Renovating your loft is a smart way of converting a rarely used part of your home into a fully functional room. Almost all lofts are suitable for conversion, and whether you’re creating a guest bedroom, a new bathroom or a home office, you’re sure to enjoy a huge return on investment too.
According to loft design specialists Resi, a loft conversion can add over £100,000 in value to your property, making it a hugely worthwhile venture.
However, this is a complicated job and, if you don’t think about things carefully, you could end up doing more harm than good, causing costs to spiral and potentially damaging your property in the process. To help you get through your loft conversion project unscathed, we’ve listed four mistakes to avoid.
Doing it yourself
While DIY has become all the rage in recent times, a loft conversion is one DIY job to skip. Back in 2015, a survey by Direct Line Home Insurance found that this was the home improvement task most likely to go wrong. The difficulty of this job hasn’t changed since then, so it’s as important as ever to get a professional to undertake it for you. While the internet is awash with loft conversion how-to articles, you really don’t want to take a chance here. This is without doubt the domain of specialists and not the layman, so do not attempt a loft conversion unless you have the requisite skills.
Not thinking carefully about insulation
Insulation is a barrier of material either put between the joists (the horizontal beams across the floor of your loft) or rafters (the angled beams that support the roof). The primary purpose of insulation is to prevent heat from escaping your property, though certain types also offer other advantages that are worth considering. As noted by Building Materials Nationwide Limited, loft insulation “is made of various materials, such as glass wool and sustainable wood fibre. Each material and makeup of loft insulation has various benefits, such as noise reduction and heat loss prevention.” Whichever type you go for, it’s vital that you install it up above in the rafters considering you’ll be using the loft as a living space, otherwise the room will be perpetually cold.
Assuming the most expensive quote is the best
When picking a contractor for the job, don’t assume that the most expensive quote is the one to go for. This doesn’t necessarily equate to a superior job, and there may be better tradespeople out there that still charge less. As such, it’s crucial to do your homework before choosing a contractor. Read reviews of prospective hires and ask for references from their previous clients to help you formulate a well-rounded view of the contractor’s quality. It’s also a good idea to ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations themselves. You’ll be able to judge the quality of a tradesperson’s work in advance this way.
Not checking if you need planning permission
Although planning permission isn’t required for the vast majority of loft conversions, it’s crucial that you check this beforehand, or you could end up in hot water. For instance, jobs that involve extending or altering the roof in a way that exceeds certain limits or conditions will need planning permission. While there are also certain regulations around period properties or homes in conversation areas. If you’re unsure whether you need planning permission or not, be sure to contact your local council.