What type of loft conversion should I have?
This is an excellent question and the answer will depend on three things:
What Types of Loft Conversion Can I have?
There are four main types of loft conversion, you can read about them here in more detail
People are often surprised how expensive a loft conversion can be, especially if they have had quotes for other building work in the last 5 to 10 years.
The prices for timber, in particular, have shot up in the last five years and loft conversions require a lot of timber!
The timber used in rafters is expensive because it is stronger than average wood, also the amount of cutting and shaping required demands a high level of skill, which also doesn’t come cheap.
Aside from the rafters, there will need to be a staircase, a floor, walls and door/window frames which are all made of high-quality timber.
The cheapest loft conversions usually cost around £25k-£30k (roof lights only) but a conversion of this type is much less appealing when compared with the only slightly more expensive dormer option, which is between £27k and £50k, depending on the size and complexity.
Dormers are the most popular loft conversion type and are suitable for most houses, but if a property has a hipped roof (as many semi and detached houses do) it is likely a hip-to-gable conversion will be required, which is significantly more expensive, usually costing between £42k and £50k.
Hip-to-gable and mansard loft conversions replace some or all of the existing roof structure, which is why they are some much more expensive.
The Existing Property
The property being converted will often dictate what type of conversion can be performed; deciding factors include:
A terrace house can’t have a hip-to-gable conversion because it won’t have a hipped roof. A common option in terrace houses is roof lights in the front elevation and dormers at the rear, as this combination gives a good amount of light and space but doesn’t normally require planning permission.
Getting planning permission for dormers at the front of a house in a terrace might be tricky if the property is directly opposite another house and only a roads’ width apart from it.
A semi or detached property which is further from its neighbours and not directly opposite another house close by is much more likely to gain permission for modifications to the front and sides of the property, especially things like dormers and mansard loft conversions.
Motives Behind a Loft Conversion
The reasons a client has for wanting a loft conversion can also affect what type of project they embark on.
A home office which will be used for 40+ hours per week would need a lot of natural light and space to make it a pleasant place to work in, whereas if space is to be used infrequently or in short bursts (like a Gym) then having a smaller option might be reasonable.
If you need more advice or want to discuss your ideas with our team, please give us a call today!