Are you thinking about investing in a beautiful new loft conversion for your London home? You’re not alone. Over two million Londoners are planning on doing home improvements, and as the property slump appears to be a reality for the foreseeable future, many people want to focus on their current place, rather than moving house.
A loft conversion is an incredibly popular home improvement option for Londoners who want to enhance their home, enjoying extra space to enjoy as an office, snug, movie room, or even as an area to rent out. As one in five London homes don’t have a garden, it’s the perfect way to create space without extending the footprint of the house. Even if you do have a garden, you probably don’t want to build onto your beautiful outdoor haven, especially as these days, around 70% of potential house buyers would pay more for a property with a garden, especially if it is well maintained and landscaped.
With all of the above benefits and more, a London loft conversion is a really great option if you want to invest in the value, function and form of your home. However, as with any big financial decision, it’s not without some considerations. To make sure you’re ready to go into this rewarding construction process fully informed, here are 5 things to consider before undertaking a loft conversion:
- Not Every Loft Conversion Company Is Equal
The UK economy misses out on over £10 billion pounds every year because so many homeowners are worried about cowboy builders. A massive 30% of UK homeowners are not having major work done on their property because they are so afraid of hiring a dodgy builder.
These fears are justified to a point, because the risk of losing money by hiring the wrong construction team is just not a risk most people can take - the stakes are too high and that money is not easily replaced. The consequences of bad work can also leave the rest of your property at risk, and can have repercussions that are far-reaching.
However, it is important that you know that you do not have to miss out on enhancing your home because of unscrupulous builders and building companies. With the right research you can find a trusted, reliable construction company to build your loft conversion safely, in good time, with excellent communication and to fit the agreed budget. One way to ensure this happens is by doing the following:
- Consider companies who your friends and family have used and had great results with
- Only consider companies who are happy to answer all your questions
- Look for genuine reviews and testimonials
- Consider various construction companies to compare your experience enquiring with each
- Never choose the company based on price alone - you’re looking for great quality for a good price, not the cheapest price. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
- If they are registered with any federations or organisations - check those memberships can be verified
- If the company is a member of a trade association check the rules of that association as some are better than others
- Ask to see evidence of insurance and relevant licences
- Ask to see a portfolio of work done on properties similar to yours
- Become aware of common cowboy builder warning signs
A trusted construction company will be happy to communicate with you, and answer any questions you may have so that you can get the beautiful loft conversion you’re looking for safely and legitimately.
- Practical Aspects Of Planning & Building Could Extend The Process
There are lots of practical aspects of the planning and building of the conversion that could extend the time it takes to plan and complete the work.
Knowing this is important as it helps you to manage your expectations. In the planning process the delay could be caused by adjusting the design with an architect or structural engineer repeatedly to match physical possibilities with a vision you are happy with. There could be delays with paperwork like Building Regulations, Party Wall Agreements or Planning Permission. There is also always the possibility of delays from unexpected problems like structural issues discovered during the building process, adverse weather, or even unexpected complaints from neighbours. What can make these delays a lot easier is excellent communication from your trusted loft conversion company. You don’t need a project manager to keep things on track, just a really great site manager and construction company who keep you updated and in the know throughout the build.
- Detail During Research Is Essential
Before you even consider contacting a loft conversion company it is important that you do lots of research about loft conversions, including getting to know what to expect before and during the process. Although loft conversions are a convenient home improvement to have done that are usually much quicker than extensions because there are no foundations being laid, they do still require various considerations and an awareness that the building work is still going to be disruptive to some degree, even with the most professional team doing the job. Something as simple as knowing your upstairs area might not be accessible during the build because the ceilings are being lowered (to create more space in the loft) is a good example of this.
It is also savvy to check out different companies that serve your local area. It is especially important to choose a company with experience working in London because it has very specific regulations and considerations compared to other areas. The company has to have a really good knowledge of parking laws, building control regulations and other London-specific rules that enable them to do their job well. A company with lots of experience will also be more likely to clue you up on the entire conversion process, so there are fewer surprises and you know exactly what to expect from your build.
The more informed you are, and aware you are, the more likely you are to make the best possible decisions as you navigate the loft conversion process.
- Your Loft Design Is Bespoke To Your Needs
One of the most exciting aspects of a loft conversion to consider is the fact that the design is bespoke to your needs. Are there restrictions? Yes. Your house structure, previous work done, your budget and other constraints will impact what you can have done, including the type of Loft conversion conversion possible for your home. However, there are many exciting options within those specifics that you can consider so that you get the perfect loft conversion for your needs. The various different aspects of your loft conversion will change the ambience, the functionality, the usability and purpose of the space, which means you have some big decisions to make. You’ll want to think about:
- Which windows you will have - velux, a Juliet balcony, mansard windows, balcony windows, casement windows - there are lots of possibilities
- An en-suite toilet, wet room or bath room
- Having multiple rooms, or separators
- Underfloor heating or other heating options
- The possibility for a kitchenette
- The external aesthetic
Your loft conversion team will be able to discuss the possibilities with you so that you can be sure the results are exceptional and create the perfect London loft conversion for your needs.
- Create A Budget & Agree To It With Your Construction Company
You might not be able to budget for your conversion until you get some quotes. Once you have the budget, it is important to set various things in place that prevent the budget from blowing up out of control. You will need some leeway so you’re not stuck if there are unexpected costs, but there is plenty to be done to stop the budget rising without any control at all.
Primarily, you need to ensure the construction company you use gives you all the relevant information, including the small print. Are they insured? What happens if material costs go up during the build? Are there any hidden costs? You need to be sure that you have a budget, you have all the information you need from your construction company upfront, and that you are on top of any small print or procedures in the event of changes, so unexpected costs or timescales don’t come as a surprise.
Why Not Take The Next Step And Speak To A Local London Construction Company?
If you would love to know more about the possibilities for your loft space in London, why not speak to a Loft conversion specialist company today? They can talk you through all the different options specific to your building, and answer any questions you might have about the planning, or the build itself. Hopefully, 2023 will be the year you get the beautiful, functional, valuable loft conversion you’ve always wanted.