Phil Spencer reveals the ‘key’ thing you must get right when converting a loft to add value to your home

Get it wrong and you could be forking out for a very expensive mistake
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  • A loft conversion is one of the best ways to add value to your home. However, Phil Spencer warns there is one thing you have to get right with a loft conversion, otherwise the project could just be a waste of money.

    Related: How to plan a loft conversion – advice for planning and costing your dream space

    The property guru regularly battles it out with co-presenter Kirsty Allsopp on Channel 4’s Love it or List. The pair compete to see whether they can persuade a family that they are better off improving their current home with the help of Kirsty, or shopping around for a new one with Phil. 

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    Image credit: Future plc

    While the Location, Location, Location star is often supportive of moving over renovating, there is one property conversion he is in favour of – a loft conversion.

    According to Nationwide a loft conversion with a double bedroom and bathroom can boost the value of a three-bed property by 20 percent. However, the property expert warns this is only the case if it is done right.

    Phil Spencer loft conversion tip

    ‘It stands to reason that the bigger your property is, the more it should be worth so extensions are very very good news,’ Phill explained in a video for Rated People on YouTube in 2016 about loft conversions.

    ‘They are good news in terms of longevity and that length of time that the property will suit you and fit you. They are also good news in terms of how much you’ll enjoy living there and they’re also, of course, good news in terms of the value-added,’ he said listing the values of a loft conversion.

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    Image credit: David Giles

    However, he pointed out that there are a few key issues you have to think about before converting a loft. Get these wrong and you could be forking out a lot of money for a big mistake.

    ‘Obviously, head height is a key issue to get right,’ says Phil. ‘Bear in mind if you’re converting what is an uninhabitable room you may need to strengthen the floor joists. In doing so you can lose head height and also lose head height because you’ll need to insulate the ceiling.’

    ‘These are things that need a careful exploration and kind of pre-planning,’ he advises.

    He also points out that you will need to consider the landing beneath the new loft. ‘You’ll lose space on the landing beneath your new loft in order to get the access point on the stairway up there,’ he explains.

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    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘The stairways, access into the loft are absolutely vital to get right. Make sure, if you possibly can. That it feels like it was always there.’

    If you are considering a loft conversion, Attic conversion experts at Abbey Lofts agree with Phil Spencer that space is everything if you want to justify the expense. They say that the maximum value increase of 20 to 25 percent will only be achieved if you are able to create the perfect self-contained sleeping space’ in your attic. 

    Related: Attic bathroom ideas to make the most of loft conversions of all sizes

    When it comes to planning a conversion if you can’t comfortably stand up in the room, or don’t have the space to include an ensuite, save your money.

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