More and more, people are extending and improving their homes rather than moving. Not only can you create the space you want with minimal disruption, you can save money in moving costs and stamp duty and invest in increasing the value of your home instead. In fact, something like a loft conversion can increase the value of your property by up to 20%.
A loft conversion can be anything you want, from an extra bedroom, that master suite you’ve always envisaged, an office or study away from it all or a play room even. Whatever you want your extra space to encompass, it all starts with good design. This ensures that you don’t lose too much space on the floor below for your new staircase, it makes sure that the room fits in with the look and feel of the rest of your house and most importantly is a usable space.
Different options for completing your Loft Conversion
With that in mind finding a good Architect will help you create the loft conversion you want. They will prepare the plans and drawings required for the Builders and also help you to seek any necessary planning permission. In some cases they may even manage the project for you. They will also be able to help you find the right builder, with a good idea of budget already the Architect can advise you on predicted costs and can even engage a builder on your behalf.
The other option is to work with a specialist loft conversion company , they will take on the project from start to finish, taking away some of the stresses and strains, potential time delays in seeking a builder and giving you a total cost up front so you know how much to budget overall.
Getting Quotations from Loft Conversion Companies
It’s always wise to gain a number of quotations for any works, they should visit you at your home and ask plenty of questions to gain an understanding of your own vision, your budget and the type of finish you are looking for. They should ask to see your loft and take measurements before quoting any work. Make sure you ask them lots of questions too, have a list with you so you don’t forget anything.
One of the first things they should measure is the height of your roof, you need a minimum of 2350mm from ceiling joists to ridge board to comfortably convert your loft. Itf you do not have the required headspace then you need to make a decision about whether to raise the roof or lower the floor to create it. At this point you may decide that the additional cost is prohibitive so ask to have different elements of the quotation separated out.
One of the easiest ways to gauge whether any required planning permission would be approved is to see if any neighbouring properties have already done what you are proposing. You could also ask them if you could take a look at their loft conversion, you never know it might give you a few ideas and they may have some advice for you also. A local firm would have all the necessary contacts to deal with any planning efficiently, they will also have a good idea of what will and will not be approved.
When requesting a quotation, as mentioned ask for a complete breakdown of costs and maybe ask for a few alternatives depending on types of finish so that you can make a final decision. Get at least three and ask for testimonials, or even better see if you can talk to existing customers. You are looking at investing a lot of money after all and you want to make sure that you pick the right company.
Making the final decision
Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest quote, it doesn’t always mean it’s the best option. Be wary if one of your quotations is either a lot cheaper or a lot more expensive, if that’s the case then ask them to justify this. You don’t want sub-standard materials being used or additional costs added in later on. Also, these people are going to be working in your home for a period of time, so feeling comfortable and safe is also important and so your ‘gut feeling’ shouldn’t be ignored either.
Once you have chosen your Architect. Builder or Loft Conversion Specialist Company you will want to agree on a method of keeping you updated, payments schedules and timelines and if possible gain a final quotation which means that additional costs cannot be added unless you yourself change the final spec of the project.Read More