Before starting any work, you will need to do your research and understand how you will go about transforming this space. The following points are things you will need to think about:
1 – Can your home take the weight of the conversion?
Adding a loft conversion will add weight to your home, and although it may only be a slight increase, you will need to make sure that the structure of the building will be able to take the weight. The foundations will need to be exposed to check them, as well as any beams or lintels that will be asked to carry more weight. If this isn’t checked initially, it could double your budget.
2 – Is there enough head height?
A builder will be able to manage the project for you, and they will be able to illustrate how much headroom you will have when the conversion has been completed. Often, people are disappointed with how much space they will have to stand up in and on plans this isn’t always clear. Remember, you will have to accommodate a staircase leading up to the loft. To make the best use of this space, the new staircase should rise above the old one, as there is not much point in converting your loft if it means losing space elsewhere in your home.
3 – Building regulations and party wall
Any loft conversion will always need approval under Building Regulations, irrespective of planning permission. So, it is best to have your scheme approved before you find a builder. If your design is approved beforehand, it will take out many of the risk factors, and will also mean your builder will be able to give you an accurate quotation instead of a rough estimate.
If you live in a semi-detached or terrace house, you will have to notify your neighbours of your proposal, which will fall under the Party Wall Act. Your Building Control Officer will inspect the work at various stages and on the final inspection they should issue you with a completion certified. It is best not to settle any final accounts until you have received this.
Loft conversions are perfect if you believe that your house is too small, especially when you are looking to sell it. Potential buyers will often see a loft conversion as an added extra, and is great if you are lacking bedrooms. When a potential buyer is looking at properties, the number of bedrooms is usually the first thing they will look at, so by adding an extra one in, you are already attracting buyers to your home.
A loft conversion is often the best way to add value to your home, as recent research carried out by the Nationwide Building Society has stated that a loft conversion could add up to 20% to the value of your home. If your home is valued at £200,000, it can increase the value by £40,000. If you are prepared to do this, there is no better way to add space and value to your home.
Remember, if you are looking to move, take a look at our fantastic range of properties for sale in Devon.