Move or loft conversion?(19 Posts)
We've just done one which has taken us from a 4 bed 2 bathroom house to a 5 bed 3 bathroom house and the loft room is huge so a massive plus point for the house. It was much cheaper than moving and our upstairs was much smaller than the downstairs so it has actually put the house in proportion. Our kids are older, youngest is KS2, so the idea of being on a different floor to them is extremely appealing and gives us some real privacy. It was a huge job though and we had to have an entirely new roof as the pitches needed to be changed and it had to be raised. Thrilled to bits with it though and it has given our house a completely new lease of life. It also meant that we could give the child with the smallest bedroom our old bedroom and have a spare room which means that all the children have double rooms now which is really good for giving them space.
You can lower the floor rather than raise the roof - obviously best in a period house with high ceilings. Very messy and additional expense but its hard to get permission for raising roofline.
If you like your existing house and area, then a loft conversion is definitely the better option. It's a lot cheaper than moving (no stamp duties, estate agent fees or associated fees like movers, all the new bits and pieces you inevitably have to do as soon as you move in etc) and it allows you to keep the house you have.
However, for a loft conversion, you do need a minimum height at the highest part of the current loft. I think it's something like 1.9m (But please don't quote me on that). If you don't, you have to raise the roof and that is a) expensive and b) may require additional permission. An easy way to check is to see if any other houses in your area have done it - we were only the second on our street but friends round the corner had done it and there are now 4 others on our street who have done it/ are starting it. And they've all come to our house to ask!).
For us, the loft is amazing as we were able to get a really good size room which means we have an absolutely beautiful bedroom with huge amounts of storage space. But another thing to check is how big the room will be. I know some people who have landed up with quite a small pokey room and haven't enjoyed it so much. It can be used as a playroom or guest room instead, but seems counterproductive to spend that much money in that case!
What would the relative costs be? In London stamp duty and fees could easily exceed the cost of a loft conversion/extension.
I agree teens love it (and I loved the upper space for me) but I still feel if the kids are really small, it is best to move and get a bigger house with bigger ground floor if at all possible.
My girls were up and down in the night and going up and down stairs as opposed to the next room became a real pain. Plus I never quite felt safe up there as well!
Children don't stay little forever and a different floor for adults and teenagers is very appealing
Mine are 4 and 7 and will only sleep up there if an adult is with them - to be fair tho we are yards from the seafront and the wind really blows up there so it can feel a bit creepy. I have only slept up there once myself and I didn't like it!
@emsyj37 my children are 6 and 9 and they love the whole adults floor children's floor thing!
Hmm lots to think about - thanks!
I'm going to ring round this week and see if I can get a builder to come and look at it. We plan to extend downstairs as well by taking half the garage, but downstairs has a much better layout anyway.
We have a loft conversion (was already done when we bought the house). I wouldnt have one again with small children as I dont like the bedrooms being on a different level - and nor do the kids! So it sits empty while the DDs share and the baby is in the box room. We are moving and one of the key requirements in our next place is 4 decent bedrooms all on one level.
If you can get a bathroom / toilet and shower in tne loft, and have enough living space for the number of bedrooms a loft could version is best, IMO, because:
You save paying stamp duty on a new house
Save all other associated costs, EA fees on your sale etc
Your council tax band stays the same for developments you make, but increase when tne next person buys it. If you move to a bigger place it is likely your Council Tax bill will increase.
Surely against all those savings the price of a bigger house can't be economical against the price of the conversion?
Prices vary hugely, not only based on what you have done, but also what area of the country you are in, but the companies may give you a ball park figure on the phone rather than waste their time quoting. For a large dormer (which essentially gives you a large flat roofed extension to the back of you house, bit retains the slope at the front) with a bathroom you might be looking at 40k. Not sure about the ceiling height issue. If any of your neighbours have one you could ask them if you can have a look.
It depends. Here a loft conversion adds value (and you would normally expect to get at least your money back) but it doesn't necessarily take you into the next bracket (so adding a 3rd or 4th bedroom doesn't always take you into the same bracket as other 3 or 4 bed houses).
If you have a 2 bed house and add a loft bedroom, you add an extra bedroom but don't add any downstairs space. So generally speaking, it will be a smaller downstairs than a house built as a 3 bed, or a 2 bed that has added a 3rd bedroom by extending - as you generally will have gone double storey (increasing downstairs and upstairs). The conversion doesn't get you to the same level of value as those 3 or 4 beds. Also finances aside, will you want more living space in the future?
Also depends on your finances - the selling costs (estate agents commission etc) plus buying costs (most significantly stamp duty) would be a big chunk of the cost of a loft conversion.
We are south London / surrey borders. Originally 2 bed mid terrace Victorian. Had it valued after loft conversion and basically we have got all the cost back in increased value. We also have a bigger 3rd bedroom than we would hVe by moving.
I did a loft conversion years ago, small house, two up, two down two kids but it wasn't great. We were in the loft bit with the two small kids downstairs and it was a hassle. better to move to a three bed and then add a fourth if necessary, you often find the downstairs space proves too small too.
We were in the same situation a few months ago... we decided to move
Mainly because the rest of the house just isn't big enough, very small hallway, small garden etc
The location is ok but not amazing
And there is no driveway etc
So in the end we decided to move to a much bigger house which actually already has the loft converted
So I think it really does depends if the rest of the house and location are right for you then a loft conversion is worth the money and hassle!
Not sure if it's much help cos we have not done a loft conversion yet but only thinking about it too. I've heard there are different types of conversions and some can raise the roof? In terms of moving vs loft conversion, I remember some property guru saying that loft conversion is one of the best way to invest in your property. I've looked at properties in our area to see the sold prices of houses that have done conversions, and they are sold for a lot more than what they usually cost. The downside is the dust and the noises involved obviously
Why don't you get a few quotes from loft conversion companies? The quotes will be free.
We are in the middle of our lift conversion at the minute. They have put a dormer in so the half of the loft from centre to the back of the house is now all the same height as the centre - no more slope.
From what I can gather costs vary enormously depending on area though.
It's not urgent but at some point in the next few years we will need more bedroom space - one is very small (not big enough to share when DC are bigger) and another is a tiny box room that you can only fit a cot in (currently DHs office as he works from home a lot).
We really like our location so we are leaning towards a loft conversion. I'm not sure the loft is tall enough though - 6'4"DH can only stand up in the very middle. And I'm not sure how the cost of a loft conversion compares to the cost of moving.
Any suggestions or thoughts anyone?
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