A good loft conversion can not only give you that extra room you’ve been looking for, it can also add value to your home when it comes to selling it. In fact, in most cases a standard loft conversion can add an average of 10% in value to your house. For this reason, many homeowners in our region are contacting us to speak to our Barnsley based builders for quotes on getting their own lofts converted into liveable space.
We asked one of our most experienced builders what his advice would be to anyone in the Barnsley area who might be considering a loft conversion. Here are a few words of wisdom…
Building regulations – This is a biggie. Before you get duped by a ‘too good to be true’ quote, make sure building regulations have been considered. We’ve come across lots of people in the South Yorkshire area that have had loft conversions done on the cheap, meaning the work doesn’t meet building regulations. If you don’t have the correct fire doors/windows, good ventilation and a means of escape in the event of a fire, you won’t only be risking your safety but you will not be able to class your loft as a bedroom when it comes to selling your home.
Planning permission – Another very important one. In a lot of cases you won’t have to go through the process of gaining planning permission for a loft conversion (this came into effect around 2011). However, if you live in a conservation area, or if you are going to be having dormer windows rather than Velux (skylights that fit flat to the roof), then you may need to speak to your local authority for planning permission.
Inform your mortgage lender and insurance company – It is your obligation to do this. You are obliged to let your mortgage company know, and just as importantly your insurer because the work will almost certainly affect your building insurance premiums.
Consider a bathroom – If you’re adding a bedroom, also consider putting in an en-suite bathroom if you have enough space. This would make your home even more attractive to potential buyers in the future.
Think about your boiler and heating system – Will your current boiler be able to cope with heating another room in your house? If not, you will need to consider the cost of upgrading your heating system.
Is there enough headroom? – As a minimum, you need at least 2.3 metres in height, but obviously most lofts have a sloping roof so it wouldn’t need to be this high throughout. Just picture whatever you want to use the loft extension for and think about whether you will be able to achieve what you want. For example, if you want a double bedroom, will it fit a double bed with enough room to get in and out of bed on both sides?
Where will the stairs go? – The likelihood is that you will have to lose a bit of space on your second floor to be able to fit in a staircase. Is this going to cause any issues for you? Think about how the loft conversion might impact the rest of your home.
Can you afford it? – As mentioned above, a loft conversion can be seen like an investment. Not only will it improve your way of life whilst you live in your house, it will also help you sell it if and when the time comes. However, you need to make sure you don’t get into financial difficulty before you make a start.