Loft conversions: where do I start and what will it cost?

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Loft conversions: where do I start and what will it cost?

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We've been seeing a serious upturn in the number of loft conversions being carried out recently, as innovative homeowners, such as yourself, look for great ways to get the extra space they need, without having to relocate. Having seen some utterly stunning projects, masterminded by inspired architects, we thought it might be a good idea to put together a handy guide for you, so you can equip yourself with all the facts before deciding whether or not you fancy opening up that abandoned attic into an extra bedroom, bathroom or maybe even a cinema room! Read the following questions and answers and let's see if you decide to take the plunge or not!

1. Is your loft suitable for a conversion?

You'll need to have a professional take a look at your loft space, to let you know whether a conversion is actually viable. It's all a case of ceiling heights, potential for windows and wiring potential!

2. What do you need to put up there?

If your space is suitable for a loft conversion, then you need to start thinking about how you want to use the space! This is vital, as it will direct the entire project and have a huge impact on how much it will cost!

3. Are there planning permissions to consider?

 Bedroom by Retool architecture, Country
Retool architecture

Mill O Braco—Family home—Aberdeenshire—Scotland

Retool architecture

The simple answer to this question is YES. Even if you don't need special planning permission for your loft conversion, you will absolutely require building regulation compliance, which your professional team will be able to manage for you.

4. Do I need to think about party walls?

Again, YES! If your home is anything other than detached, you will need to let your neighbours see a copy of your plans and have a little input. To keep things all above board, a party-wall surveyor can act as a mediator and take all the hassle out for you.

5. How much could it cost?

 Bedroom by Brown + Brown Architects, Modern
Brown + Brown Architects

South Crown Street Bedroom

Brown + Brown Architects

Here's the crux of the matter… cost! As a general rule, a loft conversion that doesn't have a bathroom should come in at somewhere between £1,200 and £1,500 (plus VAT) per square metre, but let's not forget that this is accounting for the construction costs only, not decorative finishes as well! As a ballpark figure, around 40k is what you should expect to spend, in total.

6. How much will it add if I want a bathroom?

If you want to add a bathroom to your loft conversion, then you should expect to add at least an extra £3,000 to your costs. This is because of all the plumbing and effective moisture control.

7. Who do I need to hire?

 Bedroom by DDWH Architects, Minimalist
DDWH Architects

Hampstead Penthouse

DDWH Architects

Great question! You'll need an architect, a surveyor and a construction team. If you don't want to hire a loft conversion-specific team, with clear plans in place, a normal team of builders could complete your project, but you'll need to be sure that they have the right experience. If you want a bathroom as well, you'll also need a plumber!

8. How long will it take?

This is one of those 'how long is a piece of string' questions! As a project starts and progresses, unforeseen issues can crop up which will add extra time to your completion date. As a general rule though, you should expect to have disruption for a minimum of six weeks.

Are you still teetering on the edge of a loft conversion? Then take a look at this ideabook: The secret loft conversion.

 Houses by Casas inHAUS, Modern


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