No other home improvement can come close to adding a return on investment, with experts estimating that a high-quality loft conversion can add an average of £20,000, or up to 20% to the value of your home.
On the other hand, new home extensions often require planning permission, cost more and don’t add as much value. Loft conversions can breathe new life into a home, and the average cost is often much the same or cheaper than the cost of stamp duty needed to move to a new property.
Scoping it out
Every attic is different, but for a liveable room it goes without saying that you need to have enough headroom.
Building experts recommend a height of between 2.2 metres and 2.5 metres as a minimum, with a floor space of at least 5.5 metres x 7.5 metres to make sure your conversion will be able to function as more than a glorified storage space.
If you are using your loft space for something more adventurous, such as installing an en-suite bathroom, it is often wise to bring in a loft conversion specialist to ensure the right solution is identified from the beginning.
Creating a cosy haven
The temperature in your loft conversion needs to be the same as in the rest of your house, after all, you don’t want to be stepping into a fridge, or an oven.
First of all, the roof will need to be well insulated to retain the warmth of the house, but there are a number of heating options that can be installed with minimum fuss and won’t compromise the amount of available space.
Radiators can often be tricky to add to a loft conversion, as installing a radiator in the same area as a water tank poses a challenge, and once installed they occupy valuable wall-space.
However, there is a growing range of underfloor heating systems designed for use in single rooms that can warm up a space with a consistent heat. Electric-based systems have long been the go-to option, but water-based single room underfloor heating kits are rising in popularity as the range of systems and methods of installation have all improved.
Many water-based underfloor systems have an extremely low profile and can be linked to components such as a single room thermostatic valve or a pumped kit linked to the main building system.
Manufacturers such as Polypipe have introduced compact single-zone electric boilers that can heat small underfloor heating installations, removing some of the complications associated with extending a heating system into a new area of a home.
Let there be light
Natural light transforms dark neglected spaces into your new favourite hideaway. Investing in large skylight windows can help set the mood in the room all year round, at any time of day.
The addition of windows set into the slope of the roof – along with necessary insulation and plastering as part of a rooflight conversion – is the easiest method. Dormer conversions, where the roof structure is altered to add a large, flat-roofed box space are also popular.
Now you have the room in shape and heated, the creative part can start, and there is plenty of inspiration to be found!
We recommend using light colours to help the room feel bright and welcoming all year round. Low-lying seats or beanbags can help to create the illusion of additional height, while home furnishing stores often have some excellent multi-purpose storage systems that avoid spaces feeling cluttered and overcrowded.
For more information on adding underfloor heating to your home, visit polypipeufh.com