Did you know that adding an extra room to your property is one of the best ways to add value to your property?
According to more than 100 estate agents who took part in a survey carried out by Egg, the online bank. Although they cost more than a new kitchen or bathroom, they’ll add up to four times more value and are the most profitable way to make money on your home. But in order to reap the rewards, you’ve got to make sure you do it properly. This is not a DIY job!
Russell Jervis, managing director of Haart estate agents, warns:
“If a loft conversion is carried out properly it can certainly add to the value of a property. However it is important that home owners follow some simple guidelines otherwise they could simply be pouring a lot of money down the drain.”
“This means getting a professional builder in, plus possibly an architect who will help to ensure you’re making the most of the space. Plus it means spending money on good quality fixtures and fittings. And, last but not least, if you want the room to be classed as living space (rather than storage space) then it will have to have a permanent staircase, windows and meet fire and building regulations. Again, do it properly – for example a proper staircase that looks like it has always been there will clearly appeal to more buyers (and add more value) than a second-rate ladder.”
An experienced trade professional, Nigel Beswick writes home improvement and maintenance articles
Many homeowners are opting to utilise existing attic space to accommodate expanding families or maximising value potential in their property.
However, extensions and additions can be expensive and time consuming to construct and can compromise the visual aesthetic of the house making the option of expanding upwards a more attractive option. Loft conversions allows you to utilize potential space. Instead of building an increased footprint for the house which will inevitably consume outside living space, loft conversions can be a very profitable and worthwhile home addition creating useable living spaces.
Ask yourself what do you want to create? A new master bedroom with en suite bathroom? People are increasingly working from home, a new dedicated home office? An A/V entertainment area maybe?
And what compromises will a loft conversion necessitate? It is quite likely that head height needed in the loft conversion will dictate the useable space and it may not always be easy to increase head height as invariably this will require the alteration of the roof line externally and thus the obtaining of planning permission. There may be vital structural members within the new useable space and these may compromise the integrity and function of that space though may in some instances add character and interest.
The floor too, originally only intended to retain the ceiling underneath will probably require strengthening too. These areas weren’t originally meant to be living spaces, so consider what work needs to be done in order to facilitate your plans.
Whenever you add extra living space to your home, you will probably require planning permission. For this you will need to submit a planning application. Details of how to do this can be obtained from your local area planning offices. Perhaps your builder will be used to working on projects requiring planning permissions and so may be able to advise you on the process. Architects will be used to submitting planning applications for loft conversions as well as other home extensions and additions.
Once everything is in progress however, loft conversions are a very cost effective way to add liveable area and value to your home.
Bear in mind all issues you need to consider in constructing your loft conversion before you engage a builder or home contractor. Seek good advice and obtain the necessary permissions and you will create a worthwhile addition to your home. If your loft conversion project is done by an unqualified builder and without a written contract then you may experience problems. If your builder does not hold current public and employers liability insurances then you may well find yourself uninsured, out of pocket and liable for damage to adjacent properties.