Loft Conversion 

Unused attic space can become valuable living accommodation quite easily — and at surprisingly low cost. Depending on the roof structure and planning constraints, a loft conversion is one of the most straightforward and effective ways of getting the space you need from your existing house. Almost all houses can benefit from this extension. 

Unlike most extensions, a loft conversion adds space without building over the garden. The only sacrifice is the space required to accommodate access via a new staircase.

A project typically takes four to six weeks to complete and it is usually possible to continue living in your home whilst the loft is being converted.

The good news is, there’s nearly always a solution. But inevitably, complexity equates to higher cost — compared to the sort of cavernous loft that only needs a couple of skylights, a couple of layers of insulation and a beefed-up floor structure. A straightforward project of this type could probably be carried out for as little as £15,000 (less if you’re getting stuck in with some DIY), although a typical large dormer roof extension with a new double bedroom and en suite is likely to set you back around £35,000 - £45,000. 

Converting the loft is one of the most cost-effective ways to add extra living space to a home. New rooms within the roof can benefit from sunlight for much of the day, make the most of any views, and can have tremendous character due to the interesting roof shape.

At the top of the house the roof space can be the ideal location for a new master bedroom, a home office, playroom or even a self-contained annexe, but the new rooms can be suitable for almost any residential use you can think of, providing you comply with the Building Regulations.

You don’t need to be a genius to realise that some types of roof are not ideally suited for conversion into living space. In fact, a surprisingly large number of properties have ‘the wrong sort of loft’ for one reason or another. Of these, probably the most challenging are buildings with shallow pitched roofs, because standard space-making solutions such as adding huge box dormers won’t compensate for a chronic lack of headroom. Even where a loft appears reasonably spacious prior to conversion, the available headroom will normally have shrunk by at least 300mm by the time you’ve added a new floor structure and insulated the rafters too.