Adding an extra level within an existing space attractive – creating a split-level room – is the improvement that gives you the best return on your investment. Adding a mezzanine floor may not be the most obvious home improvement choice, but it could be the most cost-effective way of increasing both floor space and value, a new study shows.

Hank Zarihs Associates | Adding a ‘floor between floors’ Can Add More Value than a Loft Conversion

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A mezzanine means a floor between floors — an extra level inserted within an existing space to create a split-level room.

Today’s research by home remodeling company Harrington Grey compared the cost of 10 popular home improvement projects and the average value they add to a property, to calculate the typical return on investment.

Researchers found that a 248sq ft mezzanine would cost about £9,500 to install, but could add 10 per cent to the value of a home. For a typical London house worth £700,000, this works out as a return on the original investment of 640 per cent. “A mezzanine also gives you a very attractive airy, open effect,” adds Duncan MacLeod, managing director of Harrington Grey.

The next best improvement, according to the report, is to demolish interior walls to create an open-plan space. The £2,500 cost of the work could hoist the value of a home by two per cent, giving a return of 520 per cent.

Loft extensions, basement digs and side return extensions each add the most value to a property: 20 per cent according to the study. But the higher cost of these improvements — £37,000 for a loft; £45,000 for upgrading an existing basement into a usable room, and £60,000 for a side return kitchen extension — means a lower return on investment.


To insert a mezzanine level into an existing room you need a minimum ceiling height of 13ft-14ft. So, while brilliant in a barn conversion or a loft apartment, such a project isn’t always possible in a regular flat or house.

Sadie Snelson, director of Sadie Snelson Architects, created a dramatic and beautiful mezzanine level for a warehouse apartment in Clapton, east London.

The owner wanted extra floor space without losing the impact of the double-height living room, which had 16ft ceilings. The solution was to leave part of the space open but build a timber and plasterboard mezzanine supported on existing steel columns and by wires hooked to the ceiling above the kitchen.

The room is used as a living room and occasional guest room, because one shortcoming of mezzanines is that they are open. Perfect for a study or living room, less than ideal for a bedroom.

Snelson’s mezzanine is pure industrial chic, but the concept can work in historic homes, too. Hogarth Architects removed a false ceiling from a Grade II-listed flat in South Kensington, and inserted a timber mezzanine above the kitchen, which overlooks the now double-height living space.


If you don’t have the benefit of towering ceilings, then a mezzanine bedroom, with a sleeping platform above and main room below, could still be an option.

Platforms are usually built from timber and/or metal and must be strong enough to bear the weight of a divan and a person or two. A balustrade will be needed to make this sleeping arrangement safe.

A sleeping platform, says MacLeod, requires a more modest ceiling height of about 10ft. “It is not going to add the same value as adding floor space, but if you need more space it is a really good way of finding it.”

A really low-cost alternative is IKEA’s white-stained StorÅ bed frame, priced £229. This 5ft-wide bed is raised 5ft 8in off the floor and has ladder steps, giving room for a sofa or desk below — an ideal space-saver for a studio flat or in a guest room.

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Shiraz Khan is the author of the content. Shiraz is the managing director and founder of Hank Zarihs Associates. With over 16 years' of experience we are master brokers within the short term financing industry. We specialise in a wide variety of short term loans.