1930s loft conversion costs and prices
Four million houses were built in the UK in the 1930s. The mock Tudor and Arts and Craft styling of these houses make them very popular as family homes; the accommodation is always generous and their location is commonly in green, leafy locations on the edges of town and cites offering perfect to access amenities like schools, transport, shops and employment. Owners of 1930's home are extending into the loft, but how much does a 1930s loft conversion cost?
Depending on the type of loft conversion you choose, expect to set a budget of anywhere from £20,000 to £50,000. Much of the cost will be allocated to the interior fitting of the new space, bathrooms and kitchens clearly costing more than home offices or extra bedrooms.
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1930s houses have rooms with far larger proportions than the Victorian houses that preceded them and often sit in generous plots with good-sized gardens and room to expand. Windows are large to allow natural light to flood in with feature bay windows at the front of the house, both upstairs and downstairs and French windows at the rear. The layout is traditional rather than open plan with a separate lounge, dining room and kitchen. The toilet was usually separate from the bathroom upstairs, a feature some people love but easy to combine into one larger bathroom if preference dictates as both rooms were normally placed side by side.
Another distinctive feature of 1930s properties is their large lofts, considerably bigger than those in earlier styles of property and so perfect for conversion into extra accommodation.
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Why convert the loft in your 1930s home?
1930's loft conversions add really useable and useful space to a family home. They can create completely new rooms like a gym or studio or double up on what is already there, freeing up other areas in the house like the lounge which can be utilised for different purposes. Rather than extend to the rear or side of the property which encroaches on your outdoor living area, car parking and garden, why not use the redundant space above your heads?
The extra floor adds a layer of privacy which can work well for teenagers looking to spread their wings (and play loud music) or perhaps an elderly relative with the option for self-contained accommodation. A new loft conversion will allow you to choose a fresh, modern design without compromising the more traditional styling in the rest of the property. And a loft conversion will add some serious value, anywhere between 20% and 25% of your home’s current worth and it saves you the hassle and expense of moving if you really are bursting at the seams.
What can a loft conversion add to your 1930s home?
Blessed with already generous living accommodation, the styling of 1930s properties is quite traditional. A 1930's loft conversion opens up the prospect of a decent-sized space for open plan, contemporary living and this can have so many uses for a busy family:-
- Create a dedicated home working space whether that is for children, students or parents temporarily or permanently home-based
- Style a dedicated studio or workspace for a home business
- Set up a home gym for all the family to use
- Install a rooftop home cinema or media room – this is great for teenagers who can share a modern relaxed space with their friends and who might want to hive off away from the rest of the family
- Design an open plan master bedroom with skyline views and an en-suite bathroom, perfect for guests and visitors
- Add a kitchen and open plan living area and combine this with clever siting of the staircase to link to an en-suite bedroom on the floor below to create a self-contained living area for a grown-up child, an elderly relative or even a lodger
- 1930's loft conversions can make the most perfect playroom or games room for younger children, ideal to keep all the mess and noise away from the reception rooms on the ground floor
- Teenagers will love a spacious study bedroom with loads of room to spread out and plenty of privacy
What types of 1930's loft conversion are there?
There are lots of different types of loft conversions to choose from depending on your preference, your budget and how you want to style the interior accommodation. Not all loft conversions require planning permission but anything that materially changes the structure of the roof will need a planning application. Here are some of the different loft conversion types to consider for your 1930s home:-
- Roofline conversion – a simple conversion with Velux windows which do not protrude beyond the roofline, this is the easiest and cheapest type of loft conversion and may not even require planning permission unless the property is listed or situated in a conservation area. Velux loft conversion costs usually fall in the region of £20,000 but they can increase dramatically if you choose to furnish this new space with a kitchen or bathroom. Roofline conversions are sympathetic to the property and do not alter the external appearance beyond the installation of roof windows
You can read more about Velux loft conversion prices here.
- Dormer conversions – these are a popular choice for houses with lower rooflines but they can work well for 1930s houses which tend to have a higher pitch to the roof but which can then slope quite steeply. A dormer loft conversion will maximise the available space in the loft, increasing floor area and that all-important headroom. The dormers will jut out of the roofline so this is a more significant and costly loft conversion and one which will require planning permission. Dormer loft conversions start at around £20,000 but you can expect to pay anywhere up to £40,000 depending on how many windows you have and your plans for the internal accommodation
You can read more about dormer loft conversion costs here.
- Hip to gable conversion – this provides an extension to the traditional slanted roof of a 1930s property. Many properties which date to the 30s have hipped roofs which are essentially a roof with a sloping side in addition to the slopes at the front and the back. This can limit the internal loft space and a solution to this is a hip to gable loft conversion which extends the space by replacing a sloping roof with a vertical wall also known as a gable. This extends the side roof area so that the original hipped roof becomes a vertical wall turning it into what is a called a gable roof. This creates space in the loft which was previously lacking and offers some serious accommodation opportunities. You can also create a double hip to gable loft conversion by extending both roof planes and also possibly add a rear dormer at the back. These conversions only work on a semi-detached or detached house and are a particularly good design for 1930s properties. Budget for a final price of anywhere between £40,000 and £50,000. Find out more about hip to gable loft conversions here.
- Mansard loft conversions – one of the biggest of all the loft conversion construction projects and also one of the most disruptive and expensive. Mansards are usually built to the rear of the property and alter the structure of a sloped roof so that it is almost straight with a gradient of around 70 degrees. Windows are added to this as small dormers. The walls can be brick or tile or slate-hung to match the original roof. A full-length Mansard can run along the entire rear roof of the property and open up huge accommodation opportunities within the roof space, creating two or three rooms depending on layout and preference. The cost for a Mansard loft conversion is in the region of £45,000 and £65,000.
Read more about mansard loft conversion costs here.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is planning permission always required for a 1930's loft conversion?
Planning permission is only unnecessary if the loft conversion is so simple that it falls within what is known as PD or Permitted Development. This would only be the case with a very simple roofline conversion featuring simple skylights but if the house is listed or in a conservation area then even this type of loft conversion may require planning consent.
What other types of charges might the project attract apart from the cost of the actual building works?
Professional fees can really add up on a major loft conversion project. Expect to pay an architect anywhere from £800-£1,0000 for a set of drawings. The fee to apply for planning permission is currently just under £200 and you will also need to pay for regular site inspections from a local authority Building Inspector as the work progresses to ensure the construction complies with building regulations. These charges usually amount to several hundred pounds. Other costs which can catch out the unwary are Party Wall Awards. If you have a neighbour either detached or semi-detached, then your architect or surveyor will need to organise a Party Wall agreement or Award to give it its correct title. This is to protect your neighbour from damage and disruption to his property caused by your work. Your neighbour is entitled to instruct his own surveyor and if he does so, then you will be liable to pay their professional fees. Finally, if your house has bats in the roof, then a suitably qualified ecologist will need to conduct a bat survey and issue a report which is usually presented at the Planning Permission stage. Bats are a protected species at law and provision must be made for their welfare or relocation as part of the project. A bat survey can cost in the region of £400.
What are the advantages of a loft conversion?
Even though the costs can be significant, they will directly increase the value of your home. Compare this to moving which is expensive with many costs like estate agents fees and the cost of a removal firm, all dead money. A loft conversion adds the space you need whilst allowing you to stay in a home which you love and which you may have spent time and money refurbishing to your own tastes.
What is the best way to fund a new loft conversion?
Many homeowners approach their current mortgage lender for extra funds either via a Home Improvement loan or a Further Advance. To be able to do this, you will need to have sufficient equity in your home before the works are carried out to secure the additional borrowing and also be able to satisfy your lender’s affordability criteria for the new monthly payments.
Some roofing companies offer finance via third party institutions for loft conversions in the same way that you can organise funding to buy a new car on a finance package. Elderly or retired homeowners can often take advantage of equity release schemes and the monies generated by these do not have to be solely applied to home improvements.
How can I trim down the cost of a 1930's loft conversion to make it more affordable?
Opt for a conversion which is less ambitious and involve fewer or no structural changes to the existing roof – you might also be able to avoid applying for planning permission if you do this. The other major cost factor on a loft conversion is the final choice of fittings for the new space. Bathrooms and kitchens hugely bump up the final bill – if you opt for either a bedroom or a studio space, it will be significantly cheaper. If you own a 1930s bungalow, click here to check the cost of a bungalow loft conversion.
How long will a loft conversion take?
It depends on which type you choose and what the final accommodation is going to look like. A simple roofline loft conversion can be completed in between two and four weeks. A more complicated conversion will take between four and six weeks and this is from the point of commencement of the works; these timelines do not include time spent to draw and agree the plans and obtain planning permission, all of which in itself can take two to three months.
Can I do a loft conversion at any time of the year?
Clearly, it is easier to undertake major roof works during the longer days of spring and summer not least because of the extended daylight hours but also because the weather tends to be better. Bad weather can hamper and even delay works to the roof.
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