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Has anyone done a loft conversion?

(18 Posts)
KitKat1985 Sat 23-Jan-16 12:54:42

Hello. Brief info: we currently live in a 2-bed semi. We are trying for DC number 2 and (long-term) would eventually like to be in a situation where each DC could have their own bedroom. After looking at costs of moving / buying somewhere with an extra bedroom we considered that it may be cheaper to convert our current loft into a 3rd bedroom. We had a builder out who specialises in loft conversions who said that it was perfectly possible with our house to put a good sized bedroom / en-suite in the loft area. Obviously it would need planning permission but the builder seemed to think it would be reasonably straight forward as we don't over-look anyone etc. Estimated cost for everything (planning permission, architect and building work) is £35,000. We're at the very beginning stages of this and would need to talk to mortgage company etc, but was just wondering if anyone had done this and what your experiences were?

Needtoprotect16 Sat 23-Jan-16 13:00:54

Yes. It was messy but terraced house here with old lath and plaster ceilings which were pulled down. However, very glad we had it done. We moved the main post (forget what it's called 'kingpin'??) Install a radiator as it gets cold. We had a shower/toilet room installed too.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 23-Jan-16 13:47:56

Yes. We did it too as have most houses in our street as the price shift from 3-4 beds is enormous.

My advice would be to get more than one quote. We had architects drawings and the quotes ranged from c.£28-£60k for the same work. In the end we went for someone who had already done conversions in our street and cost £32k.

Also try to get it done in the summer - our house was freezing as it was done in winter and it snowed!

Madblondedog Sat 23-Jan-16 17:24:05

Love ours, the only horrid few days were the days after a wall came downstairs for the stairs to go in. They did hoover every day thiugh to try and minimise mess

Be careful with quotes as I didn't realise VAT wasn't included so it was more than I expected. Check what they include too, I supplied my own tiles and bathroom fittings so that cost extra

KitKat1985 Sat 23-Jan-16 17:54:42

Okay, thank you. It's nice to hear some real life experiences and get some tips. Need to check the VAT thing in particular!

HollyMaingate Sat 23-Jan-16 19:25:42

Are you in a conservation area? If not you won't need planning permission and can add up to 50 cubic metres to a semi under permitted development.

Mine starts this week!

Suzietwo Sat 23-Jan-16 19:32:08

I just had a quote for a tin roof and scaffolding ... 14k. Erk

KleineDracheKokosnuss Sat 23-Jan-16 19:32:25

Im right in the middle of one (plus a few improvements). I recommend waiting until spring,as its really cold until they put the new insulation in. Also,budget for more if your house might have any issues (e.g. A need to replace old tiles that don't survive being taken off the roof,finding galvanised steel pipework everywhere that has to be replaced, suddenly deciding your bannisters have to match all the way down to the ground floor...).

KleineDracheKokosnuss Sat 23-Jan-16 19:34:54

And yes,the mess is horrific. I just keep repeating to myself that it's going to be lovely eventually.

Also, get builders you trust even if they are slightly more expensive. We've had builders in be and I am so much happier with the current ones.

HollyMaingate Sat 23-Jan-16 19:37:23

KleineDracheKokosnuss I'm thinking I want to do exactly the same with the bannister all the way to the bottom. Do you mind me asking what sort of money this adds to the bill?

KleineDracheKokosnuss Sat 23-Jan-16 19:42:37

For us it was an extra 1.5K plus vat - ive gone for turned spindles, so they're a bit more. But sooooo worth it current bannisters are hideous).

HollyMaingate Sat 23-Jan-16 19:45:38

Thanks. I have a feeling there could be a few of these extras as I keep thinking of things!

YoniMitchell Sat 23-Jan-16 19:46:27

We did one in our Victorian terrace last year and love it. So glad we went for it! Agree with PPs on the total mess but our builders were really good and cleaned up as much as possible at the end of every day. Plus the whole thing only took about 10 weeks from scaffolding going up to builders and decorators leaving, so my as though it's forever (although it does start to feel like that!).

We moved out for a couple of days when they broke through and put in the new staircase but our build crew were used to people living at home during the work so were considerate.

I would recommend you stay at home or v close though, as we would discuss every stage with our builder so we were 100% happy with all of the details. We know people who went away for the whole of their build and came back to find things not quite as they expected.

I would also recommend looking at a company who can manage all aspects of the work for you. Ours did everything and it felt far less stressful than a colleague's experience (they coordinated every aspect of theirs and sourced materials themselves from various sources so it was quite confused, chaotic and hey had a few issues with deliveries and some things not being quite right or paperwork going astray).

Including new carpets, bathroom fixtures and fittings, tiling, carpentry for built-in storage etc we paid between 55-60k. We're in London.

YoniMitchell Sat 23-Jan-16 19:51:08

Also, ask your builder if they can arrange for you to look around some of their previous conversions on houses in the same style as yours. This was really helpful in terms of us deciding on staircase positions, window placement (which can dictate the whole way you can use the room, depending on the type of house), bathroom configuration, storage realities etc.

KitKat1985 Sat 23-Jan-16 19:52:45

Okay thanks. 10 weeks sounds about the length of time I was expecting. Good idea about doing it in spring / summer as well. Aside from the cold I imagine it also means you have more scope to just get out the house for a few hours if the noise / mess is doing my head in (which it will I'm sure)without having to worry too much about the weather! Also good point about the bannisters matching. Thank you. This is all really useful!

McBaby Sat 23-Jan-16 20:11:32

Finish on Friday builders were great and cleaned as they went so we stayed here the whole time. I am a stay at home mum of 2 so we were in the house a lot which was OK as well. As someone Earlier mentioned you may not need planning permission and would be wary of a company who was including that in the price if not needed.

Our tin hat and scaffolding was £100 per week.

Ours cost £43k exc vat, bathr fittings, radiators, painting, tiles, flooring but we did replace everything from the ceilings below up as the condition of the roof was extremely poor.

McBaby Sat 23-Jan-16 21:01:37

Sorry inc vat exc everything else.

Suzietwo Sat 23-Jan-16 22:23:31

£100 p/w?! Do you live in a tree house?

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