If you need more space, it is normal practice to move to a larger property. If you do not want to move, then an alternative option may be to develop your existing space. Making the correct choice may even add value when you do come to sell. Two of the most popular methods of creating space are a loft conversion or a garden office.
But which is the most practical, and what option will get you the best return in the future?
What is a garden office?
A garden office does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an office or recreation space, built in your garden.
As they’re considered to be Permitted Development, there is no need for planning permission, providing the building:
- Has a maximum overall height of no more than 2.5m if placed less than 2m from the boundary of your property
- Has a maximum eave height of 2.5m (resulting in an overall height of 4m for a dual-pitched roof or 3m for a pent-roofed building) if placed more than 2m from the property’s boundary.
Designed exactly to your specifications, garden rooms can be designed to make the most of any natural light and are not subjected to the same space restrictions that converting an existing space would entail.
A lower outlay than on a loft conversion, building a garden room causes no disruption to your daily life. They’ll also be no unexpected costs, such as potential structural work to the existing building.
What is a loft conversion?
The most cost-effective way of gaining extra living space, a loft extension involves converting your existing loft space into a further room or rooms. Usually adding an extra bedroom, a loft conversion could also make an effective office, entertainment room or home cinema.
2016 research by the building society, Nationwide, found adding a double bedroom and a bathroom added 22% to the value of an average three bedroomed home.
Most lofts can be converted, providing the internal height is tall enough and the pitch of the roof is not too steep. As with a garden office, planning permission is not normally required unless you’re extending the roof space.
Be aware though, that in converting this space supporting structures may require reinforcement, especially in older homes. Work to convert a loft takes place in your home, which may be inconvenient while work is underway. Likewise, while you gain in living space, you lose a useful storage area.
Garden room or loft conversion – What is the best option?
Both garden rooms and loft conversions are effective methods of creating extra living space. Home buyers want the most space for their money, so both will in all likelihood add value to your home.
In terms of cost, a garden room will generally be cheaper than a conversion. But the increase in property value will probably be lower too. It’s also important to ensure building work is finished to a high standard. A low-quality garden room may put off potential buyers, while a dodgy loft conversion could lead to problems in the future.
A loft conversion is often cited as the best way to add value to your home. Providing your roof allows for it and you don’t mind a bit of inconvenience during the building stage, a loft conversion could be for you.
Do you wish to sell your home in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex?
If a loft conversion isn’t for you, or you wish to capitalise on the increased value an extension can bring, David Burr can help get you moving. We’re specialists in unique and interesting properties in East Anglia. To sell your home, or to find your dream property, contact your local office today.