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Loft Conversion: Increasing The Value Of Your Home And Space In One Action

Loft Conversion: Increasing The Value Of Your Home And Space In One Action

There is a growing demand of individuals wishing to increase the value of their homes, as well as the usable space of their property. There is a particularly cost-effective and efficient way to achieve both of these objectives in one single action: loft conversion. Many buyers love having an additional living space and use it as an office, or some of them have long focused on the kitchen areas.

It is really important for you to inform yourself and take some tips about decisions on improving your home and its value. We know that bigger isn’t necessarily better in today’s market, but strategically increasing the amount of living space is.

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Here is why loft conversions are a simple yet effective home hack for increasing the value of your home spaces:

What Is A Loft Conversion?

A loft conversion is the act of increasing the usable space of a home by expanding it into the loft. This means that the loft is converted from being an otherwise unusable space in a house into a room that is habitable. And it can be created into whatever the inhabitant of the house chooses.

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Quick Tip: Some people even choose to convert a loft space and rent out the additional room as a living space to temporary residents/tenants.

How Long Does It Take To Convert A Loft Space?

Converting a loft can take around 6-10 weeks, with the length of time mostly dependent on the specific requirements of the customer. Some customers prefer to have more complex constructions than others. This can have a bearing on both time and cost.

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To convert a loft in this time-frame, you will need one builder and two laborers (or two builders and one general laborer).

The good thing is, if you work with a specialist at a loft conversion management company, you will not have to worry about arranging any of the above, as there are building companies out there that will take care of all the different components of the loft conversion – all the way from applications for planning permission to the completion of the build and the cosmetic finishing.

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According to James Roberts, from Bristol Conversions, loft conversions are one of the most cost-effective means of which you can increase the usable space and value of your property. It doesn’t cost excessive amounts of money and it can be completed in a relatively fast time period.

How Much Will A Loft Conversion Cost To Complete?

Prices for conversions of lofts vary from anywhere between £20,000-£35,000. The price is predominantly dependent on the following factors:

  1. Size of the loft conversion.
  2. The bespoke elements you’d like included within the conversion. This includes bespoke decorations, bespoke furniture, paints, wallpaper, carpets, rugs, mirrors, pool tables, TV screens, and so on.
  3. Type of the loft conversion. An example of this would be that mansard, dormer, hip and gable tend to generally be more expensive than the more standard velux loft conversions.
  4. The quote you receive from the company you choose to take up the project with. You should compare quotes from more than one building company before undertaking a project of this size and scale.
  5. The cost of the materials and how they are sourced. You should talk to the building company if you wish to know more about this, but some materials are more expensive than others. This is often down to the choice of the client/customer.

How To Choose The Right Loft Conversion Management Company

Now that all of the main talking points have been covered, how do you go about making sure you have the right company working for you to help you increase the space and value of your home with this loft conversion project? Below are three of the main guidelines you need to follow when looking to outsource help on your loft conversion project:

  1. Make sure that the company contracting the building work adheres to all necessary safety guidelines, rules, and regulations. This is important for safety as much as it is for legality reasons.
  2. Ask to see previous examples of their work. This is important because you need to be able to verify examples that previous work has been done and that it has been done well. This gives you peace of mind that you are working with people who can complete the job to a sufficient standard.
  3. Don’t feel pressured to choose the very first company you come across. Be selective in your choices. You’re making an investment in your living space that could prove to be very lucrative in the future if you ever decide to sell or rent out the space. Make your contracting decisions wisely.

If you take note of all of the points above, you will increase the chances of a smooth transition to a converted loft and realize the benefits of the increased space and value it gives to your home.

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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