The Pros & Cons Of Converting Your Loft
A loft conversion is a great way to add extra space to your home, and most of the time they don’t require planning permission. An added loft room can add to the value of your home, should you decide to sell at some point in the future. There are many benefits that come with a loft conversion.
Are you considering a loft conversion for your home? Then it’s a good idea to review the pros and cons of a converted loft space. Keep in mind that a loft conversion isn’t always the best option for a home, and there some things to consider before you go ahead with the project.
Pros of a Loft Conversion
Let’s review the pros a loft conversion can bring to your home:
- Affordable option for home improvement: a loft conversion is one of the cheapest options when it comes to making improvements to your home. In addition, you don’t usually to have worry about major structural to your home.
Adding a loft room also increases your home’s value anywhere from 10% to 20%, making this a great investment, especially if you’re considering selling your home at some point.
- Adds more room and space: if your home is on the small size, a loft conversion can increase the size of your property with the addition of a bedroom, a home office, or even a playroom for the kids.
By adding space upstairs, you won’t need to worry about hitting brick walls, not having the space to extend, etc. You also won’t have to deal with obtaining planning permission, in most cases. You could run into all of these issues if you were adding a traditional extension to your home.
- Won’t obscure or cast shadow on other properties: depending on the type of loft conversion you’re planning, you won’t have to worry about obscuring or overshadowing neighboring properties, even if you live in a built-up area.
Traditional extensions to a home could cause your neighbor’s home to be in the shadow. We guarantee they would not be happy with that situation. There are also strict rules about where windows can be placed.
With a loft conversion, on the other hand, if you choose Velux windows or sun tunnels to bring natural light to the new room, you won’t have to worry about accidentally peering into your neighbor’s home, or the neighbors being able to see into your loft.
- No loss of outside space: with a traditional extension, you have to consider that you’ll lose some space outside. In other words, your garden area will become smaller, or you might have to shrink the driveway to accommodate the extension.
However, with a loft conversion, there’s no problem with losing outside space since you’re building up, rather than out. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice garden or driveway space.
Cons of a Loft Conversion
Now that you’ve reviewed the advantages of a loft conversion, it’s time to take a look at some of the disadvantages such a conversion could bring.
- Not all homes suitable: this is an important point—houses that have a low-pitched roof (such those that have a truss roof) may not be suitable for a loft conversion. These types of roofs may need to be remodeled, which can be very expensive. In addition, there are regulations about making changes to the structure and line of the roof.
An example is if the conversion caused an extension of the existing roof onto a main road, this is not permitted. No part of the extension is allowed to be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
So, before even starting on a loft conversion project, it’s a good idea to first have your design checked out with an architect or designer who is experienced with this type of conversion. They’ll be able to tell you if your home is suitable for a loft conversion and if the design is good, etc.
- Room may not be usable: when considering the use of the new room, remember that the areas under the eaves, under the sloping ceiling, may not provide much room for furniture. If the ceiling is less than 2 m, it may not be possible to have furniture in the room and you could face trouble even walking upright in the newly converted loft.
- Loss of storage space: is your loft currently being used to store items? If so, this storage space will go away once the loft’s been converted. Think about where you’d store the items that are now in the loft. Do you have another space you could use for storage?
If not, then you’ll have to store those items in another part of the house. Not only will you lose the storage area in the loft, but also storage capacity in the rest of the house.
Or you could add some cabinets at the lowest point of the roof (under the eaves). These spaces are too small for furniture, etc. and could be used to store items in the gap.
- Don’t forget regulations: while most loft conversions don’t require planning permission, it’s still a good idea to run your plans by the local authorities. However, if you’re not making major changes to the roof lines of your home, then you should be OK.
The easiest way to bring light into the new room, without changing the roof configuration, is to use Velux windows. Another option is to use a sun tunnel. This is a tube that goes from the room to the external roof. It can bring quite a bit of natural light into the room, without causing major changes to the roof line.
Summing It Up
A loft conversion brings many advantages, even though it does require a financial investment. Converting your loft into a usable space adds more room to your home and increases the value of your property.
To determine if a loft conversion is right for your home, be sure to review all the pros and cons. And Remember to talk with a professional builder who has experience with this type of conversion. They’ll have the best guidance and advice on how to manage a successful project, without running into regulation problems, or problems with your neighbours.