Most people think of loft conversions as a quick and cost-effective way to add size to their homes, and while this is true, there are some things to consider when looking into a loft conversion.
Unfortunately, loft conversions do not come cheap. There are several factors to consider before you even start to arrange a builder. Let’s look at the things which will influence your decision about a loft conversion.
There are some things which will not be in your control, namely the age of your house, the area you live in and the type of roof you have. However, other things can influence the overall cost, such as where to place a bathroom and how you decorate it.
There are two types of loft conversion.
- A simple loft conversion. This one does not need any external or outer structure removed or altered.
- A complex loft conversion. This is one where you need to knock through the existing roof to add a dormer window. The more rooms in the loft conversion that you want, the more dormer windows you will need to add, so that the loft can be light and airy.
What is involved in the cost?
There are many things which you need to factor into your expense list for a loft conversion. Remember that for more than one room in the loft the expenses will increase.
Relocating the water tank/tanks. Some houses have more than one tank and you may have to have these moved to another area of the loft, particularly if you plana to have more than one bedroom.
- Clearing the area. You will need to have everything that is nor needed up in the loft removed. This may involve hiring a skip to dump old clutter as well as any old building materials which will not be used.
- Whatever you plan to do with your loft conversion it is a good idea to have it insulated. For a three-bedroom loft conversation you will need to be sure that the conversion is dry and damp-proof. You will need both the walls and the ceiling to be insulated.
- If you are adding bedrooms which need internal walls then you must allow for the softwood framing to separate them into rooms.
- If you have children who will be using the loft, then you need to make sure that the stairs you install will be safe for them. While metal, spiral staircases look great, they may not be safe for small children who can easily slip through them. Neither would they be safe for animals who run up the stairs with you. Ideally you need a straight staircase or one with one turn in it and has no gaps between the steps. It should also have a side so that toddlers cannot slip through.
- For a loft conversion to be liveable you will need to have plasterboard fixed to the walls and the ceiling. This will give you a base to start decorating the loft. It will also allow you to insulate behind it and keep the area warm or cooler.
- New electrics and heating. If you are living in the loft conversion it will need to be heated during the colder months. You will also need new cables run to areas o that each room will have their own outlets for things such as lamps and computer terminals.
- Décor. If you are planning on making a liveable conversion, then you are likely going to want to decorate it. Remember to add the cost of light fittings, door handles, wallpaper or paint, carpet and tiles, and furniture you want to place up there.
What are Velux windows?
These are windows that are not added onto your loft conversion, they are in fact installed level with the roof, and are flat, unlike dormer windows which add a little more height to the roof.
If you are doing a loft conversion and can work with these windows, then you will find that they are your cheapest option for an extension. For more information on the best windows in Liverpool visit maghulldoubleglazing.com.
So, down to the cost of a three-bedroom loft conversion.
Generally, a loft conversion in the north would cost you less than down in the south. Additionally, because land is at a premium in the south, you can expect a loft conversion to add more to the value of your house in the south than up north.
The loft conversion then depends on the size of the loft and the part of the country you live.
A one-bedroom loft conversion in the north of the UK will set you back about £16,000, while the same project in the south would be above £30,000.
A two-bedroom loft conversion in the north will be about £20,000 an in the south will be about £40,000.
A three-bedroom semi loft conversion in the north will be about £30,000 and in the south upwards of £50,000.
What would you get?
For this you would get the basic shell of your loft conversion. It will come with all the framework completed, the wiring done, floors and windows installed, and windows in place.
Normally a loft conversion Liverpool does not include finishing off the work, so you can expect to have to either do some things yourself or hire a decorator in to finish it all for you. You will also need to add your bathroom suite and any wardrobes in the bedrooms, as well as carpets and tiling in all the rooms.
What about planning permission?
Generally, a loft conversion that makes use of Velux or dormer windows does not need planning permission.
You should not need any planning permission if:
- The added space does not exceed more than 40 cubic metres. This figure is 50 cubic metres for detached or semi-detached houses.
- There are no balconies or verandas on the conversion.
- It does nor extend beyond the end of the existing roof at the front of the house.
- Windows at the sides are glazed or frosted.
- Side windows are more than 1.7 metres above the floor.
- You have used the same or similar materials.
- You are not on an area of Outstanding Beauty, a World Heritage Site, the Broads or a conservation area.
To sum up
Consider whether you have the time to manage the conversion on your own or would be better hiring a company to do the entire job for you.
If you choose a company to do the work, you can expect it to take anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months. This is also dependant on the time of year when companies are very busy or slower.
If you choose to manage the project yourself then please make sure that the contractors you hire are all fully qualified, can show you their references and qualifications and can do the work in the time you ask.
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