Loft Conversions


The wife has been talking (idly) about converting the loft.
My concern was is it worth it. At a guess, I would have to remortgage the house (hopefully the value of the place has increased) just to obtain the funds. Looking up there the other day, mainly to see if theres room for the junk to be stored, I noticed that it is a fair size. We live in an end terrace, of which the loft has been partitioned from the neighbours (albeit a plasterboard and timber frame job). At either side of the loft, are two beams, of which come to just above my shoulders (i'm 6 foot) that run slight diagonally towards the end of the room. crude plan view:
___________ |\ /| | \ / | | \ / | ___________
We have a very small bedroom which has just enough room for a single bed, so the plan would be to use that room as an extension to the landing adding a second set of stairs to go to the loft.
So theres the situation, here are my questions.
Given the cost of the project, would a loft conversion add value to the house (a small room is going and a larger room is being added)? What price ranges should i expect if I call out for quotes? Who would be better to contact - reputable builders or specialists?
any help or nudges in the right direction would be gratefully appreciated
Craig
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I will start by saying that I am a complete newbie who is doing research for a bigger project.
A few things I have learnt so far: your location is important (adding a loft room may add substantial value to your property if you live in one part of the country but nothing in another part) and your number of bedrooms does not change so this will probably not impress an estate agent.
How many bathrooms/toilets do you currently have? If you can put an en-suite in the loft conversion or add a shower room or toilet in the space created by getting rid of the small room and adding the stairs - then this will probably add value.
Just my thoughts - and as I said - I am an absolute beginner, here
Tricky
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We had a loft conversion done by a builder I have known and trusted for many years. My first call was to the local Planning Dept - great mistake. An officer came out and threw up all manner of objections. My builder could not understand what she was on about so he and his structural engineer submitted the plans and were told planning permission was not necessary. Lesson learned, the professionals get less BS than we ordinary mortals. Two neighbours with similar houses (built mid-80s) had looked into the same idea. No 1 consulted an architect who said they would have to lose a bedroom to make way for the stairs and it would probably cost more than it was worth. Neighbour No 2 consulted a builder who said it would be necessary to take the roof off to get the steels in. I cannot give the cost of ours because we had so many other jobs done at the same time but, after seeing ours ,both neighbours hired the same builder and were absolutely delighted with the work. Although this is a DIY ng, I would strongly recommend hiring a good builder who knows his craft and knows which sub-contractors to use. You can save a lot by doing the finishing yourself e.g. painting and fittings. Another point, my wife has an excellent way of visualising things and was able to squeeze the last inch of storage of of the project and the builder was so good he consulted her all the way. We are now planning a ground floor extension, needless to say the same builder will be back. Sorry this went on a bit but there is a lot to consider. As to whether or not it will add value to the house, it wouldn't hurt to consult an estate agent. If you know one, a pint would be a good investment. We are confident that the value of our property has gone up by far more than the cost of the work going by the prices of similar proprties in the area. You may find http://www.nethouseprices.com/ useful.
Good luck, if you go ahead I hope you will be as pleased with yours as we are with ours.
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Just to add my twopenneth. I am a builder and carry out loft conversions. In my honest opinion I do not think they add much to the value of your house. Any house is only worth so much because of the area. You could make your house like Buckingham palace, but it will only sell for what the area is worth. Saying that you should really only do major alterations because you will benefit not because you hope it will increase your value.
As to the construction, local planning and building regulations vary from area to area and whether you are in a conservation area or not. In my experience I would always suggest getting a surveyor in, doing the plans and submitting them to the council. Building regs always come into it and your surveyor will handle all that. A good conversion properly done is not cheap. In my area any-thing from 15,000.00 upwards.
ken
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I agree wholeheartedly. Out conversion was done to make home life better after a big change in circumstances, the fact that the property has increased in value is a bonus. The building inspector was very thorough - and strict but our builder does not cut corners so all went well.
Phian
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Thanks for the info to all. Just for an update, the neighbour has sold their house for 89,950 (they originally bought it for 30,000 over 5 years ago!!)
We paid 70,000 for ours 2 years ago, as a bargain from the brither in law - he added an extension and created nice size bathroom (downstairs towards the back of the house - the only bathroom btw) to the size of about 10 by 8 feet
So, personally, I think the price of our house may be worth more than next door, given the recent improvements made. I remember popping round the neighbours once (don't speak to them much - and all the house was decorated to an old fashioned taste- their extension consists of a corrugated plastic roof, whereas ours is a new flat roof)
I know i'm going slightly off tangent, but I'm trying to give an impression of the house. There is only one logical place upstairs to add a set of stairs to the loft, if we ever went ahead with it, and that would be to the box room. As you walk up, there is one door to your left and two to the right adjacent to each other. The first right is the second largest room, and the second door leads to the box room. So landing space is very limited. I was hoping it wouldnt be as expensive as 15,000 to get the loft converted (i was being ultra naive and hoping no more than 5,000!!!). So it may look like, replastering the two main bedrooms and the living room downstairs instead
Thanks to all again
Craig

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Craig Keightley wrote:

look
downstairs
They do get done for that kind of money, but thats bottom end of the scale. One near here was done for that.
NT
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