The state of the British housing market – a further fall of 1% in the price of an average residential dwelling in January contributed to a fall of nearly 10% year-on-year according to recent figures – precludes moving home for many homeowners. Families grow, nevertheless, and the emphasis in the immediate future is likely to be on maximising the space available in, or adding space to, existing homes.
A garage conversion, for example – whether you choose a DIY approach or employ a specialist company to complete the work for you – can be an affordable way of adding living space, and value, to your home. You may, for example, want to create an extra bedroom, or a home office, or even a dedicated home cinema.
A loft conversion, similarly, can add an extra bedroom, or bathroom, or both, and anything up to 20% to the value of your property. If you are planning to sell your home when the market recovers, however, prospective buyers may find a permanent solution more attractive than a retractable loft ladder, and Velux® roof windows.
Bear in mind that older properties – built in the early Seventies or before – may require less structural work than newer properties and clearance of 7½’ is required for a ceiling at standard height. If headroom is an issue, dormer windows – gabled windows that extend above the height of the original roof – may be a possibility, subject to planning, building, and fire safety, regulations.
If you are in any doubt about planning permission, etc., contact your local planning office. If you are considering an extra bathroom in your loft spaceyou also need to consider the location of soil pipes and the capacity of your existing heating and hot water system.