Making use of the room at the top

15 Ash Grove, Ripon - �179,950 with Vinden Estates, 01765 606885.
15 Ash Grove, Ripon - �179,950 with Vinden Estates, 01765 606885.

With the current housing market preventing many people from moving up the ladder, improving what you’ve already got has become a popular form of property investment.

But what kind of project will add most value to your home? Last year, the Nationwide found that loft conversions could add 23% to a property’s value. The year before, the Halifax had put the average return on a loft conversion at £20K, for a layout of £10K.

8 Church Square, Harrogate - �479,950 with Myrings, 01423 566400.

8 Church Square, Harrogate - �479,950 with Myrings, 01423 566400.

So for investment-minded buyers, the following properties either have, or had, the potential for attic conversions, and are all currently for sale in our area.

Number 8 Church Square (below) is a grade II-listed Georgian townhouse overlooking Christ Church Stray in Harrogate.

Formerly part of the Harrogate Theatre, built in 1788, it is now a family home, but still has many of its original features.

It currently has three bedrooms, but has potential for more, as there is an extensive loft space that could be converted. Outside, there is a flagged patio seating area, accessed via double doors from the breakfast kitchen, and off-street parking on the drive.

Converted attic of Keldale Nurseries, Dishforth Road, Sharow - �375,000 with Stephensons, 01423 324324.

Converted attic of Keldale Nurseries, Dishforth Road, Sharow - �375,000 with Stephensons, 01423 324324.

In Ripon, 15 Ash Grove (main pic, above) is a mid-terrace property on the western side of the city. It has a fairly traditional layout, with two reception rooms downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs, but scope exists to convert the loft to a third bedroom. To the rear, there’s a courtyard, a good-sized garden and a garage.

For buyers who find it hard to get round to starting projects but are good finishers, The Laurels in Bewerley (bottom pic) might just provide an excellent opportunity, as work has already begun to convert the loft space to create further living/bedroom space.

The double-fronted, semi-detached Victorian villa already has four double bedrooms, as well as two reception rooms and a cellar.

Outside, there’s off-street parking and a low-maintenance garden, and, of course, beautiful countryside.

The Laurels, Street Lane, Bewerley - �395,000 with Dacre, Son & Hartley, 01423 711010.

The Laurels, Street Lane, Bewerley - �395,000 with Dacre, Son & Hartley, 01423 711010.

Finally – a cheat, this one, since the work’s already been done – Keldale Nurseries in Sharow (left) shows with great style what can be achieved by an imaginative loft conversion.

There are lovely split-level gardens and the old adjoining pump-house provides a garden room/studio with original well, stone trough and water pump – which alone make it an unusual property.

But there’s much more to like inside, including stone flagging, terracotta floor tiling and beautifully simple stripped wood fittings.

With four floors of accommodation, the semi-detached house has three bedrooms on its first floor. At the top of the house, the attic has been converted to provide a fourth bedroom and a bathroom, but what’s truly unusual is the means of access.

Lacking the space to include a conventional built-in staircase, the owners have instead installed a ladder staircase, which leads through a trapdoor in the landing ceiling/bedroom floor.

Bath-time must be very peaceful.