Should I convert my loft?

Q.  I am thinking of converting the loft in my house to add another bedroom but wondering how easy this is with respect to getting planning permission, and will it result in my home being worth money in the future if I were to sell given I would be adding an extra bedroom?

A.  Converting the roof space is generally a cost-effective idea that provides you with an extra room without having to move home. To make this possible you either need to own the house, or the top floor as well as rights to the roof space, and of course as long as there’s enough head height to make it feasible. Firstly, you’ll need a structural engineer to make sure the building can support the extra weight. Permitted development rules make a loft conversion much easier than you may think because this type of development doesn’t require planning permission, but you’ll still need to make sure you obtain a “completion certificate” to show that the work complies with building regulations, especially if you need to sell in the future this will be a crucial piece of documentation required by the buyer’s solicitors. This is issued by your local council’s building control department. In some cases, your project might fall outside permitted development, in which case you will have to go through the planning process before work starts.  Once finished, the extra light and views a loft offers will obviously not only add quality of living but also extra value to your home too. Using an architect is a sensible idea if you do decide to proceed particularly if you also require a new staircase to access the space. There are plenty of loft conversion specialists around but as with all building trades do try to obtain a recommendation if you can and if not ask the builder if they have an example of their work that you could physically take a look at. A conversion done properly can be a fantastic asset to any home but making sure you hire the right builder for the job should be the priority to ensure the results you require are delivered.

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