Simple DIY Jobs That Could Slash The Cost Of Your Attic Conversion

Introducing an extra bedroom into your property is a great way to add value, but it can also be a costly undertaking. Complete home extensions are especially expensive and can result in potentially months of work and disruption. By comparison, an attic extension can seem like a more tempting choice. After all, your attic’s foundations are already in place. And making use of that structure could end up adding as much as 20% to your home’s value. 

The bad news is that the average attic conversion can also cost anywhere between £12,500 and £20,000. After all, while the structure is already in place, many attic conversions require bump-outs, dormer conversions, and more. And those costs soon add up. 

Unfortunately, unlike many tasks around the home, attic conversion isn’t something we can take care of ourselves. Most experts would urge against a complete DIY attic job that’s unlikely to meet building regulations. However, there are a few DIY tasks that you could tackle up top to reduce overall conversion costs, and we’re going to consider them here. 

1) Install Velux windows

A livable attic conversion requires more than just a few skylights, but you will likely want windows in your finished attic conversion. And, lucky for you, it’s not as difficult as you might think to install your own Velux windows using basic tools like a trusty measuring tape, a hammer, and an angle grinder. All you need to do is expose your roof materials, mark out a space that’s between 40-60mm larger than your window, and then install the window using simple tips like these. If you’re worried, have your builders prepare the window space ready. Buying and installing the windows yourself could still knock a fair few grand off your final conversion price tag. And, it shouldn’t be more than a day’s work!

2) Tackle insulation

A quarter of a home’s heat is lost through an uninsulated attic, and you’ll find that a bedroom here is unusable for most of the year without decent insulation. But you don’t need builders or professionals of any kind to complete this task. You just need a basic know-how. To get started, simply consider what kind of insulation would work best in the space, such as insulated plasterboard or wool insulation. Then, you can get to work installing your insulation on your floor and walls. Aim to install a first insulative layer between your jousts, then another at angles right on top. Do note, though, that while this insulation will keep your attic warmer, it will make the roof above your jousts colder, meaning that any pipes in that area are at a higher risk of freezing if you don’t also insulate them. 

3) Do the decor

It’s also worth noting that taking care of the decor in this space can also help to majorly cut the costs of your renovation overall. And there’s no reason why you can’t manage this like you would any other room in the house. Simply ask your builders to take care of any structural or regulatory changes, but to stop there. Then, you’ll be able to get in and tackle things like plastering on the walls, flooring installations, and of course, more basic decor tasks like painting, bringing up furniture, and so on. 

It is worth noting that each of these jobs can be harder to manage in an attic than they might be elsewhere, but a little forethought can go a long way. For instance, investing in flat-packed furniture can make it easier to get the furnishing you want, while choosing your timings carefully can ensure prime lighting for things like plastering, as well as quicker drying times. Before you know it, you’ll have a fully finished attic room that costs you significantly less than if you’d left these smaller tasks to your builders. 


As mortgage rates increase and the housing market continues to fluctuate, adding a bedroom onto an existing home is an increasingly tempting option. But, many homeowners can’t afford the costs associated with this kind of improvement. And, many others are reluctant to borrow more money at a time when interest rates are set to rise. 

A more affordable attic extension can allay many of these fears, but even this option isn’t without high costs. Unless, of course, you introduce these crucial DIY projects into your conversion overall. Then, you could end up with the additional space you need, and a far larger return on this home investment whenever you choose to sell. 


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