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Loft Conversions Vs. Garden Rooms

Sep 22, 2020 | Helpful Guides | 0 comments

Would you like to add more space to your home but aren’t sure where to start? Don’t worry! You’re not alone! Thinking about a home expansion project can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not about the type of expansion that would be best for your home.

In this article, we’ll take a look at considerations about a loft conversion or a garden room, and how to choose which is best for you.

These days, a loft conversion isn’t the only way to add more space to your home.

Loft Conversions—Once the Most Popular Choice

Loft conversions were once the most popular choice when it came to expanding a home. For one thing, it seemed like a logical extension of a house’s space. You build up, not out. However, over time, these home conversions, while still popular, have begun to fall away as the most popular method to add space.

However, loft conversions have fallen off in popularity in recent years. There are many reasons for this:

1). Attic space can’t add square footage: when it comes to adding space to your home, a loft conversion cannot officially add any amount of square footage to the building. The attic is not seen as a bedroom space, but as a storage space. For this reason, if you choose to sell your home in the future, the square footage of the converted attic space cannot be added to that of the house. This means the loft conversion will not really add value to your home.

2). Roof height: if the roof of your home is not high enough, if the pitch isn’t high enough, then it may not be able to accommodate a loft conversion. On the other hand, if the roof needs to be lowered to meet building code requirements, this is also an expensive option. The cost to improve the roof would simply be too exorbitant. This is also the case if the attic conversion would require the addition of a dormer to achieve the correct roof height.

3). Use of the attic conversion space: will you and your family get continuous use from the added space of a loft conversion? When the space is used as another bedroom, most families do use the space quite a bit. However, if you choose to use the space for your kids, what happens once they leave home? Will the loft conversion space still be used? If so, how will you use?

Many people find that once their kids grow up and leave home, the room added by the extension simply is no longer used. The space then just sits there unless it’s put to another use. In most cases, an attic extension may be a benefit for 4-5 years, but after that, the space sits unused. Think of all the money spent on the space, and now it sits unused. And the square footage doesn’t even add value to your property.

4). Home’s age: next, you’ll need to consider the age of your home. In older homes, it may be necessary to add supporting structures to reinforce the home so it can bear the additional weight of a loft conversion. This means the installation of steel beams and other types of reinforcement. These are expensive, and they will need to meet building regulations.

5). Disruption & mess: finally, a loft conversion brings disruption to the life and schedule of your entire family. You’ll have to work around the building crew’s schedule, be available if there’s a problem, and more. Not only that, but consider the mess involved with a construction project that’s being done inside your home. There will be plenty of dirt, dust, and more. If someone in your family suffers from any type of respiratory condition, allergies, chemical sensitivities, a building project in the home could make their symptoms much worse.

A loft conversion brings plenty of mess and disruptions, so you’ll need to take this into consideration when choosing between converting the attic or adding a garden room.

When you look at that list, how do you feel? Can you manage the cost, the mess, and accept the fact that a loft conversion doesn’t add value to your property? If not, then a garden room may be your best choice when it comes to expanding your home’s space.

Garden Rooms—Can Be a Great Option

What about a garden room addition? Would this make sense for you, your family and home? There’s a lot to consider here, too. We will say that garden rooms have started to overtake loft conversions for a number of reasons:

1). Planning permission: in most cases, planning permission is not require when adding a garden room to your home. That is as long as the garden room meets certain parameters. For instance, the room can’t be more than 25 sq m, or more than 3 m tall. In addition, the garden room must not take up the entire garden. There must be at least 25 sq m of space left on the side and back of the house. So, a garden room is less complicated to add, making this one reason the garden room has become a popular choice over a loft conversion.

2). Selling your home: at some point in the future, you may choose to sell your home. Researchers have found that a garden room can add about 7% to the value of your property. While an attic conversion can make your home more valuable to some home buyers, the truth is that the square footage of the space cannot be added to your home. For this reason, the attic conversion doesn’t add more to your home’s value. Whereas the garden room addition does add directly to the value of your property.

3). Roof pitch & height: unlike an attic conversion, garden rooms are specifically designed to include the required head space to meet building codes. And there’s no need to upgrade or improve an existing roof line, or have the layout constricted by the roof in any way.

4). Windows are easier: when it comes to adding windows to a loft conversion, it can be expensive. There may be regulations governing where windows can be placed. And a dormer extension will be more expensive than just conversion of the space. The dormer may also need to meet specific building codes.

On the other hand, in a garden room windows can be placed almost anywhere. In fact, the garden room can be designed and built to take the best advantage of the light available in the garden. And garden rooms are much easier to furnish, since you don’t have to worry about those low spaces and steep angles found in a converted attic. You’ll also be able to effectively use most of the space in a garden room.

5). The cost: a garden room can be less expensive than an attic conversion. The main reason is that planning permission may not be required, and your home won’t have to be structurally strengthened, as it may need to be to bear the added weight of a converted loft.

A garden room, when carefully planned and designed, can be a wonderful way to expand the space in your home. The room can be built exactly to meet your requirements, and the space can be used in any number of ways—from an additional bedroom, a gym, or even a home office!

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