loft conversion/extension

(12 Posts)
yorkshapudding Mon 11-May-15 16:10:48

After some advice from more experienced home buyers/renovators. DH and I have accepted an offer on our house (just waiting for everything to go through) and have been looking for a 4 bed property. We have really struggled to find a 4 bed house that meets our requirements so are now considering 3 beds with potential for extension.

We have seen a lovely 3 bed detached house that has a large loft and were wondering about the possibility of a loft conversion which would become DH's study. Anyone have any idea how much (roughly) this would set us back? We were hoping to do it for £20,000 but not sure if that's wildly unrealistic as we're new to all this blush Also, would we need planning permission? How likely is it that this would be refused?

The house we are considering also has quite a large garden so plenty of room to extend at the back. Would this be a cheaper/more straightforward option?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

HollyMaingate Mon 11-May-15 16:24:21

I'm just going through this now. Most loft conversions don't require planning permission as they fall under Permitted Development (as long the house isn't in a conservation area and you aren't extending the size of the original roof space by more than 50 cubic metres). Is the house old or a recent build? Lofts in older houses are easier to convert and therefore less expensive. Would you just be extending into the loft space or want to add dormers on to the roof to maximise space?

yorkshapudding Mon 11-May-15 16:34:38

I think the house was built in the 60's. The loft is already pretty large so I don't think we'd need to add dormers, just use the existing space.

nightswift Mon 11-May-15 16:38:54

You can get some online quotes give you an idea. Trussloft is one i think. Build costs are high atm though.

HollyMaingate Mon 11-May-15 16:40:51

In that case you almost certainly won't need planning if you aren't in a conservation area (but building control will have to be notified and building regs adhered to) and I'd be surprised if you couldn't do it within that budget, especially if you aren't in London/SE

yorkshapudding Mon 11-May-15 16:48:34

Thank you both, that's really helpful. We're not in London/SE so hoping that building costs won't be too horrendous. There seems to be such a massive leap between the cost of 3 bed vs. 4 bed houses so it seems like a good option but not sure if it's worth the hassle/expense as we've never undertaken anything like this before.

crazyhead Mon 11-May-15 17:04:41

Where in the country are you?

What do you want to put in the loft? (eg a bathroom)

I am in north London and for the terraced houses here where people put in bed, bathroom the oft quoted minimum is 35k. 50k is v easy to spend if you want a nice finish.

You won't need planning for a loft or rear extension, as long as you stay within permitted development

From my experience, building work isn't so much a chance to save money as to stagger spend and get the look you want. Others may disagree

yorkshapudding Mon 11-May-15 18:17:42

I'm in the Midlands, crazyhead. We don't need a bathroom up there, just an extra room that DH can use as his study and might double as a spare bedroom (was thinking we might have a sofabed up there) for occasional visitors. I don't think we would need any furniture built in, just space for a desk, some drawers etc.

£35k would definitely be more than we can afford at the moment so hoping that being outside London, not wanting plumbing up there etc would bring that price down or it won't be happening. No idea whether a rear extension would be any cheaper.

PotteringAlong Mon 11-May-15 18:21:09

Ours was in a conservation zone and that bumped the difficulty up but for a massive loft, 2 dormers, a bathroom and casting a new staircase so it looks like our original 150 year old staircase we're paying £29k in the north east.

PotteringAlong Mon 11-May-15 18:22:32

If we didn't want a bathroom / just Velux windows etc it was about £12k but a much smaller space.

mandy214 Mon 11-May-15 18:36:34

Just one thing to add - check the head height. It doesn't matter how big an area it covers if the head height is wrong - if you search on this forum you will see another quite recent thread where a lady ended up having to lower her ceilings when she realised what the finished head height would be once timbers / joists / insulation had gone in.

It also depends where your stairs are going to go - I don't think you'd be able to do it for £20k but its difficult because every house is different.

It is much less expensive that trying to add an extra bedroom by means of a conventional extension (unless you're building on top of a garage / existing single storey extension for instance) and less disruptive.

OffTheBackOfALaurie Tue 12-May-15 05:10:39

Could you get one of the loft conversion companies to give an estimate? They will have standard conversion models for house types in the area.

Have any of the other houses in the street had loft conversions?

If you don't want either a massive former, or a hip to gable, and no bathroom, just velux windows in the existing roof then it will be much cheaper than a typical loft conversion.

But I would do it in a way that you can easily upgrade in the future.

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