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You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits a loft conversion can confer, including adding value to your property, increasing your living space, and even generating revenue if you decide to rent it out.

However, failing to plan properly, employing cheap less-than-professional builders and forgetting to obtain permission or notify your local authority can all result in your loft conversion turning into a nightmare.

Here are a few things you should consider before you go ahead.

Can You Stand Up?

Not all loft spaces are suitable for a conversion. The first question you should ask yourself is, can you stand up in it? Measure your loft at its highest point; it needs to be 2.3m in order to comply with current planning regulations.

You’ll also need to check for other possible obstructions such as pipes, chimney stacks and water tanks.

How Much Will it Cost You?

Once you’ve established that your loft is suitable for a conversion, it’s important to figure out how much it’s all going to cost you.

If you’ve spent much time researching loft conversions companies in London and Essex on the internet, you’ve probably come across many articles touting the financial benefits of loft conversions. Whilst it’s true that, on average, they have the highest return on investment of any home improvement you can think of, you still need to decide on your priorities and have a good idea of cost before you go ahead.

If your primary reason for wanting a loft conversion is to add value to your property, it’s vital that you know you’ll get an adequate return on investment.

However, if you’re considering a loft conversion to maximise your living space or accommodate a growing family, you might be willing to spend a little more if necessary to make sure you get the desired result.

Loft conversions can cost anything from £16,000 for a single room to £40,000 for two rooms and a bathroom. You should shop around as much as possible, do your research and obtain at least three quotes from different local companies before you make a final decision.

Do You Need Permission?

Most loft conversions can be carried out without seeking planning permission. Loft conversions typically fall under what’s called ‘permitted development’ as they have minimal effect on your neighbours or immediate surroundings. This means that you shouldn’t need to go through the lengthy process of obtaining planning permission.

However, there are exceptions to this rule and it is far better to check with your local in authority, in Essex or London respectively, advance to avoid falling foul of regulations.

Tell Your Mortgage Lender and Home Insurance Provider

Making changes to your property could mean that you incur a higher buildings insurance premium. However, failing to notify your insurance provider about your loft conversion could mean that you end up voiding your home insurance, so it’s vital you remember to take this step.

Provided you take the time to consider all of your options and plan your loft conversion carefully, the project should go without a hitch and could dramatically improve your enjoyment of your home.