When it comes to making home improvements there are a lot of options. You could get an extension, update your kitchen, the bathroom, or even simply redecorate to freshen up your living space. While these projects all take time and cost money, they are worth the effort because the finished result is always great. These improvements can also add value to your property, which is beneficial whenever you do decide to sell and move elsewhere. One such home makeover project you should consider is getting a loft conversion and here are few reasons why it will be worth it, as well as a breakdown of the costs.
Why Get a Loft Conversion?
Lofts are traditionally used as storage space in a property, but if you do not use yours for that purpose (maybe you also have a cellar or simply do not have things to store), it is just a vacant area of your home that is not being put to good use. This is why transforming your empty loft into an additional room in your home is something worth doing as it makes use of this space and it will certainly add value to your property.
What Will it Be Used for?
Another benefit of getting a loft conversion is that it can be used for pretty much anything. You can use it as a spare bedroom for when you have guests visiting, or if you have children, it could be used as a playroom for them. If you have had to adjust to working from home in this last year and will not be returning to the office full-time, you can use this space as a home office or study. You could even turn it into an entertainment suite with a projector for films or a pool table if that is something you are interested in. There are so many options, but just make sure you figure out what you want this space to be used for before you move forward with the conversion.
What Are the Costs of a Loft Conversion?
The average cost of a loft conversion in the UK is around £21,000-£44,000 depending on how big the project is going to be. This might sound expensive at first, but all of these things will cover the following.
You will need to hire a professional contractor to come in and complete your loft conversion for you, so a lot of the money you will be spending is to cover the costs of labour. Each contractor will offer different quotes depending on how much they charge for their time, so make sure you are asking around to see if you can get the best price for your budget. Comparing quotes might also help give you an indication of the quality of the work that will be provided. For example, if one contractor provides a quote that is significantly lower than the others you have spoken to, be wary about hiring them as this could be a sign that they are cowboy contractors and you will have to spend even more money fixing a bad job. You might want to look at companies that specialize in a loft conversion to make sure you are getting experts in for the job, such as this company that does loft conversions Surrey.
As well as paying people for their time and expertise, you will also need to cover the cost of the materials used for the conversion. Your contractor should be able to advise you on what is best to use, but this will also depend on your preference. For example, wanting to use sustainable building materials to make your home eco-friendlier, or your desire to have a certain finish or details in the design. The type of materials you do decide to use for your conversion will have an impact on the final price, so it is always worth discussing this with your contractor before any work starts so that you can make sure you stay within your budget.
Another thing you will need to think about when converting your loft is the wiring up there. You might have a simple overhead light in your loft now, but if you are going to convert it into another room this will not be adequate. A contractor can help finish the structure and get a plasterer in, but you will also need to hire a qualified electrician to put in better light fixtures and outlets so that your new room can be more comfortable. LED bulbs are a great choice as not only are they very bright, but they are also very energy efficient. You can put some of these on the ceiling of your conversion as spotlights, for perfect illumination throughout the room.
If you are going to convert your loft into another bedroom and are thinking about putting in an en suite bathroom you will need to sort out the plumbing, too. Usually, this is easier if you can locate the new bathroom on top of one on the floor below, but your plumber will be able to talk you through this. Of course, having an en suite bathroom installed in your loft will all depend on how much space you have to work within that area.
As well as having better lighting in your loft, you will also need to think about having windows installed. Not only will this let in more natural light, but it will provide essential ventilation. Skylights are common choices for loft conversions, but you should also consider dormer windows that might be able to offer a little bit more headroom. These style windows will cost you a little bit extra than skylights usually, but they look great and might be more practical.
If you are going to convert your loft, you will need to make sure you can get up to it easily. Most homes use ladders to get up to this space, but once you are using it as an additional room this will not be viable. Instead, you will need to have a staircase installed. There are various staircase designs to choose from, but how much space you have in your hallway will determine what styles you can work with. A spiral staircase would have a nice dramatic look, but if you do not have a wide enough corridor to accommodate it, a narrower design will be necessary. Again, speak to your contractor about this because they should be able to offer you advice on what will not only look great but what will work best for the space you have.
Once you have covered the structural necessities of your conversion, the next thing you will need to factor into your budget is the décor. What you are using this new room for will have some influence over your choices, but when it comes to colour schemes, consider choosing lighter shades rather than dark ones. Although darker colours might look nice, as there is a sloping roof, brighter tones will help to make the room feel more spacious. Carpets are cosier options for flooring, but hardwood floors can inspire a timeless, rustic feel which is always popular. If you are having an en suite put in, vinyl flooring will be more cost-effective than tile if you are working with a smaller budget. They also come with tile-effect patterns that would work well in a bathroom. Hanging up some artwork will also help to bring the room together, and perhaps some other decorative items, which can be placed on side tables and shelving units.
If you are going to turn your loft into a home office, you will need to get a quality office chair and desk for your comfort. You might also want to invest in some filing cabinets and other storage solutions to keep your workspace organized. If it is going to be another bedroom, a low-rise bed frame might fit in a bit easier with the sloping ceilings. It might also be better if you used a chest of drawers rather than a big wardrobe to fit into this space. Alternatively, if you have an alcove area that is not being used for anything, get a bespoke wardrobe designed so that you can use this area while not losing too much floor space in other parts of the room.
You might also want to consider investing in flat-pack furniture for your loft conversion. It will be easier to get your furniture up to this higher floor of your house and putting it together in the room, rather than trying to manoeuvre whole pieces.
A loft conversion might not be the cheapest home improvement project when you factor in everything you need to cover, but it is worth the investment. Properties with loft conversions are thought to boost their value by 20%, but more than this; you are making your home more comfortable to live in by giving yourself extra space. Whether you want to add a beautiful guest room, home office, or somewhere you can just sit and do hobbies in peace, a loft conversion can offer you a lot.
By James Benson
Bio: For many years now, James Benson has specialized in management consultancy. James focuses on real estate, and so if you have any questions on the matter, he’s your go-to man for the job. James is upfront, will respond to you ASAP, and is easily contactable.