As your family evolves, so does the space you need in your home. A loft conversion can be a great way of making the most of your property, increase its value and save the need for a costly move. With the average loft conversion adding as much as 20% to the value of your house, it is crucial that you get it right. Here we take a look at what you need to consider before you get started.
Step 1: Do the Sums
If you are looking to convert your loft to increase your house value as well as improve your living space, it is a good idea to do some sums first. The average loft conversion can cost between £30 and £40k, whilst the addition of an extra bedroom can increase house value by as much as £140k in London, but just £47,000 in Scotland. Shop around and see if there are any houses similar to yours that are on the market with, and without, a converted attic. You could consult a local estate agent to find out how much a conversion will increase the value of your house. Once you know this, and you have a good idea of what you can afford to spend, you will be able to determine your budget for the project. Your budget needs to be strict, to prevent rising costs, but you need to make sure that you have a contingency budget in case of unexpected issues.
Step 2: Get Quotes
Deciding to get a loft conversion can be exciting for all of the family and it can be all too tempting to plump for the first loft conversion specialist or builder that you find. It is always advisable to get three quotes from different, recommended and trusted builders in your area. Make sure that the builder includes the costs of surveyors’ feels, the need for building regulations or planning permission, to avoid any costly surprises or obstacles partway through the project. Once you have your quotes, go through them and carefully consider the pros and cons of each company. Don’t just go for the cheapest, but at the same time don’t assume that the most expensive quote will be the best. Ask friends if they have heard of the builder or conversion company and read reviews to see what others think of the service and work that they experienced.
Step 3: Manage Expectations
Once you have appointed a builder that you trust, make sure that you are clear about your expectations (and theirs). Set a time frame, stay in close contact with the builder to ensure that everything is running smoothly and let them know as soon as you can if you have any concerns or would like to tweak the plans; making small changes before a piece of work has started is much easier than rectifying things you are unhappy with at a later date. It is important to have a contract that both parties must adhere to, detailing the work to be undertaken and payment terms. Never pay money in advance, but await completion of the project.
With forward planning, a good, trusted builder and well laid plans, an attic conversion can increase the size, value and saleability of your property. Doing the research beforehand is crucial, as getting it right before you start will help to protect your investment and your home.