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What are the costs of converting a loft to a bedroom?

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What are the costs of converting a loft to a bedroom?

There are some sound reasons why loft conversions remain so popular - perhaps it is because of the increase in value it can add to your home? Industry data from the financial services sector confidently suggests an uplift in the market price of between 20% and 25% with a well-designed loft conversion. The cost of converting your loft to a bedroom starts at around £20,000.

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Of course, you may not want to sell your home just, your reasons to convert may simply be pressure on space but it’s nice to know that you will ultimately receive a good return on your investment when you do decide to go to the market.

The other main reason for the popularity of loft conversions is that they have some big advantages over building an extension namely:-

  • Depending on the style and size, you don’t always need planning permission (if your house is listed or in a conservation area then you probably will regardless of design)
  • The structure is already in place and redundant
  • Rear and side extensions can eat into valuable car parking areas and garden which you may not want to lose
  • You might already have a home which has been extended to its maximum limit
  • The style of house may limit the option to extend, for example, semi-detached or terraced house

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The cost of converting your conversion to a bedroom explained

The range of pricing for loft conversions is very wide – you can start with a simple roofline conversion with roof lights or Velux windows often for under £20,000 but at the other end of the spectrum, a Mansard loft conversion or dormer conversion can come in at between £40,000 and £50,000. There are several factors which determine the cost of the conversion and these are:-

  • The size of the loft space
  • The style of the conversion
  • The interior fittings

If you are opting for a kitchen or bathroom in your loft conversion plans then this can easily add £15,000-£20,000 to the bill.

Why are bedrooms such a popular choice for loft conversions?

There are almost limitless choices of accommodation for a loft conversion but extra bedrooms remain one of the most popular options and there are lots of reasons for this:-

  • You can create a luxurious master bedroom and en-suite and make a real feature of sloping walls, exposed timbers and brickwork with skyline views not usually an option on the first floor
  • One or more bedrooms can be created for children who can have their own floor and maybe even their own kids' bathroom
  • There is a privacy about being on the top floor which can work well for those who want a more self-contained space, ideal for a teenager
  • A small loft space makes the perfect occasional bedroom for a guest or an exciting retreat for a small child
  • Due to the height of rooftop bedrooms, there is an opportunity to maximise natural light not always available on the floor below
  • By taking a master bedroom and en-suite upstairs it allows the occupants of the smaller bedrooms on the first floor to perhaps change up to something bigger and better leaving the smallest bedrooms as spare rooms for storage or guests
  • Freeing up bedrooms on the first floor will allow a re-design of the accommodation perhaps taking unused bedrooms and converting them to large rooms by knocking through or adding en-suite bathrooms to existing bedrooms

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Factors to consider when converting a loft for bedroom accommodation

Of course, the cost of converting your loft to a bedroom depends on a number of factors. Converting a loft into bedroom accommodation can be a very simple process but to really maximise the conversion in terms of styling and design and create something spectacular, here are some key points to consider:

  • Decide how many bedrooms you want to put in the loft space – many people opt for one large room with a dressing area and usually an en-suite
  • Consider how you will light the room – dormer windows offer the best amount of natural light and can also increase available floor area and headroom if the loft space is on the small side
  • Work with architectural features and incorporate them into your design – sloping walls and eaves are a great location for storage space particularly if it is lacking in smaller bedrooms on the floor below

Top Tips to create that spectacular bedroom in your loft


  • Plan the location of the furniture at the design stage as this will influence the actual location for services such as lighting and pipework if you are also having an en-suite
  • Smaller bedrooms either because the loft is small or you want to fit two bedrooms in rather than one will benefit from interiors in pale light colours as this always increases the sense of space
  • Go open plan with a bedroom and bathroom to create one huge space, this works particularly well in smaller lofts and will avoid them feeling cramped or squashed in
  • If you are likely to be working a lot from home or this bedroom is for a teenager then why not build in a work station or study area
  • Teenage bedrooms can benefit from soft furnishings so dedicate an area with bright colours and bean bags and maybe even a sofa. These furnishings are relatively inexpensive and can easily be swapped for a different look if the purpose of the bedroom changes
  • Larger loft conversions can offer the possibility of built-in storage areas which make clever use of the eaves and can be a real feature. Think about a walk-in wardrobe which can be used to create a bespoke dressing area
  • If you love reading then build in a designated reading area like a mini sitting room into your bedroom plans where you can relax with a book in the unique privacy that only a loft conversion can offer. Slotting bookshelves between the timbers is a very clever use of space and can look amazing
  • Think about the location of the stairs and where they will enter into the room, it is usual to have the staircase flow on naturally from the one on the floor below but not always
  • Do you want a door at the top of the stairs or the bottom of the stairs for added privacy and peace and quiet
  • Think about your storage requirements – the eaves are always a good location to incorporate feature cupboards and this is not a space that you can readily use for anything else. Remember, this room not only has to look good but be functional and practical
  • Don’t worry if spaces look awkward, try and work with them and use them to your advantage. Custom building furniture is a good way to avoid the problem of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. There are loads of design ideas online and pictures of what other people have achieved in their loft conversion to use for inspiration


  • For small lofts major on the natural light so don’t be conservative with the windows as lots of natural light will really make a small bedroom feel large and welcoming. To maximise natural light, glazing should take up around 20% of the roof area. Blackout blinds can be used to create an environment that is as practical for sleeping as it is beautiful to enjoy in the daytime
  • Let the shape of the roof dictate the position of the windows – a long, shallow room will benefit from windows spaced evenly along its length but a narrower deeper room will be hugely improved with one large window
  • If the design of the room has windows within arm’s reach then a top-hung option will allow an unspoiled view and more headroom whilst a centre-pivot window operated by a rod or electronically is a better choice if the window is out of reach
  • If your new loft conversion will have amazing views then why not also consider a Juliet balcony? There are some lovely designs available which are either a permanent feature or integrated within a folding Velux window design which disappear down into a flush skylight when closed
  • As much natural light is always the way to go with any loft conversion but think how you will shade those windows on long hot sunny days, if you want an early night or if you also use the bedroom as a home office or study space. There are a huge variety of window blinds for roof lights and Velux windows some of which can be operated remotely for windows which are out of reach

Things to think about with your en-suite bathroom

Not every householder who opts for bedrooms in their loft conversion will also want to add a bathroom as this will add to the cost, but if you do, here are some key points to help you at the design stage:-

  • Showers require full-height headroom so although they are space-saving, they don’t always work well in small lofts with sloping walls
  • Baths can be a great feature under a sloping ceiling
  • Basins, like showers, require full-height headroom
  • If space is tight, don’t have a solid shower cubicle but use a glass wall and keep the whole area open plan. Concealed shower fittings can also help create the illusion of more space
  • It will save you money and labour if you can locate the bathroom element of your loft conversion about the pipe runs for the existing water and drainage on the floor below as this means far less re-routing of services
  • Water pressure is really important and you may find that your shower head will be higher than the water feed – this can be remedied with an electric shower but they are noisy and may affect the occupants on the floor below
  • If you have issues with soil stacks for the toilet then you can consider a macerator which is designed for toilets which cannot be connected to a standard waste run. The unit can be quite easily concealed behind a false wall

Do you need planning permission for a bedroom loft conversion?

Whether or not your current design falls within Permitted Development or not will be dictated by the size and style of the conversion and how much structural alteration is required to the roof. Some people minimise this and install fewer or smaller windows but this can be a false economy and leave you with a space which is gloomy and uninviting. If your home is listed and/or in a conservation area then whatever your design and style of conversion you are likely to require planning permission.

Are there any other legal or regulatory requirements?

Whatever the style and design of your loft conversion, the new accommodation will need to comply with building regulations. Building regulations apply to all new build homes and home improvement projects and restoration on existing properties. Building Control Inspectors are concerned with issues like structural integrity, staircase design and fire safety. The drawings and plans for the design should be lodged with the local authority and a Building Inspector will set stage inspections as the works progress usually signing off before the interior decoration begins and furniture is installed. There will be a fee attached to this process which is usually in the region of several hundred pounds.

If your property is attached either on one or both sides then it will be necessary to execute a Party Wall Award which is an agreement with your neighbours in line with the requirements of the 1996 Party Wall Act. This is to ensure that noise and disruption from the works are kept to a minimum and that adjoining properties do not suffer any damage because of your loft conversion.

If your works are extensive but do not require planning permission and therefore fall within Permitted Development, you can still apply for a lawful development certificate which makes it easier to prove should you need to that you did not need to apply for planning permission. This can be helpful when you come to sell the property at a later date. Click here to see loft conversion costs for a bungalow.

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