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Are Loft Conversions Expensive?

A loft conversion can seem like an expensive option for some clients when they get their first quote, but many people don't realise what goes into a loft conversion and where all the costs come from. 

A loft conversion will definitely add value to your home, but it will not always add more value than the cost of the work done initially. House prices are dependent on a number of variables, many of which change over time, so an investment in a loft conversion today might pay dividends in the future. 

Cost of a Loft Conversion 

Every project is different, but typical costs for loft conversions by type are: 

  • Roof Light Conversion = £25k - £30k 
  • Dormer Conversion = £27k - £50k 
  • Hip-to-Gable Conversion = £42k - £50k 
  • Mansard Conversion = £40k upwards 

Loft conversion projects tend to have two phases, Design and Construction. 

Design Costs 

Design costs for a loft conversion can run into thousands of pounds, especially with more complicated projects. Design costs will include items like: 

  • Planning permission application fees 
  • Building regulations submission fees 
  • Architectural drawings 
  • Structural drawings & calculations 
  • Interior design 
  • Services design (heating, electrics etc) 

Designs generally evolve as a project progresses, so there may also be additional costs for redesigns and late changes. The total cost of the design alone for a complex loft conversion could easily be £5k. 

Construction Costs 

Construction costs are usually divided into materials and labour. 

Ancillary Costs 

Over the course of the loft conversion project, there are likely to be lots of ancillary and temporary items which have material and/or labour costs, such as scaffolding and weather protection, skips and possibly even lifting equipment. 

Before any new materials are added to the property, there is likely to be some demolition, requiring labour. Demolition creates waste which has to be disposed of properly, this has a cost attached to it. 

Scaffolding will be needed to access the roof of a property in most cases. Some loft conversion projects will need to have scaffolding which covers the roof to prevent rain from getting into the main house while work is ongoing. Scaffolding materials are usually rented out at a weekly rate, with a charge for erection and dismantling. 

Building Materials 

The specification of the loft conversion will have an effect on the cost of the materials, but there are some items which are expensive by nature and cannot be avoided. Chief among them is timber. 

The bulk of the structural support to most domestic roofs is timber. 

Timber has greatly increased in price over the last five years, for several reasons: 

  • Increase in demand as a sustainable building material 
  • Increase in regulation limiting who can supply sustainable timber 
  • Inflation 
  • Devaluation of Sterling relative to timber exporting countries 

Roof timbers are carrying a structural load and therefore have to be designed and specified in what is known as 'stress graded timbers'. This type of timber is more expensive because a batch of it will have been tested for strength in a laboratory setting to prove that it is strong enough for the job. 

Labour Costs 

There has been a recognised shortage of skilled construction tradespeople in the UK for over a decade, which pushes up prices for labour nationally. 

A skilled carpenter, bricklayer, electrician or plumber can cost anything between £150 to £300 per day. 

At Amazing Loft Conversions, we strive to reduce our labour costs by employing and training multi-skilled operatives who can apply themselves to several trades. There are several benefits to this: 

  • Faster Completion - more efficient use of operative time 
  • Fewer Defects 
  • Better Quality Final Product 

If you want to discuss your project with us, get in touch now and give us a call. 

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