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7 Tips to Save Money on your Loft Conversion

7 Tips to Save Money on your Loft Conversion

BeforeBricks Marketing Team
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October 14, 2021

Having a loft conversion is one of the most cost-effective ways to add extra space to your home in 2023. It will allow you to utilise rarely used space and add significant value to your property. Let’s investigate some ways that you save money and  keep your loft conversion costs down.


1. Plan Effectively


As a wise man once said, ‘Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail’.

Drawing up detailed loft conversion plans will allow you to avoid considerable financial obstacles at each stage of the project.

It’s very important that you have a clear idea for the purpose of the conversion so that you can gauge the potential costs and see if it falls within your budget.

Before you get started on the project, you must seriously consider if your loft is suitable for a conversion. Considerations must be made on your roof structure, the height of the roof, appropriate lighting, and available floor space. Not taking these factors into consideration may result in financial implications when work needs to be adjusted or redone.

Your roof must be:

  • A minimum of 2.2-2.4m from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist if it’s a traditional cut rafter and purlin roof 
  • 2.4-2.6m if it’s a modern trussed roof 

Your floor space must be a minimum of:

  • 5m side by side
  • 8m front to back

You must also consider the type of loft conversion that you desire. The four main types of loft conversion are roof light, dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard, all of which vary in price.


2. Hire a professional


Before start of any construction work, architectural plans need to be drawn up.

Though it will add further costs to your project, seeking out the professional expertise of an architectural consultant or designer with plenty of experience will give you a better chance of meeting permitted development and planning permission requirements.

A reputable architectural service will be able to help you prepare the project design and obtain approvals.

Regarding the design process, hiring an expert who fully understand building standards and regulations means they can quickly identify anything that may present financial issues. Alongside the design benefits, they will also be able to accurately inform on likely contractor and material costs, simplifying the process of hiring a builder.

It’s important to get a competent architect that has worked on similar projects to the one that you desire on your property so that it matches your expectations and doesn’t require any extra financial outlay upon completion.

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3. Be the project manager


If you had the organisational skills to successfully plan the project, you may wish to manage your loft conversion project. In doing this, you will need a clear idea of the project timeline, to be able to manage deliveries and contractors while being sure that you stay within your budget at every stage of the project.

It is essential to agree set prices with everybody involved in the conversion process so that you have a clear view of projected costs. You must be clear on all specifications with your architect and builders as any slight adjustments to the process will add to the bill. Failing in managing your own project will result in you spending a lot of money when you have to hire an emergency professional project manager to save the day.

4. Hire a builder who is busy, but not too busy

To avoid any nasty suprises once building starts, it’s important to get a reliable insured builder involved with a solid & clear contract or agreement in place, including deliverables, scope of work, and timescales.

To know the difference between value-for-money, and a cheap quote which cold lead to a potentially below-par job, make sure you obtain multiple estimates once loft plans are complete.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to get 3-5 quotes from builders. You can expect some huge variations in overall costs. Make sure that your chosen builders give you a fixed cost that fits within your budget. You want to be able to call them at any moment, for them to provide a clear and fixed payment plan with no unexpected variations down the line. You may find that big companies charge extortionately, so be sure to look locally as well. 

Be sure to speak with friends and family who have had work done, check the internet, and use social media such as Facebook groups to compare prices of builders.

You must also be wary of the trap of builders who give a low estimate. Hiring low-quality builders may result in issues that may lead to them demanding more money to complete the project and taking you out of your budget. Be sure to avoid builders who give a cash-in-hand quote, as you won’t have a clear paper trail if things go wrong.


5. Follow the rules


We are often asked the question: Do I need planning permission for a loft conversion?

Approval from your local authorities planning department is not normally required for loft conversions, and many attic development fall under permitted development rules.

However, certain methods of converting loft space do require planning permission depending on a range of factors, but they always need to satisfy UK building regulations. You may be hhit with a fine and lawsuits if you violate regulations, so be sure to check.


6. Loft conversion DIY


It is likely that there will be some not-so-dangerous tasks along the conversion process that you could do yourself. Tasks such as plastering and decorating walls and tiling floors are tasks that might save you cash if done yourself. Be sure to understand your limits as any mistakes could take an easily avoided chunk of your loft conversion budget. 


7. Get insurance


This may seem like an unnecessary addition to the considerable financial outlay that a loft conversion presents but finding a specialist insurance provider is a wise investment. It is important to remember that things can go wrong.

Picking the right insurance policy will give you peace of mind as your property will be financially covered while it is undergoing building work and once it is completed for a set amount of time.

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