Loft or attic conversions can be an excellent way of bringing additional space into a home, as well as significantly improving a property’s value. According to , converting an unused loft into an extra bedroom is the number one way to add value to a house, increasing it by an average of 21%.
However, loft conversions are extremely complex projects. They can be lengthy to complete and require complex structural work, as well as planning permission and strict building regulations. Even a small loft conversion will be far from straightforward, so it’s crucial that you find a loft conversion company you can really trust. Luckily, Hoppy is here to make finding reliable local tradesmen services quick and easy.
The different types of loft conversions
The first thing to consider is whether or not your loft is suitable for conversion in the first place. While some properties are not structurally suitable, others are just not worth the financial investment. Loft conversions are pricey so if your total property only has a value of around £100,000 to begin with, the increase in value may not be worth the conversion costs.
Similarly, due to various regulations that apply to stairs and windows, most houses will not be able to have loft space transformed into additional rooms. Therefore, there are various types of loft conversions available to suit different requirements and property types. Here is an overview of the most common.
Dormer loft conversion
The most common type of loft conversion in the UK, a dormer loft conversion, involves the extension of the roof to create additional floor space. Vertical walls can separate different sections, to distinguish a bedroom space from that of an en-suite bathroom for example. The typical dormer loft conversion cost is around £25,000 - £30,000, with L-shaped dormers costing more at around £40,000 - £45,000.
Hip to gable conversion
A hip to gable conversion works by building a vertical end wall on a semi-detached or detached property that has a minimum of three slanting sides. This fills out one side of the property to create additional interior floor space. Detached properties can also benefit from a double hip to gable conversion, where both sides are built out. The typical cost of this type of loft conversion is between £42,000 - £48,000.
Mansard roof conversion
A Mansard extension is one of the most extensive and dramatic ways to convert space in the top storey of a property. It involves altering the entire structure of the roof and replacing an entire side to form a sloping wall, which stands at a 72° angle. While it is a significant structural project, it can result in the creation of the most floor space. It does require planning permission and is the most expensive type of conversion, coming in at a typical cost of between £45,000 - £50,000.
The type of loft conversion that’s most suitable to a property will depend on a number of factors, including the building’s structure, planning permission and available budget. Anyone considering a loft conversion will need to consult with an architect and organise for a structural engineer to carry out an assessment on the property before hiring a tradesperson to carry out the work.
Hiring a loft conversion service
As a loft conversion is such a complex, expensive and time-consuming project, it is extremely important to find the most suitable professional for the job. We advise finding a builder who has carried out similar conversions in the past. Always ask to see their portfolio and request to be put in touch with their previous clients - getting first-hand testimonials is the best way to gain an insight into a builder’s professionalism and the standard of their work.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to ask if a tradesman is a member of any accreditation schemes or trade associations. These act as a seal of approval, ensuring they are qualified, follow the correct code of conduct and carry the necessary insurance, with some also offering aftercare support in the form of official complaints procedures. Associations include: the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Guild of Master Craftsmen, the Guild of Builders and Contractors, the National Federation of Builders, the British Woodworking Federation and the FairTrades Association. Bear in mind though that these are voluntary memberships, so just because a tradesperson is not signed up to them, it does not mean they are not competent and experienced.
Building regulations & planning permission requirements to consider
The good news is that a lot of properties will have permitted development rights, which means that no planning permission will be required for a loft or attic conversion. However, sometimes applications are needed, particularly for more extensive work or any changes being made to listed properties or those in a conservation area.
An architect will be able to notify you if planning permission is required. If so, an application will also mean paying a fee, and can typically take around eight weeks to complete, so ensure it is submitted as early as possible.
Whether planning permission is required or not, all homeowners will need Building Control to sign off on loft conversion work throughout the process, with inspectors regularly visiting to monitor the progress. This is in order to ensure that all work is conducted in line with legal regulations on health and safety, as well as meeting standards and requirements on things such as access and energy efficiency. Signing off on each stage of a build can often cause delays. Therefore, while it does add additional costs, it can sometimes be worth hiring private inspection firms in order to speed up the progression of the project.
When hiring a tradesperson to work on a loft conversion, always ensure that they are familiar and knowledgeable with the necessary building requirements. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions about their familiarity with these regulations early in the process, as breaches could potentially lead to a halt in construction and expensive fines further down the line.
How Hoppy can help
In partnership with Plentific, we bring you top recommendations for tradesperson services in your local area. All hourly rates are clearly displayed, payments are taken securely online and all jobs are carried out by Verified Plentific Pros, who have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they meet the highest of standards. Customers are also covered by the Plentific Guarantee, so should work have to be halted for any reason, we will arrange for another pro to step in and finish the job.
Make your dream home a reality by finding local loft conversion services and booking an appointment today. Hoppiness is just a few clicks away.