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How to start a loft conversion business

Loft conversions have become some of the most popular home renovation projects. So, starting a loft conversion business could be a lucrative move. Here, we'll look at how to get set up, as well as how to grow your new venture.

If you’re keen to start a loft conversion business, it’s easy to understand your motivation. Loft conversions have become one of the most popular home renovation ideas due to the capacity they give homeowners for more living or working space.

And it’s not just growing families in need of that extra room. Loft conversions make great studies too – which is a good job with the growing trend of working from home. All in all, loft conversions enhance domestic life across the UK.

But thinking about how to start your own loft conversion business and actually doing it are two different things. Thankfully, we’ve created this guide to help you find your way.

Why you should make the leap

Experienced loft converters are trusted specialists who possess the expertise to take every project through from start to finish. As a loft converter, you help people put their dream renovation plans into practice.

You also massively increase the value of their properties. It should be no surprise then that your skills are in high demand.

That’s why becoming self-employed is a realistic step to take in your career. You’ll be able to make the most of the business opportunities you identify. You’ll also be able to tailor your very own service.

This guide will run you through the ins and outs of how to start a loft conversion business – so you can make this decision with confidence.

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Having the right qualifications

Completing an apprenticeship in joinery or carpentry is the most common route to becoming a loft-conversion specialist. These combine training with on-the-job experience. They’ll also help you to prove to homeowners that you have the skills and experience necessary to do a good job in their home.

Through an apprenticeship, you can achieve these qualifications:

  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Bench Joinery
  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Site Carpentry

Equally, national industry bodies offer alternative ways of gaining qualifications. These enable those with experience in a similar trade – such as builders and carpenters – to become qualified loft-conversion specialists.

Short courses to take

The following bodies provide succinct training courses to improve your understanding. They also formally recognise you as a professional loft converter.

What’s more, industry bodies offer accredited memberships to exceptional loft converters. This will highlight your competence and help to impress potential clients.

The importance of having a CSCS card

Loft converters are expected to have completed the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). Having a CSCS card isn’t a legal requirement, but it will give you the credentials to operate on construction sites. This, in turn, helps to ensure you don’t lose out on any potential work.

Good top-up skills to have

Becoming a fully qualified loft converter highlights to customers your advanced understanding of the field. However, self-employment gives rise to a host of on-the-job and business challenges. Having the skills below will help you to overcome them.

  • Technical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Practical skills
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Physically fitness
  • Understanding health and safety requirements
  • An ability to lead and manage

Ready to start your loft conversion business?

If you’re ready to take the leap and start your loft conversion business, we’ve got your back. In a minute, we’ll cover the essential steps to getting started. But first, make sure to sign up to our ‘Become The Boss’ series.




Designed to walk you through starting your own trade business from scratch, you’ll be sent seven emails (plus a bonus one!) featuring actionable tips from fellow tradespeople who were once in your position. You’ll also get a free business strategy call. And at the end of it, you’ll get to be the boss of your very own loft conversion business!

What are you waiting for? Simply enter your email address below to get trade insider secrets sent straight to your pocket.

Steps to set up your loft conversion business

Starting a loft conversion business takes organisation, but it’s totally achievable if you set your mind to it. Here are some steps you’ll need to take to get started.

Register your business

First, you’ll need to register with HMRC. You’ll also need to apply for any licensing required by your local authority.

You can register your business as a sole trader or a limited company. Becoming a sole trader will provide greater freedom and less paperwork. But limited companies enjoy greater legal and financial security. So, weigh up the pros and cons. Then choose whichever structure best suits your business needs.

Make a business plan

It’s important to come up with a thorough business plan. This should lay out your business goals – and how you’ll achieve them. A crucial part of this plan will be the services you choose to offer.

These should be based on your expertise and identified target market. For example, you could specialise in creating bespoke lofts. Or you could provide a competitively priced service for those on a tighter budget.

We’ve put together a handy resource to help you ace it – just download out free business plan template, here.

Keep an eye on your finances

Always stay in control of your financial situation. Initially, your overheads may be high. But you can always fund them by taking out a business loan.

Equally, to protect you and your business financially, it’s highly recommended to invest in public liability insurance. For more advice on insurance and other tips, read our start-up guide below.

Become a salesperson

As a self-employed loft-conversion specialist, you’ll be responsible for all the work your business attracts. This means you won’t only need to prove your credentials. You’ll also need to sharpen up your sales skills.

When pitching to clients, clearly explain to them the benefits of having a loft conversion. These benefits include:

  • Extra living space, which clients can help design
  • An increase in the value of the customer’s property
  • Having a loft installation makes homes more energy-efficient due to extra insulation
  • A loft installation costs less than typical extensions. It also saves on outdoor space
  • Most don’t require planning permission

For further information and additional answers on why homeowners are choosing to convert their lofts, check out our loft conversion plan for homeowners.

Start loft conversion business

Get your pricing right

Before starting any job, you should provide the client with a detailed quote that covers every cost, alongside a written loft conversion agreement outlining the work you’ll do.

While you should try to make every quote competitive, it’s really important to ensure the quotes you give are accurate. If your price is too low, you could:

  • Deter clients from choosing your business if they’re not convinced your services will be to the highest standards
  • Lose out financially once you’ve completed the job
  • Frustrate clients by asking them to fork out more despite having already agreed upon a price

For more in-depth guidance on how to cost up your projects, see our loft conversions cost guide.

Offer a great service

Word-of-mouth recommendations will be crucial for securing work; for their dream loft conversions, prospective clients will want a specialist they can trust. Alongside superb workmanship, providing a professional service will go a long way in growing your business.

Here are some small things that will make a huge difference:

  • Completing a building regulations application before starting work
  • Presenting and explaining detailed architectural plans to clients
  • Being considerate to the customers’ neighbours, especially regarding noise
  • Agreeing upon suitable working hours
  • Coming across as friendly and polite
  • Leaving the area tidy while not working – and leaving it spotless when you’ve finished
  • Sticking to the agreed completion deadline

Market your new business

An effective marketing strategy opens your business up to lots of potential clients.

Signing up to Checkatrade enables millions of monthly users to view your business and any recommendations it receives. This goes a long way to enhancing your reputation and gaining new opportunities.

Give your loft conversion business a boost

Join Checkatrade to be visible to thousands of homeowners looking for loft conversions

Find out more

Similarly, establishing a professional name and logo helps boost your reputation, even more so if you create flyers and posters to place in local shops.

Also, as prospective clients may be nervous about committing to a loft conversion, arranging viewings of lofts you’ve worked on – or simply showing them before and after pictures – is a great idea to showcase your reliability.

Read our marketing planning guide to become a pro at marketing your business. It even has a free download to help you get started.

 

How to grow a loft conversion business

So, you’ve set up your business and you’re getting work. Congrats! Now it’s time to look at growing your loft conversion business.

First, make sure to download our free guide to growing your trade business. It’ll be a great resource to have up your sleeve.

Next, let’s have a look at what growth means when it comes to a trade business like yours, and how you can achieve you growth targets.

What is business growth?

When you hear the words ‘business growth,’ what do you think of? If we could hazard a guess, we’d say it’s to do with more clients and more revenue.

While this can absolutely be what business growth is about, there are many other things that these words could be referring to. Ways of growing your business can include:

  • Expanding your team
  • Getting more leads
  • Winning more jobs
  • Expanding the services you offer

Setting your growth targets

Have a think about what business growth means to you at this stage in your business’ journey. Then, put together some measurable goals that you can reference to help you to understand whether you achieve the growth you’re hoping for.

Your growth targets should be SMART. That means they should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Grow loft conversion business

Achieving your growth targets

Now’s the exciting bit – putting together a plan for achieving those growth targets you’ve pinpointed!

The steps you take to achieve your goals will depend on the kind of growth you’re looking to achieve. For instance, if you want to boost your revenue, you could increase your pricing, invest in marketing to help you win new leads, or focus on collating reviews to increase trust and improve your conversion rates.

Alternatively, if you want to expand your team, you’ll need to decide what roles you want to hire and create job ads. You’ll also need to consider other less direct actions to help with your hiring process, for instance thinking about your company culture and how you can make your business a great place to work.

Whatever steps you decide to take, it’s important to note it all down in your business plan.

Grow your loft conversion business with Checkatrade

Joining Checkatrade is one of the best ways to achieve your growth targets.

As the #1 trade directory in the UK, millions of homeowners use us to find trades like yours every year. By ensuring that yours is one of the businesses they find, you’ll benefit from a steady stream of leads.

Becoming a Checkatrade member will also help with your conversion rates, as we’re the tick people trust. In fact, 8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t.*

And as if that wasn’t enough, joining Checkatrade will even help you to save money running your business, as you’ll benefit from exclusive discounts from our trade partners. That’s right, Checkatrade members who make use of the discounts actually save an average of £470 per year each!**. This includes savings on everything from equipment to van leasing, insurance, workwear, and more.

Give your loft conversion business a boost

Join Checkatrade to be visible to thousands of homeowners looking for loft conversions

Find out more

FAQs

How long does a loft conversion take?

From the start of construction, loft conversions generally take approximately 4-10 weeks to complete.

Does a loft conversion increase a house’s value?

Research by Nationwide Building Society found that by converting a loft, customers can often boost the value of their homes by up to 20%.

 

 

*Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021.

**Year runs from April 21’ to March 22’. Saving calculation based on average spend across 12,505 members in 2020/2021/2022. Discounts differ depending on the partner. Products range from low value items to high value items. Some exclusions will apply on products.

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