Do you feel that you just don’t have enough space for your stuff and that your home feels constantly cluttered? Your children may have gotten older and don’t want to share a bedroom anymore. Perhaps you have teenagers who spend forever in the shower and you desperately need another bathroom. Maybe you need a room for a home office away from the noise of the TV and rest of the family. When you start to feel this way the first thing you might consider is moving house. But have you considered adding extra space onto your home via a loft conversion?
Moving house costs
* Costs are based on the current average price of a property in the city of Edinburgh of £233,255 (Register of Scotland Oct-Dec 2015)
- Difference in price of current house and new house – £££
- LBTT (Stamp Duty) – £1,765 (www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/Finance/scottishapproach/devolvedtaxes/LBT
- Legal fees (0.5%) – £1,166 (Fees can vary)
- Estate agent fees (1%)- £2,332 (Fees can vary from a fixed fee up to ~ 3.5 % of cost of house)
- Other costs (0.5%) – £1,166 (Removal costs, home reports, domestic connections etc)
It is clear that as well as the additional cost of a more spacious new house the other costs are substantial. That is even before you take into account any decorating, flooring and furnishing costs that you could be faced with. The alternative is to make your current home bigger. An affordable way to do this is to convert the wasted space in your loft into something more useful.
Advantages of a loft conversion
- Can increase the value of your current home by as much as 20%
- Will add extra space and you can design the space to suit your needs
- Avoids all the upheaval of moving house
- Usually less expensive than moving house
- Don’t need to say goodbye to great neighbours and a great neighbourhood
- By now, you are probably aware of any issues with your own home but a new house could throw up a host of unexpected expensive problems to deal with
- Unless it involves a major roof restructure, building a loft conversion can usually be carried out all year round. Most of the work is internal and even during the construction of a dormer window, a competent builder will ensure that the loft is left watertight at the end of each working day
Things to consider when thinking about a loft conversion
- The type of windows you choose to install. Natural light can be brought in to your loft space via Dormer or Velux windows.
Velux windows have the advantage of being cheaper to buy and fit and usually don’t need planning permission unless you live in a conservation area.
Dormer windows provide extra head room and space but depending on their direction may need to go through a planning application.
- An extra bathroom, in addition to a bedroom, is always preferable and will make your home much more attractive to future buyers. But you should check that your boiler will be able to handle the extra output.
- It is easy to overestimate the size of the space you are going to get. But remember that you will need to take into account the pitch of the roof. Be sure to check the area in the room that has sufficient head height to walk about without bumping your head. Domestic loft conversions usually work best for bedrooms, bathrooms, playrooms or home offices.
- Due to the shape of a loft conversion it may be worth thinking about getting built in storage made at the same time as the rest of the work. The pitched ceilings and lower head room may make it tricky to get standard bedroom furniture to fit. A good carpenter will make the most of the space and build storage to fit even the most awkward shaped walls and wasteful nooks and crannies.
- A staircase will be needed and this will take up space on the floor below. If you have a big enough landing or large cupboard this may not be a problem but if not, you will need to sacrifice a portion of a room below.
- If your current loft has more than a few suitcases and some Christmas decorations, then it may be worth thinking about where you will store it all when your conversion is complete. A big clear-out is probably the first thing you should consider. Then if required you could ask your joiner to create an easily accessible space in the eaves to store the things you need to keep as well as the things you just can’t bear to get rid of.
- Due to the sloping ceilings, how you decorate a loft conversion can make a huge difference to its overall impact. Light colours generally work well and unless you have exposed beams it is often recommended that the walls and ceiling are painted the same colour.
- An extra room in your house may result in changes to your home insurance. Remember to keep insurers up to date.
Still can’t decide?
If you still can’t decide if a loft conversion will give you the space that you need, please let us help you. We can visit your property and discuss the options for developing your loft space. We will also be able to give you an estimate of the costs involved.
Please get in touch or give Kevin or Steven a call on 0131 478 7079.