Ask a Tradesman
Extension or loft conversion
We are looking to add the following to our 4 bed detached late 1980's style house
1) Open plan kitchen diner
2) Bigger utility and storage
3) On suite to master bedroom
4) Larger family bathroom
5) More upstairs storage
We have a reasonably large garden with a space suitable for building an extension - about 6m by 4m but I don't know if we should build a single extension and a loft conversion or build a two story extension.
In my mind the pro's of the first approach are the single extension would give the wow factor and the loft conversion makes best use of the space. Con's are we have a truss loft with only just about 2.1m of clearance and a shallow roof. The second avoids the problem with the loft but could be much uglier.
So the reason for raising the question is to see if anyone has faced this dilemma before and does anyone have any advice for moving forward. Also a rough and ready cost of each option would be really useful - i.e. is option 1 more than 2 or are they both about the same.
Appreciate that may need more details and also appreciate any advice.
In answers to your questions...
1) You don't have enough headroom for a decent loft conversion. You will need to remove the roof, install "attic trusses" and rebuild it to get a decent conversion and this will more than likely involve altering the "ridge height" which will require planning permission. This type of conversion will almost certainly be north of £20K but without seeing it I could not give more detail.
On the extension side a two storey extension usually provides better value per m2 than a single storey. This is because much of the spend is in the ground works/foundations. Adding an extra lift of brickwork, a few windows and a floor structure is fairly cheap.
If you can afford it and get the planning...GO FOR BOTH!!! You'll have a lovely house. I should know, I have completed a single storey extension with the loft conversion in my 2 bedroom 1930's bungalow, now a four bedroom 200 m2, 2 reception with air con in the upstairs. It comfortably accommodates 40 at a party.
I hope that this helps you with your dilemmas.
John Askem (Director)
JB Properties (Norfolk) Ltd.
Answered 24th Mar 2015
Hi rear extensions can be built with building control no further than 3 mtrs out and the width of your property if your property being a terraced or semidetached
So a proposal with some sketches and measurements
And build to required rules
Such as minimum in footings
Dpc roof and insulation
Answered 21st Dec 2014