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

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.

attic bathroom with blue bathtub and white walls

(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.

attic bedroom with bed floral cushions and white ceiling

(Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

attic bathroom with black tiles and white sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.