Q We are planning a hip-to-gable loft conversion (which will cost us about £55,000) to give us another bedroom and bathroom. The house is currently valued at £325,000. We plan to move out of the area in four years’ time for school catchment area purposes.
Do you think the £55,000 investment will be repaid in that time or – to put it another way – is it reasonable to assume that the cost of the extra bedroom and bathroom will add the same amount to the value of the property? The house is currently a three-bedroom 1930s semi.
A If Nationwide is to be believed, in a report from 2020, a loft conversion incorporating a double bedroom and bathroom can add about 20% to the value of a three-bed, one bathroom house. But there’s no guarantee and a lot depends on where in the country the property is. But if the conversion is done badly, it may have a detrimental effect on the value of a property. The advice site homebuilding.co.uk says hip-to-gable conversions “have a powerful visual impact on a property’s kerb appeal and – unless done well – can sometimes appear extraordinarily bulky”. This is particularly the case where one of a pair of semi-detached properties is converted – often resulting in an awkward and imbalanced appearance (unless they are both converted in tandem).
You may want to have a chat with your neighbours before going ahead with any works, as well as looking at similar projects to make sure you are happy with how your house is going to look if you get a conversion done.
If you want to add a bedroom and bathroom because it’s cheaper than moving to a bigger house, I can see the point of getting the conversion done. But if it’s just to add value, then I would talk to an estate agent before parting with any money. But that’s partly because I don’t enjoy the disruption (and dust) from getting the builders in.