How much does a loft conversion cost?
It’s easy to see why loft conversions have become one of the UK’s favourite home improvements. You can add approximately a third more living space to your house by converting your creaky old attic – and you don’t even need to sacrifice any of your garden!
Despite surveys showing loft conversions offering the best rate of return on the initial investment of any home-improvement project, many homeowners are still put off by the perceived high cost of this type of work. But do loft projects deserve this reputation for being extremely costly?
The exact price of a conversion can depend on many things, such as the size of your home, how old it is, and how high-end the fixtures and fittings you install are. For example, a full bathroom suite could cost as little as a few hundred pounds – or you could spend thousands on the bathtub alone.
To help you get a reasonable idea about the possible cost of your loft project, here’s a guide to what we think the minimum cost would be for the most popular types of conversion.
Internal – £25,000+
This tends to be the most affordable type of loft conversion as it involves little structural reworking of the roof. This type of conversion is only legal, however, if your attic already has a minimum ceiling height of 2.2m. Any less than this and you will have to opt for a different type of loft project. Many choose this option as it’s often the most cost-effective way to unlock the untapped space above. Furthermore, since an internal conversion barely alters the exterior appearance of your house, it raises few, if any, planning objections with local authorities.
Dormer – £35,000+ for standard, or £45,000+ for an L-shaped dormer
As one of the cheaper options available and a viable solution for a range of properties from new builds to Victorian townhouses, it’s no surprise that dormers are the most popular type of loft conversion. Dormer conversions have a range of viability as they increase the headroom in parts of the loft. This means that, unlike an internal conversion, you don’t need to have a loft that already has a high ceiling. Dormers are especially popular projects for older properties in conservation areas, as single or double dormer conversions that are in keeping with the aesthetic of the property usually gain planning approval.
Mansard – £45,000+
This is where an entire side of a sloping roof is replaced with a new vertical wall and flat roof, adding – in essence – an extra story to the property. This kind of conversion always requires planning permission. Mansard conversions are typically added to terraced properties or semi-detached properties. They add a tonne of space, essentially allowing you to add an entire extra floor to your home if you so desire. Therefore, they can add a considerable amount to the market value of a property.
Hip to gable – £50,000+
This is where either one, or both, of the roof slopes (hips) are replaced with a gable wall, hence the name. These allow for large windows to be installed into the side, offering excellent views and lots of natural light. Hip-to-gable conversions are most suitably carried out on 1920s-’30s semi- detached houses. A lovely thing you can do with this type of conversion is to turn the entire newly created gable into a beautiful full-length window, giving you a stunning view of the surrounding area, and flooding the space with natural light. Be aware that – as with mansards – as this work will affect the exterior appearance of your house, planning permission will be required.
Get an estimate
Ultimately, you will never be able to know exactly how much a loft conversion would cost you, or what types of loft conversion are suitable for your property, until you get an expert to inspect your space and give you a quote. This won’t cost you anything, and there’s no obligation to go ahead with the work. If nothing else it could just quench your curiosity. Of course, if you have your heart set on a loft conversion this is the ideal first step.