How to choose between a loft conversion or a home extension

Choosing between a loft conversion and a home extension depends on several factors, including your specific needs, budget, available space, and personal preferences. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision should be based on a careful assessment of your circumstances. So, where do you begin? 

Firstly, choosing the right architect for the job is key! This allows you to make an informed decision taking into consideration the complexity of the project, how far your budget can actually take you, and of course, someone to deal with the local authority and permits. Overall, you need someone who is a professional and that can do the work to a high standard. 

So, how do you decide what the best option is for you?

Here are a few considerations:

Take planning permissions into account before deciding

As we briefly mentioned above, checking with the local planning authority and finding out what planning permissions you will be able to get granted is the best place to start. You may have your heart set on a home extension, but you may not be able to get it granted. It all depends on your existing property and whether or not it is listed, along with other considerations. These are key factors that need to be considered first and foremost.​

Figure out your needs

Now that is out of the way, you can think about what your particular needs are. Do you want to have an open plan kitchen and have your heart set on a kitchen extension? Are you looking to add an extra room for more living space? Or do you have enough space in your home and just think this would be a great option for adding to the value of your property?

Deciding on your needs and figuring out what your goal is with the home extension or loft conversion is truly the best place to start. 

Consider cost

Sure, when we dream of the perfect home for ourselves and our families we may just hope that we can have it all. This isn’t the reality for most average families, so considering your budget and the cost of each of these is one of the first things to consider.

Extension costs may be dependent on a number of factors. Are you looking for larger extensions or just a small home extension? Are wrap-around extensions even an option? Do you need the work done in less time or are you in no rush? All of these things need to be taken into consideration when it comes to the cost as well. 

​The same goes for a loft conversion. If you are looking for a better use of already existing dead space then this may be a more straightforward option and may be more affordable, too. Loft conversions may be more affordable as they are already making use of the available space and there is no need for as much structural work and alterations. 

home extension

​The existing layout

​The existing layout of your home may change if you choose a home extension. You may think that you are only getting a new kitchen or some extra living space, but the reality is that a new extension will probably change the layout of your home. If this is something that you are interested in or happy about then it’s great, but if you don’t want to change the layout or flow then perhaps a loft extension may be the best option for you. 

Consider your lifestyle and what you’re trying to achieve

What are you trying to achieve? Is it a cosy retreat by way of an extra double bedroom? Is it a home office that is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of family life? Or do you want to create a new room on the ground floor that gives you that much needed natural light and living space for your growing family? 

​These are all questions that you must ask yourself before you take on the project as the answer to these questions will be a major determining factor in whether you choose one over the other. 

​Get expert advice

Along with finding the best architects and builders, you can also consider getting the advice of local estate agents. These professionals will guide you and let you know what the right choice may be in your neighbourhood and how much value you can add to your overall property value with each option. 

As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when choosing between a loft conversion or a home extension. There is no one-size fits all approach and each of these options can be as unique as the family that lives within those walls. Whether your needs dictate an extra bedroom or extra space for living, either of these options are a great way to increase the value of your home and to allow yourself to live in your ideal type of property.

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