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House extension vs loft conversion

The housing market is improving year on year as the economy recovers from the crash of 2009. Almost ten years later, it’s coming up Milhouse for UK property owners and it’s a better time than ever to invest in the loft conversion or home extension you dreamed up when you first moved in. It can be hard to choose which option is best for you. So, this month, let’s weigh up the pros and cons.


With a loft conversion, all you need to begin is right there in front of you. If you have access to a loft space then it can become a loft room with surprisingly little work when compared with a home extension. For starters, there is less structural work as the installation of a staircase is often the only major alteration to the existing home’s layout.

House extensions, on the other hand, require many expensive construction works, including the laying of footings, foundations, the building of new external walls and a ‘knocking through’ to join the existing house and the new extension, which can be invasive for many homeowners.

Completion Time

The average home extension takes 6 – 12 months to complete. Considering the amount of building work required, the size of the crew and the disruptive nature of the work, waiting an entire year for completion may be too much for some.

Conversely, a small loft conversion can be completed within 5 weeks. The average build time is 8 weeks, but every loft is different and if you are adding luxuries, such as an en suite bathroom, then you can expect a longer time to complete.

Ease of Planning Permission

Many loft conversions fit neatly within the ‘permitted development’ category. If you are converting a loft that is no more than 40 sq metres in a terraced house or 50 sq metres in a detached or semi-detached house, then you will not require planning permission. Any larger and you will need to contact your local authority and produce plans and applications to receive permission to start work. You will find, however, that this is more than enough space for the average loft conversion.

Home extensions aren’t quite so easy. Any significant, room-sized development will require full building plans and a full application as well as a process for local residents to submit reasonable reasons for rejection. This will cost additional time and money on top of the costs for construction works to begin. Whatever you decide, you need to think about your budget, the space you would like to create, the best place to construct that space and, most importantly, what you plan on doing once your new room is complete!

NK Lofts is proud to offer top rated loft conversions and garage conversion services in Milton Keynes, Northampton and St Albans. Whether you want a new bedroom or a new attic office space, we can provide the ideal loft conversion, complete with all you will need to create the additional room you’ve been dreaming of. Our conversions are accredited by industry bodies, are safe, cosy and are quick compared to house extensions. Contact a member of our team to find out more today.

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