Costing and planning your loft conversion: essential tips

If you’re looking to add more space and value to your home, then a loft conversion is the ideal solution to your needs. Not only do loft conversions make homes that bit more spacious – ideal if you’ve got a young family – but as they make such a great selling point, they’ll also add more value than any other home improvement. But before you press ahead with your loft conversion, you need to make sure it’s properly planned and costed. Here are some key areas to think about.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The exact cost of your loft conversion will depend on the layout of your property, the size of the loft space and the type of loft conversion you’re choosing to have carried out. You can expect your loft conversion to cost you in excess of £20,000 and perhaps as much as £50,000. This might well sound like a lot of money – and it is – but it’s important to remember that you are highly likely to recoup this investment and more when you consider the value it adds to your house.

Getting light into your loft conversion with sky lights

Working out whether it’s worth it

Given the amount of money your loft conversion will cost you, it is of course very important to think carefully about whether it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s worth looking at the value of other homes in your area which have converted loft spaces in order to find out whether you’re likely to recoup the money you’ve put into the work. Of course, if you want to have your loft converted purely for the additional space it gives you at home, then the value it adds to your home is a less important consideration. However, the Nationwide study referred to earlier found that on average, loft conversions add more than a fifth to house prices.

What about regulations?

One good thing about loft conversion work is that it generally doesn’t require planning permission, as in most cases this work is classed as permitted development. It is worth asking a loft conversion specialist whether this is definitely true in your particular case, though. Your chosen loft conversion firm will give you a clear idea of what you will and won’t be able to do.

You should also be aware that your converted loft must comply with the relevant building regulations – this is a separate matter from planning permission. These include accessibility (including easy escape in the event of fire), electrical safety and insulation. Your loft conversion firm will guide you through this process, so that the project complies with the appropriate regulations right from the outset and you’re thereby spared any unnecessary hassle further along the line.

Converting your loft to storage space

If you’ve got a young family or you’ve just been living in the same home for a few years, then you’ve probably noticed how easily all sorts of junk can pile up. Finding space for it only gets harder and harder over time – even if you have periodic clear-outs, you tend to find that the big pile of bits and pieces never seems to get any smaller. If that’s the case, then perhaps you need to think about creating more space. But how?

More and more homeowners are looking up for a solution to their storage problems – by converting their loft to storage space. This is different to having a full loft conversion, so you’ll need to take different considerations into account. Here are some key points to bear in mind.

What does the work involve?

You might be under the impression that it’s basically a matter of going into your loft, putting a few floorboards down, putting your stuff up there and then forgetting about it. Unfortunately, using your loft space for storage isn’t quite as simple as this. You’ll need to ensure that your loft is fitted out properly for the purpose, because a normal loft can’t really be used to store belongings as it is.

Unconverted loft spaces are often prone to damp and condensation. The first step you need to take, therefore, is to insulate your loft so that anything you store up there doesn’t end up mouldy or damp. The insulation will need to be attached to stud walls and loft boards. You’ll also need to think about ventilation – vents may need to be installed depending on the pitch of the roof. If you change the way you use your loft space without making adequate provision for ventilation, the timbers could start to rot.

If you’re using your loft purely for storage space then decoration costs will be minimal if there are any at all. You won’t need to bother plastering and painting the walls or anything like that – that’s the sort of stuff you’ll need to sort out if you’re undertaking a full loft conversion.

What about the cost?

Converting a loft into storage space is a lot cheaper than carrying out a full loft conversion. However, the flip side of this is that having loft storage space won’t add much in the way of value to your home, whereas a full loft conversion could add tens of thousands. If you’re planning on moving house in the not-too-distant future or you simply need the extra living space, it is well worth considering having a loft conversion carried out – over the long run it should effectively pay for itself, and more.

Getting your home ready for sale

Selling up and moving on to a new home is never entirely plain sailing. For a start, there’s the prospect of leaving the place you’ve made home for however many years you’ve been there, and this can be a bit of a wrench. There’s also the task of finding a new home that has everything you need – sufficient space, the right location and so on. And then there’s the not-insignificant issue of actually finding a buyer for your home and getting the most you can for it.

But before you start the process of selling your home, there’s work that needs to be done. By ensuring that your property looks its very best, you can add thousands of pounds to its value as well as ensuring that it sells quicker. Here are some of the essential tasks you should carry out before attempting to sell your home.

  • Sort out minor repairs. Wear and tear is inevitable over the years, but the more of it there is, the less attractive a proposition your home is likely to seem to would-be buyers. Put together a checklist of minor repairs that need carrying out – go round your home checking for any issues that need to be sorted out, from loose door handles to cracked tiles, and take care of them.
  • Clear away that clutter. The chances are you’ve acquired loads of junk that you don’t really need. It’s a good idea to get rid of this before you start showing prospective buyers around your home, because it makes home storage ideaeverywhere look that bit more cramped as well as untidy. If you’ve got a load of bits and pieces you don’t intend to take with you to your new home, there seems little point in waiting to throw them away.
  • Consider redecorating. If you’ve not added a fresh lick of paint for a few years, then maybe you need to consider doing so before you start trying to sell your home. It’s also better to keep your home’s décor relatively neutral – nothing over-the-top, otherwise that might deter potential buyers. Of course, if they want to go wild then they can do that once they’ve bought the property themselves.
  • Add extra space where possible. The more space you have at home, the more attractive it’s likely to be to prospective buyers. Garage and loft conversions, for example, are widely sought after by house hunters. Research indicates that a loft conversion could add as much as an additional 20 per cent to the value of your home, so you should recoup the costs of the work and plenty more besides.
  • Make sure the exterior looks its best. When you’re hoping to sell your home, you need to remember that the first thing any potential buyers will see is its exterior and surroundings. So it’s up to you to make sure that they look as good as possible. Make sure the lawn is nicely trimmed, the weeds cleared away, peeling paint removed and so on. You’d be surprised at what a difference these fairly modest odd jobs can make.

With property prices hitting new heights in many areas, now is certainly a good time to sell. But if you want to take full advantage of this boom in property prices while it lasts, then carrying out these tasks should help to make your home attract a lot more interest.

Amazing ideas to inspire your loft conversion

Need more space around the home without having to move house? Want to add value? Or does it just feel like the time’s right for a big home improvement project? A loft conversion could be the perfect choice for you. Whatever you choose to do with it, a converted loft space could be just the ticket for revitalising your home.

But before you roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, you need to think carefully about what you want to do with your loft conversion. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for in advance can help you get the best end results. Here are a few design ideas you might want to consider before you start work on converting your loft.

  • Turn your loft into a handy office or study space. Finding the opportunity to work or study in peace can be difficult when you’ve got a house full of people to contend with. A converted loft, situated above the melee, could be ideal if you’re looking for somewhere to escape to. The calmer and quieter surroundings should help you be more productive and, hopefully, less stressed out.
  • How about an open-plan loft bedroom? By taking a minimalist approach to your loft conversion, you could make it look spacious as well as sophisticated. Think sleek, simple modern furniture and whitewashed walls, along with bare floorboards. This way, you can make even small loft spaces look positively spacious.
  • A rustic spare bedroom could add a touch of class and charm. Wooden beams are always a reliably charismatic feature, especially in a converted loft space. Complement them with stripped-back wooden furniture and muted décor for added allure. The end product should be a timeless and cosy converted loft.
  • Alternatively, you could turn your loft into a fun playroom for the children. Any kid would love to have their very own playroom to lark around in, so why not give your children the playroom of their dreams in your converted loft? Your best bet would be to keep the playroom nice and bright – so you could have a skylight to let in natural light as well as a bold colour scheme.
  • Perhaps you could turn your converted loft into a cool, charismatic and modern dining room. Why cram yourselves in downstairs when you can dine in style by turning your loft into a spacious dining area? If you’re going for that rural rustic vibe, wooden dining furniture could be ideal for rounding off the whole look.

Of course, there are lots of other factors you need to consider before starting work on a loft conversion. You should think about how you’re going to take advantage of natural light, how you’re going to accommodate a flight of stairs, how you’re going to retain privacy, and so on. But these design ideas are just a few suggestions to help you get started. Good luck!

18.03.2016 No Comments

What you need to consider before your loft conversion

Of all the ways to transform your home, a loft conversion is one of the wisest investments you could make. There’s been a real surge in the popularity of loft conversions over the last couple of decades, and it’s not hard to see why – not only do they provide useful additional space, but they can also add thousands of pounds to the value of a property.

But before you get to work, there’s a lot you need to think about. A bit of careful consideration can help you make the most of your loft space. Here are some particularly important points to mull over.

What to Consider 1

  • Think about what you actually want from your loft conversion. What do you intend to use it for? How much are you prepared to spend on the job? Try to formulate a clear vision of how you want your completed loft conversion to look, as this will all help you to end up with a finished product that you’re actually happy with.
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant building regulations first. Before you start on your loft conversion, you’ll need to obtain planning permission from the local authority. Failure to do so could have unpleasant repercussions further down the line, so make sure you tell your neighbours about your upcoming renovation if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property.
  • Make sure your home can actually accommodate a loft conversion. Your converted loft will add weight to your house, so check that the building can actually support it. If your house needs underpinning, it’ll likely cost you quite a bit more to have the work done. Also, check there’s sufficient head height so you know how much headroom you’re likely to have once the loft conversion is complete.
  • Think about how you’re going to maximise the amount of natural light entering your loft space. Which windows would be best suited to your converted loft? Skylight windows are the most obvious choice, as they’re fairly easy to fit. Alternatively, you could go for dormer windows – but as these need walls and a roof, there’s a bit more work involved. Do some research into which different types of windows are available.
  • Another important issue to consider is access. How are you going to get in to your converted loft space? Finding space for stairs can be tricky, and purpose-built staircases don’t come cheap. You could go for a winding staircase, but carrying bulky items up such narrow spaces is often difficult.

What to Consider 2

Don’t get started on a loft conversion until you’ve considered all of these points. This way, you should have a better idea of how the work will alter your home. Of course, it’s always important to seek expert advice on these matters – so talk to the team at Econoloft to help you get the loft conversion you’ve always dreamed of.

04.03.2016 No Comments

Decluttering your home with minimum hassle

It doesn’t take much for household junk to accumulate over time. And the longer you leave it, the worse the problem is going to become – so it’s up to you to make sure you keep on top of things. Fortunately, decluttering needn’t result in too much drama. Why live your life surrounded by junk when you don’t need to? In fact, you can keep your home spick and span with the points we’ve outlined below.

Get the family involved!

Given the sheer volume of junk generated by the typical family, keeping things in order is certainly easier said than done. Still, by being organised you can make your life a lot more comfortable and a lot less stressful. Make sure you rope in other family members to help you with tidying up – don’t let anyone shirk their duties. They might not appreciate it at first, but they’ll soon come to realise that you’re right. This all helps to inculcate good habits.

Staying organised

Try to avoid procrastinating, too. It might be tempting just to let things slide, but it really is a slippery slope – and before you know it, your home is a bit of a mess again. If needs be, it’s good to organise a rota so that everyone knows what they have to do and when (this is particularly valuable if you’re living in a house share).

Take it one room at a time

There’s nothing quite like a good old clear-out, however long you might put it off for beforehand. But before you pile in, it’s worth thinking about how you’re actually going to go about it. Don’t do it in a haphazard manner – instead, take it one room at a time. Then, once you’re happy that you’ve cleared away everything you need to, you can move on to the next one. Think about what you do and don’t use. By all means hang on to those belongings which have special sentimental value, but those that don’t you can do without.

If you do unearth old belongings you can’t bear to part with, find a big box to put them in and put it up in the loft out of harm’s way. That should at least help you keep everything organised. You’ll find that once you’ve decluttered, you’re left with more space than you had before – so give any newly-uncovered floors, walls and shelves a good sprucing up. You’ll soon see that a little effort goes a long way, leaving your home a fresher and more pleasant place to be.

04.03.2016 No Comments

Turning your loft into the perfect chill-out room

After a long and stressful day at work, it’s always important to be able to unwind. But finding the space to get some much-needed time to yourself can be tricky in a busy and bustling household, particularly when there are kids running around. That’s why it’s worth setting aside a space dedicated purely to chilling out in – but the trouble is finding somewhere that’s suitable, where you can really escape the racket for a while.

Chill Out 1

Chill-out rooms can also be great places to entertain friends and family – as well as getting away from them when you feel the need for some ‘you’ time. A converted loft, isolated from the rest of the fray, could be the perfect spot for a chill-out zone. Here are our top 10 tips for helping you make the most of it.


  1. Make sure your chill-out room is well away from the other distractions around the home. If you’re going to relax you need somewhere you won’t be pestered (which is why a loft space would be ideal).
  2. Think about the mood you want to create. Choosing the right décor and lighting can help in this regard. Blues and greens can help to create a spa-like vibe, while pastel shades also help to keep things relaxed. Muted and subtle lighting can also ensure a laid-back atmosphere.
  3. Make sure you provide comfortable furniture. After all, it’s going to be difficult to relax if you can’t get comfortable. Plush sofas are great, but make sure you have some bean bags on hand for when you’re entertaining guests in your chill-out room.
  4. Include a few tables as well so you and any guests have somewhere to put your drinks and any other belongings you might have with you.
  5. It’s also worth investing in a home entertainment system for your chill-out room. That way, you can kick back with your favourite movies or music until you’re feeling suitably refreshed.
  6. Think about how you decorate the room. Interesting and quirky objects can add a bit of variety as well as helping you put your own personal stamp on it.
  7. That said, don’t go overboard. The more objects you have in your chill-out zone, the more effort you’ll have to go to when you’re cleaning it – probably not what you want from a room intended as a chill-out space.
  8. It’s worth adding some art to the walls of your chill-out space. Paintings can complement the ambience perfectly, although it’s best to avoid anything too intense and striking.
  9. Consider how you’re going to make use of natural light. If there’s too much natural light pouring into your loft space, it’ll be hard to relax there. Too little and you’ll be relying on artificial light, which can be harsh on the eye. Skylights and Juliet balconies can help you let the light in (and keep it out, when you need to).
  10. What sort of flooring are you going to go for? Hardwood floors are an old favourite, and thick rugs can add a touch of cosiness.

Chill Out 2

If you’re thinking of having your loft converted, then the friendly team of experts at Econoloft can help you get the most out of it – however you intend to use the space once the job’s done. Just get in touch with us to make an appointment and we’ll help you make that loft conversion a reality.

04.03.2016 No Comments

Loft conversion or extension?

When considering a home improvement project, it’s important to think very carefully before you commit to anything. If you play your cards right, you could end up adding tens of thousands of pounds to the value of your property as well as making your home more spacious. However, if you’re going to invest big money on a home improvement then it’s essential that you get as much bang for your buck as possible.

Loft conversions and extensions can both be value-adding and practical home improvements. But which of the two is better suited for your particular needs and budget?

Questions to consider

Before starting work, there are a few key questions you’ll need to think about:

  • How much money are you prepared to spend?
  • How much value can you expect the work to add to your home?
  • Do you have enough space to accommodate it?
  • What do you intend to use the space for?
  • How will you integrate the new space with the rest of the home?
  • Do you intend to carry out further home improvement work in future? How will that fit in with this project once it’s completed?

Considering the pros and cons of cost and practicality is always essential as a first step. Asking yourself these questions should help you get a clearer idea in your mind’s eye of what you want from this home improvement project.

Which should you go for?

Both loft conversions and extensions have their respective advantages. Generally, extensions tend to provide more space, as they’re less limited in terms of size and can be built across more than one floor. The problem is, however, that you will need to obtain planning permission before you can start work. Local authorities don’t always grant it, which could effectively send you back to square one. Another major disadvantage to having extension work done is that it tends to be quite expensive. In addition, many properties simply lack the room to accommodate an extension.

By contrast, there’s far less red tape to worry about when you go for a loft conversion. In fact, you don’t always need planning permission to have your loft converted – although it is wise to check with your local council first. Loft conversions are also generally much cheaper than extensions – all you’re doing is converting existing space instead of building more from scratch – as well as adding more value to your property than any other home improvement.

Of course, you should consider all the options available to you before you start work on improving your home. But there are good reasons why millions of homeowners across the country have opted for loft conversions – and they could be just the solution for you too. Get in touch with the friendly team of experts here at Econoloft to find out more about how together we can make your dream loft conversion a reality.

04.03.2016 No Comments

Cash in the attic: finding valuables in your loft

It’s well known that loft conversions can provide a huge boost to the value of your home. According to one survey carried out by the Nationwide Building Society in 2014, loft conversions can add more value – up to 20 per cent of the house price – to your home. That can amount to a major cash windfall. Perhaps you’re getting ready for a loft conversion. Before you start work, though, you’ll need to clear the loft out first – and you might be surprised by what you find in there.

There are some real valuables lurking in the lofts of Britain. Landlord Insurance warned in 2013 that many landlords were failing to capitalise on the valuable items stored in the attic – including collectibles as well as family heirlooms. So what valuables should you be looking out for before you get cracking on that loft conversion? Here are our top tips.

Valuables to watch out for

  • Books – if you’re a bit of a bookworm then you’ve probably got a fair few books stashed away in your loft. Most of them aren’t worth much of course, but you may well have a few collectors’ items lurking somewhere among the more obscure reaches of your collection. Particularly rare books can fetch big money at auction. A hardback first-edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sold for £10,575 at Sotheby’s in 2002. Maybe you’ve got a copy of a book that’s been signed by the author. You never know what’s in there until you start rummaging around.
  • Records – committed music lovers are also quite likely to have some collectibles among their collection. According to the Telegraph, a 1977 first pressing of the Sex Pistols’ controversial hit God Save the Queen could fetch around £8,000 at auction while a 1963 copy of the Beatles’ Please Please Me would be worth around £3,500. A first pressing of the Rolling Stones’ self-titled album from 1964 could sell for £1,000. More recently, Oasis’ limited edition vinyl box set from 2009 – of which only 1,500 copies were printed – could fetch around £300.
  • Sporting memorabilia – the increasing popularity of online auction sites like eBay has resulted in an explosion in demand for sporting memorabilia. The most expensive sporting memorabilia can fetch millions of pounds, and it’s safe to say that the kind of stuff most of us have stored in our attic probably isn’t of that magnitude. However, there may well be real valuables among your old belongings. For example, signed football match programmes or replica shirts can usually be relied on to fetch a decent amount.
  • Comic books and annuals – there’s been a strong revival of interest in comic books over the last decade or so. Perhaps you’ve still got a stash of old comics and annuals you’ve kept from your childhood. If so, you should probably start looking through them to see just what you’ve got in there because your collection could be a veritable treasure trove. In 2004, an ultra-rare copy of The Dandy dating from December 1937 (and still including the original free gift packaged with it) sold for a record price of £20,350 by auctioneers.

Hopefully, these examples should give you all the inspiration you need to get clearing out your loft ahead of that big conversion. You just never know what you’ve had locked away for all these years. So get up in that attic and find out what you’ve got!

26.02.2016 No Comments