Loft Conversion Pricing – A Guide To
As you would expect, the question of ‘how much is a loft conversion?’ gets asked A LOT, here at FarrellWolst. The truthful and transparent answer is…. It depends. We know it’s a cliché answer, but it really does, depend. Hopefully this article can shed some light on to why it does in fact vary, therefore, hopefully, helping you decide what to include/exclude in your upcoming loft conversion.
Firstly, let me give you a quick snapshot, we have completed two loft conversions, just prior to the coronavirus outbreak. One such attic conversion was in Birchwood, Warrington, and cost the client £12,500. The second, most recently completed conversion was in Bury, Manchester and cost £26,500. We’ve never been in the business of charging extortionately and ripping people off, so here’s why there can be such a variation;
- Access to the Loft
- Space in the Loft/Attic
- Natural Light Options
- The purpose of the Conversion
- The decoration / finish of the conversion
Access to the Loft
Getting into the conversion is one of the most important considerations of the whole project. Where is this access going to be practicably located?
Would an extension to the existing staircase work?
Will a completely new route all the way to the ground floor be required?
How many winders (turns) will the newly fitted staircase require?
The longer the staircase, the more winders the longer it will take to fit (thus increasing the labour cost) and also increasing the cost of the product (staircase) itself. Of course, the more sophisticated the design, the higher the cost. Making good of the surrounding area is a consideration, with more plastering and painting & decorating required post installation.
Space in the Loft/Attic
Naturally the more space in the loft, the less work one would be expecting for making such space available when complying with building control. Evaluating your space’s appropriateness for transformation includes thinking about various variables, including:
- Available head height
- Rooftop pitch
- Rooftop structure
On the off chance that the roofspace review uncovers a head stature of under 2.2m, there are two options that are available to provide the adequate headroom.
Arrangement 1: Raise the Roof
This is basically attainable, however the serious issues are the significant expense and getting arranging consent endorsement. In the event that the entire rooftop territory needs removing, a covered scaffold structure, to shield the house from the weather during the works, would likewise be required.
Arrangement 2: Lower the Ceiling in the Room Below
This will require all the existing roofs of the floor below the loft to be removed, meaning a slightly bigger project.
You will likewise need to evaluate whether the space you are picking up in the loft compensates for the space you are losing in the rooms beneath.
Natural Light Options
You have two options with regards to guiding natural light into your conversion — rooflights or dormers.
The most convenient and simple strategy is to utilize rooflights that follow the pitch line of the roof. This sort is fitted by removing the tiles and battens where the rooflight will be fitted. The rafters are cut to clear a path for the rooflight after appropriately strengthening the rest of the rafters.
The rooflight frame is then fitted and flashings included before making good the surrounding tiling.
This kind of window is the most economic, and more likely to be allowed without planning permission. Velux is one of the more popular brands, due to its effective marketing strategies, vast production quantity and overall fantastic quality of product.
A variety of designs and sizes can be specified, some of the more popular types are;
Centre Pivot Roof Windows
Top-Hung Roof Windows
Electric and Solar Powered Roof windows
The more popular sizes tend to be;
70cm H x 55cm W
98cm H X 94cm W
Dormers give natural light but also add space to a loft conversion. They are especially effective where the pitch angle is high, as the useful floor area can be increased.
The mansard sort will give maximum conversion roof space, since it projects the maximum available head height, in turn giving a greater usable floor area. A hip to gable conversion has a similar effect.
Dormers and other comparable conversions are typically installed by opening up the roof, and cutting the necessary specified timbers to size on site.
With dormer loft conversions, dormer windows are added to increase the volume of the roof space while providing full head height. Dormers are usually added to the rear, but subject to planning permission, they can be added to the side or front of your property.
Following a loft conversion, the additional space can be used as an additional bedroom or two, a study or home office, a separate bathroom or a nursery. Or you can consider adding an en-suite or separate dressing room attached to a master bedroom.
These are a favorite by planners in conservation areas. If permitted, two single dormers, can be used to increase space and add symmetry, usually in parallel.
A side dormer is more often used to increase head height for houses with a hipped roof, where access to the loft is located under that hip. The staircase is usually directed and enters the loft in this space.
This Involves one or more of the hips being removed and replaced with a gable wall (where the roof slopes in from the side(s) as well as the front and back). The roof is then extended and taken over these such gables to add extra space with full headroom.
Full Width Dormer
This type of loft conversion provides the maximum space to a loft/attic, adding a significant amount of living space, thus achieving a completely different feel and look to any other type of loft space.
These are a rare Dormer installation, usually only suitable on certain properties such as Victorian properties with an addition to the rear. Similar to a full width dormer, the L-Shape Dormer provides a significant amount of additional space.
Here we can see, the decision to opt for a full width dormer or an L-shape Dormer vs a single Dormer or simple Velux rooflights, will have a considerable impact on pricing.
Simply installing Velux rooflights, may cost around £650, whereas installing a full width dormer could be thousands more, with considerably more glass, timber, slate/plastic, labour hours being required to turn this vision into a reality.
The Purpose of the conversion
The type of room the loft is to be converted to will have an effect on the price, for example, if the room is to be a simple office space, without a bathroom/wc, then a saving on labour time for an electrician, plumber, painter & decorator is to be had, as there is less work involved; no installation of a shower / WC suite, no plaster boarding / plastering of an additional room, and therefore no painting & decorating required.
However, if the room is to be a fully fledge double bedroom, with an en-suite, then all of the trades are required, with additional work for the electrician, plumber and painter & decorator. Typically a plumber costs £180 a day, similar to that of an electrician, whereas painter & decorators demand circa £130. So if the project requires each of these trades for an additional, say, 2 days each, that could be close to £1,000 in labour. There is also the additional costs of the en-suite, additional paint, radiators, electrical outlets, etc to also be factored in.
The Decoration/Finish of the conversion
Although we at FarrellWolst deliver a consistently exceptional finish on each and every project we undertake, there are occasions where the client wishes to utilize bespoke or specialist products and or a higher quality paint, wallpaper, plumbing / electrical fittings and fixtures, etc. All having a bearing on the project cost.
Our experience over the years has allowed us to deliver exceptional 5 star service time and time again. The guiding principles we would advise you to take on board, even if you chose to take your business elsewhere are;
- Agree a set schedule of works and price.
- Agree a finish date (allowing for the unforeseen and unknown)
- Have a signed building contract.
- Have the builder conduct a thorough site survey prior to quoting and then a second survey to make 100% nothing has been omitted and all measurements have been taken accurately.
- Hold a contingency of about 10-15% just in case an unforeseen occurs.
- Agree a communication channel and have an agreed weekly update time & date.