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In many buildings, especially older ones, the attic lies fallow - and with it a lot of living space. With an attic conversion, you cleverly expand your house and create more space with added value. For example, a living room for the family, a play paradise for the kids, a home office for mom or a man cave for dad. Before you plan the expansion, check with your municipality to see what's possible. There are requirements and laws that limit the potential for expansion, such as the utilization rate. However, many municipalities are generous with older houses, even if the maximum possible living space is exceeded. Once you have the municipality's approval, you can convert your attic. We have researched the costs for attic conversions for you.
First, you should have the roof structure checked by professionals. Especially if the house is older. If the roof needs to be renovated, you must wait to insulate it. Estimate 200 to 300 Swiss francs* per square meter if the building envelope is in poor condition, or 500 to 750 Swiss francs* per square meter if the building envelope and supporting structure are in poor condition. Re-roofing costs about 15,000 to 22,000 Swiss francs*, replacing a roof truss costs about 24,000 to 51,000 Swiss francs*, and flat roof renovation costs about 4,000 to 12,000 Swiss francs*. For a medium renovation you probably only need a roofer, for a complete renovation certainly a roffer and a carpenter.
If you want to use the attic as a living space or home office, you need daylight under the roof. The easiest and cheapest way to create this is a skylight. Depending on the size and material, you can expect to pay between 1,200 and 3,000 Swiss francs*. A triple-glazed pivot window with an aluminum-plastic frame or a skylight with an aluminum-wood frame costs at least 750 Swiss francs, plus 300 to 600 Swiss francs* for installation. If the roof is very steep or the attic is relatively low, you can get more light into the room with a dormer or a skylight. Prefabricated dormers or skylights cost about 10,000 Swiss francs*, while custom-made dormers or skylights cost 20,000 to 30,000 Swiss francs* for the material and labor.
Warm air rises, which is why a lot of heat is lost through an uninsulated roof. With above-rafter or between-rafter insulation and additional below-rafter insulation, you can reduce CO2 emissions and save on heating costs. Insulating the roof and attic has an energy-saving potential of 10 to 20 percent. Above-rafter insulation costs approximately 180 to 325 Swiss francs* per square meter, and between-rafter insulation costs 75 to 180 Swiss francs* per square meter. With under-rafter insulation, you improve the thermal insulation. It costs 40 to 90 Swiss francs* per square meter. Calculate these costs for thermal insulation for an average single-family house:
Once the roof and attic are thermally insulated, you can clad the room from the inside. For example, with plaster or wood panels, as most homeowners do, or with boards or chipboard. The boards can be plastered or wallpapered. Expect to pay 60 to 100 Swiss francs* per square meter if you have the wall covered and plastered with boards or panels. White interior plaster is slightly cheaper than colored interior plaster. If you have the boards or panels wallpapered, it should be more expensive than interior plaster - depending on the wallpaper.
If you want to use your attic as a living space or home office, you should replace the narrow steep stairs with a more comfortable staircase for the sake of safety. If you have enough space, a straight staircase is suitable, if you have little space, a space-saving or spiral or spiral staircase. The samba or waddling staircase with staggered steps is a middle solution if you have space, but not too much. Depending on the staircase, calculate with 5'000 to 10'000 Swiss francs* for a comfortable and safe access to your new attic.
If you want to know in more detail what kind of stairs there are or how much a staircase costs, read our article "Cost of a New Staircase with Railing in Switzerland" or ask a certified stair builder from our partner network.
To be able to use your attic in the winter months, you need heating. You have the choice between floor heating or radiators. For underfloor heating, estimate 120 to 180 Swiss francs* per square meter for the heating coils and about 100 Swiss francs an hour for installation. Radiators cost 200 to 400 Swiss francs* each and about 100 francs an hour for installation. If you don't want to install a heating system yet, you should at least have empty pipes drawn in the floor, which you can easily retrofit with heating coils later. Without, you will only have the choice between radiators or infrared heating later on.
The cost of resilient and textile flooring varies greatly. The price depends mainly on the material and quality. Prices range from 40 to 80 Swiss francs* per square meter for simple laminate to 80 to 120 Swiss francs* per square meter for high-quality laminate and 80 to 160 Swiss francs* or more for carpet to 160 to 200 Swiss francs for cherry tree parquet. Laminate is an alternative to parquet. It looks and feels like wood, but is low-maintenance. High-quality laminate costs about half as much as cherrywood and lasts for 25 years.
* All costs and prices in this article are indicative, so you can estimate the approximate cost.
If you want to know in more detail what kind of flooring to consider and how much they cost, read our article "Costs for Floorers and Prices for Floor Laying Work" or ask a certified roofer from our partner network.
Not for attic conversions, but for thermal insulation. With their Gebäudeprogramm (available only in German, French and Italian), the federal government and the cantons promote structural measures for the energetic renovation of buildings. Measure M-01 (available only in German, French and Italian) provides financial support of 40 to 80 Swiss francs per square meter or up to half of the total investment costs if the thermal insulation is an individual measure.
|Building envelope in poor condition (per m2)||200 CHF||300 CHF|
|Building envelope and supporting structure in poor condition (per m2)||500 CHF||750 CHF|
|Re-roofing||15,000 CHF||22,000 CHF|
|Renew roof truss||24,000 CHF||51,000 CHF|
|Flat roof renovation||4,000 CHF||12,000 CHF|
|Skylights and dormers or hatchways||from||to|
|Roof windows (depending on size and material)||1,200 CHF||3,000 CHF|
|Triple glazed pivot window (aluminum-wood frame)||1,000 CHF||2,000 CHF|
|Dormer or hatch from prefabricated elements||8,000 CHF||12,000 CHF|
|Custom made dormer or hatch window||20,000 CHF||30,000 CHF|
|Thermal insulation attic||from||to|
|Above-rafter insulation||25,000 CHF||45,000 CHF|
|Above-rafter insulation per m2||180 CHF||325 CHF|
|Intermediate rafter insulation||11,000 CHF||27,000 CHF|
|Between rafter insulation per m2||75 CHF||185 CHF|
|Under-rafter insulation||7,500 CHF||15,000 CHF|
|Under rafter insulation per m2||40 CHF||90 CHF|
|Insulate attic||4,000 CHF||7,000 CHF|
|Insulate flat roof||3,000 CHF||20,000 CHF|
|Interior trim and plaster||from||to|
|Cladding room and plastering panels per m2||60 CHF||100 CHF|
|Stairs and ascent||from||to|
|Samba or wading stairs||5,000 CHF||10,000 CHF|
|Floor heating per m2||120 CHF||180 CHF|
|Radiator per piece||200 CHF||400 CHF|
|Working time per hour||80 CHF||120 CHF|
|Simple laminate per m2||40 CHF||80 CHF|
|High quality laminate per m2||80 CHF||120 CHF|
|Carpet per m2||80 CHF||160 CHF|
|Cherry parquet per m2||160 CHF||200 CHF|
All costs and prices in this article are indicative, so you can estimate the approximate cost.