Property expert Dominic Arnold on the benefits of a loft conversion

Following on from our piece on loft conversions in our January column in which we outlined 10 things you need to consider before embarking on such a project, we now look at the detail involved and what needs to be decided on prior to committing the cash to do the works. Most loft conversions start at £25k + VAT for anything other than a bog-standard bedroom space and staircase.

If you’re looking to increase the value of your home while improving its versatility then your first consideration should usually be to convert your loft. And why might that be? Because most estate agents will confirm that developing the loft will immediately add the same value in equity as you spend in costs to do the works (rather than other projects within the home (like a kitchen extension) that will take much longer to realise their worth).

If you’d like to reveal and use the unclaimed space in your roof, have you thought about precisely what the new area could be used for? What do you need the new space to do?

“It’ll help you to develop a wasted area of space into a beneficial asset”

Once you have determined how to develop the roof space, what’s the best way to utilise the area? Your immediate options include: a home office; an extra bedroom (with an en-suite bathroom/shower room); a children’s play area; an adults’ play area(!); a games room; a studio for crafts or hobbies; or a library.

If you can dedicate as much thought as you can to deciding what’s best for you it’ll help you to develop a wasted area of space into a beneficial asset that will enhance your living experience and increase the value of your home.

However, you’ll need to exercise careful planning to ensure the space you end up with is actually fit for purpose and has been specified correctly. Ask yourself the following question: “What are my reasons for creating a loft space?” This is a really basic question that needs careful thought. There are times when we as a firm, on talking to the client, have concluded that there is no need to convert the loft at all – depending on your need for extra space, it may be that a kitchen extension is more appropriate.

Also, there’s no need to do one just because next door has. If you’re a family of five in an average terraced house in Brighton or Hove then a loft conversion is probably inevitable, unless you’re considering an affordable move to a detached home in the country (fortunate for some). However, if the kids have left home, and are unlikely to return (if you’re lucky) then developing the loft might be over-egging the property pudding as it were. Remember, converting the loft only generally adds the same amount of value to the property as it costs. However, for most of us who need the extra space, it’s a great solution. To avoid selling your home, finding another and meeting all the conveyancing, stamp duty and moving costs, converting a loft will result in an enhanced lifestyle for all the family. And the cost of doing so will be met, by all accounts, at the point of the property’s sale.

Dominic Arnold
Dad to three, husband to one, MD of Cocoon Property Ltd, Brighton:
specialising in full-house refurbishments, eco-retrofit, loft conversions, kitchen extensions (side returns), interior design and condensation control.
01273 556800

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  1. good article, I think the base for anyone looking to undertake a loft conversion is the 25k mark

  2. It usually does start around the 25,000 mark but that is just for the generic stairs and room space. I’d definitely recommend adding an en-suite bathroom, it adds much more value to your house (if you come to sell it ) than just a room.

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