It can be difficult to sell a home in these straightened financial times. So what are you to do if you have an impending addition to the family or you find that your existing family has outgrown your house? One way of getting round this problem is to consider extending the property. Whilst for some people there is the option to extend outwards, for others, lack of external space means that this is not a possibility. In those cases, the one remaining choice is to extend upwards in the shape of a loft extension/conversion. There are various factors to take into account when contemplating a loft extension, the most important of which we set out below.
An essential component of any home improvement project is to plan carefully. When planning a loft extension, dependent upon the size of the project, you may want to employ the services of an architect, or at least a builder who has experience in loft extensions and conversions, from the beginning of the planning process. Formulating a clear idea of what can be achieved from the outset is likely to make the process of converting the loft proceed smoothly and will reduce the risk of misunderstanding between you and the building contractor. However you undertake the planning, it is always wise to ensure that the builder that you employ has established an expertise and local reputation in converting lofts.
Recognise the Limitations
It is important to consider matters such as the height of the loft space, the feasibility of adding stairs and the need to add new windows, when factoring the cost/benefit ratio in converting the loft. Many loft spaces are too low to provide realistic living conditions and are accessible only by the use of drop-down stairs. Both of these factors will diminish the usability of the conversion and will reduce any impact that the loft extension has in terms of an increase in the home’s value
Make the Most of the Extension
The corollary to recognising the limitations is to exploit the possibilities. If you are lucky enough to have a large and spacious loft space, try to incorporate more than one room into the extension. One thing that will be particularly attractive to you, as the existing occupier, and to any future purchaser, would be the addition of an en suite bathroom. If the dimensions of the loft space permit, this represents a really beneficial part of any loft extension.
Be Aware of the Additional Work
We have already looked at the need to install stairs and windows to the new loft but there are other essential works that need to accompany the extension. It will be necessary to ensure that the loft is properly insulated and there is likely to be the need for substantial electrical work, if the extension is to be used as an extra bedroom. TV cables will also need to extend to the new loft. If there is to be an en suite bathroom, plumbing work will need to be undertaken and, of course, the existing floor coverings and wall decorations (if any) will have to be renewed.
There is much to consider when looking at a loft extension. However, if everything is in place, it can represent a great way of adding space to your home. An additional benefit is the increase in value of your property. With recent studies showing that a loft conversion can increase the market value of a home by up to 10%, it can be a really cost-effective home improvement in the long run.
This article was written by Billy Phillips, writing for The Roofers SW, specialist roofing contractors in Torquay, South Devon whose website is at therooferssw.