment, as well as a bucket-load of patience.  If using one contractor, it is a good idea to get a breakdown of all costs in writing from the outset.  You can only manage this budget if you are aware of what is covered in this quotation and what extras you may need to cover.

Edward Sloane

Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.

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