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How much does a terraced house loft conversion cost?

Loft conversions remain as popular as ever and are a particularly good choice for terraced properties where there may be no opportunity to extend to the side and little chance to extend at the back if the garden is small. The house may already have been extended and there are literally no more options.

image from: simplyloft.co.uk/get-loft-conversion-victorian-terrace/

A simple roofline Velux loft conversion cost starts at around £15,000 but this might not open up enough of space in the roof void to make it worthwhile. If there is only full height standing room towards the centre of the roof pitch then most of the room will remain uninhabitable and it will not be worth the cost of the conversion.

The more complex conversions which will open up serviceable space and real potential for one or more extra rooms will cost between £20,000 and £40,000 depending on the amount of construction work and the choice of interior fittings, bathrooms and kitchens considerably increasing the final bill.

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How big does the roof space have to be in a terraced home to make a loft conversion possible?

Some Victorian terraced houses offer decent-sized attics which make conversion a real opportunity, however, not all houses are the same so it’s worth undertaking some simple checks before you start planning your dream loft conversion.

  • You will need a head height or headroom which is 2.3m at the highest point
  • There must be space to install a staircase
  • You might need to consider moving water tanks which will impact on the budget and altering or upgrading central heating systems

What are the most popular types of loft conversion for a terraced house?

If you are considering a loft conversion in your terraced home, then you are following a well-trodden path; about 30% of the houses in the UK are terraces found in areas where there is work and amenities like public transport and schools. Not only is this style of house popular but the lifestyle that goes with it, no wonder people would rather stay and extend their home instead of selling it.

If the house already has a rear extension (and many Victorian terraces do) then the most popular type of conversion in these situations is the L-shape conversion, This involves constructing two dormers – one over the rear roof of the main house and a second above the rear extension. The two dormers meet to form an ‘L’ shape so accommodation which is designed at a right angle. This L shape offers a lot of extra space with the option for three, maybe even four additional rooms.

Another option is a simple dormer loft conversion – this involves extending upwards and outwards from the existing loft and provides both usable floor area and maximum headroom. Dormer loft conversions are one of the most popular types of loft conversion for terraced properties. They can extend almost full width across the rear of the property and significantly increase headroom as well as design possibilities. Large dormer windows maximise natural light so the accommodation is as good if not better than that in the rest of the house. This is particularly nice if your terraced house has nice views over green areas such as gardens and beyond as most dormer windows are sited to the rear of the property.

A Mansard loft conversion is the most extensive and expensive of all the possible loft conversions for a terraced home; the average cost is between £40,000 and £50,000. The Mansard offers the maximum amount of light and space and is characterised by a box-shaped extension to the roofline at the rear of the property with a flat roof and angled rear sides which slope to fit in with the existing roof, usually at an angle of between 70 and 75 degrees. Many terraced homes have these.

What can you use a loft conversion for?

There are so many options:-

  • Extra bedrooms for children
  • A luxury master bedroom with en-suite
  • A home office or studio for a home-based business
  • A gym
  • A family entertainments room

Do you require planning permission?

Planning permission is not necessary for all loft conversions; it depends on how much the roof is altered in structure and appearance and how big the loft conversion is. Your architect can advise you whether your design is are likely to need planning permission.

Whether you require planning permission or not, you will need to arrange for the local Building Inspector to check the works as they progress in order to ensure they comply with current building regulations. This is also organised via the local authority. The works are inspected at pre-determined stages and then signed off before the final decoration and fitting out takes place.

The 1996 Party Wall Act

This piece of legislation was enacted to prevent disputes between close neighbours when one party was undertaking works which could be noisy, disruptive and potentially damaging to their neighbour’s property. If you are in a terraced row then you will need to seek consent from both your neighbours before the works for the loft conversion can start. An agreement under the 1996 Party Wall Act is called an Award. There are not normally any additional costs associated with an Award unless one or both of your neighbours appoints their own surveyor which under the terms of the Act, they are permitted to do. In this situation, you will be responsible for the payment of their surveyor’s professional fees. This only tends to happen if the relationship between neighbours is frosty or there is an actual dispute so it pays to keep on good terms with them.

What happens if the house is listed?

If your terraced house is listed then any alteration even the most minimal of loft conversions will require Listed Building Consent and you will have to apply via the local authority planning office. The same is also true if the house is located in a conservation area. This doesn’t mean to stay that you can’t have a loft conversion but your choices on design and materials may be much more limited. Do you own a bungalow? Click here to see loft conversion costs for a bungalow.

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