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Should we create a more useable loft 'space' (that will never be classed as a room)

(10 Posts)
threeisthemagicnumber Sun 16-Oct-11 19:35:54

We're in a relatively small 3 bed semi with 3 small dcs! We need a bit more space, especially to store and easily access stuff and for my DH to work from (i.e. space for a desk).

The loft is not big enough for a full on conversion that would pass buildings regs enough to be classed as a room. But we're thinking of making it into a more useable space with a skylight, proper flooring, heating etc that we can store stuff and put a desk up.

Do you think it would put people off when we come to sell or would it be a bonus? We're not planning to be in the house for longer than 2/3 years so don't want to do anything too costly.

groak Sun 16-Oct-11 19:38:38

Yes, we've done just that and it eases pressure with regards to space. Kids love it as a playroom and mess space. With regards to not meeting regs (puirs doesn't so we can't class it as a bedroom) our friends bought their house with a conversion that didn't meet regs and they signed some sort of indemnity at the sols to say they were happy to buy it without regs, think it cost about £100.. so you have the means of the room being 'sellable' iyswim?

ANTagony Sun 16-Oct-11 19:48:02

Putting in a decent sized loft hatch, folding access ladder, a light with switch back down by the access hatch, boarding and shelves is not that expensive and in the reach of a DIYer. Storage space adds some value/ appeal/ saleability. The skylight could be an expense which doesn't add value - unless it does for your personal use. If you don't overfill it, its also somewhere everything can be put when you depersonalise the house when you are ready to sell.

When I was little my dad boarded out and shelved our loft, at the back there was a corner that had a light and I used drawing pins to fix old curtains over the beams and created a tented den/ playroom. It was fantastic and the drop down ladder access added to the play space appeal. I had a fan heater which probably worked out very economically because it was only really used a few hours at weekends in the coldest months.

threeisthemagicnumber Sun 16-Oct-11 19:53:05

Thanks. Just what I was after. The ladder is already there and we insulated and boarded it when we moved in.

We'd need a bigger loft hatch (which we really need anyway) I think the skylight would be good if my DH is going to work up there at all.

I don't think we'd even bother advertising it as a room but I guess that the more useable the space is, the more it would appeal to people anyway.

tyler80 Sun 16-Oct-11 20:00:29

If it's not been done to building regs I'd not really consider it anything other than a bog standard loft, it wouldn't put me off but I don't think I'd necessarily see it as a bonus either. The joists are designed to hold up the ceiling not to hold up people standing on top of it regularly. Two different colleagues found their ceilings were sagging because of their room in the roof that wasn't a room.

Is it a modern house?

threeisthemagicnumber Sun 16-Oct-11 20:16:17

It's a 30s house Tyler.

Hadn't thought about the whole floor/ceiling thing but I will aks my very good builder about it. I just assumed that because it was already storing a mountain of stuff, if would be okay!

To be honest it's more about making a more useable storage space, with room for a desk perhaps, than making a proper room that people will be regularly using.

Seagal Sun 16-Oct-11 20:20:33

It will be a bonus when you come to sell, as comparative 3 bed semi's will not have this bonus area. However you will not be able to market it as a room though, but EA will show perspective buyers to the loft 'area'.

We had our loft semi-converted (with everything except heating and permanent stairway) 10 years ago, for extra space and use it as an office and a massive storage area. Plus my son enjoys playing his drums up there. The loft area definitely aided in the recent and fairly quick sale of our home.

However as you are only planning to stay in your house for 2 or 3 years, you basically will mainly be getting use benefit from that area, but it is unlikely that you will realise the return on your investment. So long as use benefit and not necessarily financial benefit is your primary aim, then go ahead.

If however you are expecting a commensurate financial payback, then it would be wise to keep those funds for your next property, especially if you are near the stamp duty threshold. As house prices maybe be stagnant for some time, depending on where in the country you are and supply/demand for family homes in your area.

I would suggest that once you have established the likely cost of your potential conversion. It would be a good idea to ask some EA's in your area, what sort of price your house could realistically be marketed to sale for. Then you will have an idea, if the cost/benefit is worth it..... but still keep in mind that your house, is your home.

threeisthemagicnumber Sun 16-Oct-11 20:28:49

Great advice. Thanks Seagal

tyler80 Sun 16-Oct-11 21:42:54

I thought 30s houses usually have fairly good loft space, with you saying it was too small I thought it may be a more modern house. Most of our road is 2 bed 1930s semis and a fair few have had the lofts converted with windows added. Having said that, because property prices here are so low they add very little value in comparison to how much they cost to do, even if only done as a temporary room. I know (from watching homes under the hammer!) that in other parts of the country adding the extra space would easily pay back the expenditure.

threeisthemagicnumber Sun 16-Oct-11 22:17:24

It's a very small 30s house and it's got an odd shaped roof which slants down on three sides (quite common round here) so it would need at least 2 dormers to even get a smallish room up there. There are a couple of conversions on our street but I think they were done before buildings regs got more strict on access/ceiling height etc.

We are in an very, very expensive part of the country so we would do it properly if we could but instead I'll need to start earning again if we want something bigger!

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