The lofty ambitions of added value
In a time when moving home is more difficult for many of us, staying put might be the only option. But we all need extra space either as a haven of tranquillity or a place to let loose. If you're thinking of extending or converting there are plenty of options but time and again, loft space is the place where lots of homeowners invest their money to get that extra room and added value.
It could well be a shrewd investment too. As part of an investigation into loft conversions, last month we asked our newsletter readers how much they thought a loft conversion could add to the value of a property. Out of the 350 people who responded, nearly 31% thought that the added value of a loft conversion would rest above £15,000 or more. Certainly, depending on what you do with your loft will affect how much the space will add value; with the general consensus amongst estate agents being that bedrooms are the biggest winners, even better if they're en suite.
But what of the cost? Loft Conversion UK gives us a handy little 'formula' for estimating how much you'd spend. All you have to do is take the area of your loft space and multiply it by 1200 so a loft of 4m2 would cost £19,200. It's important to point out however, that there are no hard and fast rules and you have to be prepared for other costs cropping up along the way, at the same time taking into consideration many other factors such as the area you live in and the quality of materials you use. As a guide, a simple loft conversion might start at £10,000 but a more complete conversion with an en suite bathroom and dormer window can be anything from £25,000 - £40,000 or more.
Whatever you decide to do with your loft, you'll only ever get a return on your investment if your idea is well thought out and executed. In the worst case scenario, a badly planned or developed conversion will actually take value away from your property and leave you out of pocket.
In an interview with Phillip McCullough of ASBA architects, he told us about a horror story with a garage conversion that hadn't been planned properly and didn't comply with Building Regulations. Getting an architect in as one of your first jobs, especially for more complex projects, could save you £1000's in the long run and makes added value more of a certainty.