The Low Down on Loft Conversions

Posted Monday, 14 March 2016
With the hassle and cost of moving house, many families opt for finding more space within their existing home. Converting the loft or attic into a new living space can be a relatively cost effective, easy way to add extra rooms to your property. An article published January 2016 by Westpac Bank NZ estimates that for every dollar spent adding an extra bedroom the pay back is double on your investment. So, if you spend $50,000 on an extra bedroom your property price could go up by $100,000.
Converting the loft is often a cheaper alternative to building an extension or basement conversion as there is no requirement for groundworks - most of the work can be done within the current footprint and frame of your house. By building up you also get to keep the garden space because your new rooms won’t encroach on outdoor areas.
The costs of converting your loft space vary depending on the accessibility and size of the space you are looking to convert. Generally speaking, the more complex the structural work, the higher the cost. Some loft conversions are relatively straightforward, for example where there is a large loft space with lots of headroom and good existing structural support. 
Adding an extra bedroom can be straighforward if your attic is already accessible. Photo credit: Smith & Sons Western Southland.
Things can get more difficult if the roof space is shallow as a lower pitched roof often means low headroom and in some cases the whole roof space may need to be lifted. Other cost related factors to consider will be whether you will need replacement to part or whole of the roofing, how the stairway will be accommodated and if there will need to be changes made to the first floor level outlay because of this. 
Roof spaces are always dark and enclosed so consideration needs to be given to how you can create enough natural light in your new living space. Skylight windows are a popular and cost effective choice in loft conversions and can produce enough natural light for the room. Adding a larger window or a door at the gable end of the house is also a good option to maximise the feeling of light and space.
Before you start you will need to gain Building Consent for the project, and all building work will need to be compliant with the NZ Building Code. Although it is not likely with a straightforward loft conversion, you may also need to obtain a Resource Consent for larger projects that require external extension work to the property. 
Your Smith & Sons Renovation Builder will be able to advise you of what is possible and what would work well with your current home. You will be provided with an initial estimate of costs for the project, and Smith & Sons will manage all of the design, planning and construction work for you.  
By converting an attic junk area this home gained a library and break-out lounge. Photo credit: Smith & Sons Ashburton.
If converting an attic space sounds like a great idea for your home, contact us today and we will arrange for your local Smith & Sons Renovation Builder to visit your home for an initial no-obligation consultation. 


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