Attic Conversions: Changing Lives and Adding Value to Homes

31 October 2017   Categories: Attic Living Space

attic conversion Manly Australia

A Common Space Problem for Growing Families

Fiona Bayliss and her husband Matt Todman bought a cute little flat in Fairlight, Manly near the coast, but when their daughters Samantha (now 3) and then Harriet (now 6 months old) came along they found themselves living like sardines, severely lacking in living space. Staying in Manly near the beach while upgrading to a bigger home simply wasn’t feasible at current prices throughout the northern beaches of Sydney, leaving the Bayliss family at a loss as to what to do. Faced with a serious space shortage, the choices seemed limited to either upgrading the home but downgrading location. This is a common dilemma in the current housing market, where we see young couples who buy into their dream location, but find that they lack decent living space when they start a family and must abandon the area for somewhere less preferable.

The Answer was in the Roof!

Living in a flat seemed to leave this young family with pretty much no satisfactory options, but luckily for them, their flat was on the top floor with access to the roof. This was the perfect way out of the space problem they found themselves in. 

By opening up and accessing the unused space in the roof, Fiona gained an entire new floor and a balcony with an amazing view of the coast!

Attic Living Space Conversion Manly Balcony

“I had no idea that you could actually lift the roof up and out. We had a pokey 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom place and now we have virtually doubled our space and gained an outdoor rooftop deck. I have friends coming around who are amazed at this possibility and with space such a premium, I think the attic or roof conversion will be the double car garage of the 21st century.” – Fiona

Interview with Fiona Bayliss about their Attic Living Space Conversion

Having left us a fabulous testimonial on Facebook, Liz Brownie of the Attic Group met with Fiona and Matt to discuss their experience with their attic conversion and how it has improved their situation.

Liz (Attic Group): Did you have any idea that your unused roof space above could be converted? Your attic area extends the whole footprint of your apartment…. Which is incredible.
Fiona: Before we purchased the unit the real-estate agent had mentioned the possibility but we didn’t really take much notice of it.. it was only until out neighbour had showed us their plans to go into the roof did we start thinking maybe we should do it too?!
Liz: Did you receive any other quotes to convert your roof space? Were the quotes from builders or attic specialists like the Attic Group? How did our quote compare?
Fiona: Yes, we obtained 2 other quotes from attic ‘specialists.’ We didn't go down the path of builders. Attic Group were the more expensive but we felt the more professional option. We also did reference checks and Attic Group’s were outstanding
Liz: Why did you choose The Attic Group?
Fiona: Anthony Collingwood, the Sales Representative was the man that truly engaged us - he had wonderful vision and really understood our needs.
Liz: How long was the building process?
Fiona: The bulk of the work was about 4 months, with the set back of some water proofing issues, another month on top of that.
Liz: Did you consider the option of moving, before you decided to convert your roof space?
Fiona: We considered all options…moving, selling, renting etc it all meant we’d have to move away from an area we love..
Liz: How much value do you think you have added to your property by converting your roof space?
Fiona: In monetary terms, probably 30-40%. But to be honest, I feel the most value we have gained comes from being able to keep living in this amazing place - walking distance to the water / cafes / parks. To continue to be part of the Manly community and to live a pretty incredible lifestyle for our growing family.

Matt’s Written Attic Conversion Testimonial

Here is the testimonial written my Matt Todman thanking Attic Group for helping them realise the full potential of their home in Manly that inspired the interview:

Dear Di and John

Fiona and I would like to thank Attic Group very much for our renovation. We are absolutely delighted with the result and are enjoying every day in the new house. The renovation exceeded our expectations, and has also given us the opportunity to continue to live in Manly, which we could not be more appreciative of.

We had an extremely positive experience working with Attic Group, and to acknowledge this we wanted to provide feedback. The entire process, from concept drawing through to the finished project, has been outstanding. We feel Attic Group listened and understood our vision for the house, and proactively engaged with us throughout every step. Every person involved was very helpful and a pleasure to work with.

We could not be more thankful for the advice we received and professionalism in which it was conducted. Attic Group clearly have the skills and experience for this type of renovation and demonstrated this from start to finish. This was also evident with the external trades, engaged by Attic Group, who were all equally as impressive.

A true testament to Attic Group’s exceptional service was Josip and Scott’s response to our balcony leak. Within hours of notifying Attic Group on a Friday night, Scott turned up to fix the leak and did not leave until 12pm. This was followed up the next day with Josip and the Water Proofer, both spending hours fixing the issue. Unfortunately with any renovation, there can often be problems, however we  felt completely at ease based on their response.

We would like to make a special mention to both Josip and Scott as they were both heavily involved in the project and were a large contributor to the success of our renovation.


We honestly feel we could not have had a better project manager to help us through this renovation. Josip’s experience, skills and communication, provided us with a level of comfort that we never expected with a renovation.

Josip was pivotal in delivering a renovation that was on time, within budget and to a very high standard. His project management skills are exceptional and he kept us informed at every step of the build. We are very thankful for his efforts.


We feel extremely lucky to have Scott as our main builder. His work ethic and level of perfectionism was truly admired and appreciated. We are also very thankful for his advice and knowledge along the way, which we came to rely on many times.

We have many friends who are at the same stage of life as us, growing their families, but running out of space. We hold Attic Group in high regard, and have no hesitation to recommending them to anyone interested in renovating.

Thank you very much again, and please do not hesitate to use us as a reference for any future projects.

The Affordable Alternative to Moving House

Fiona was thrilled with the creative use of the attic floor space, creating a new kitchen, laundry, living area and balcony. Because Attic Group are experts in converting roof space, the cost was significantly lower than if it had been a project build with a regular renovation company. She believes that for young people starting out in the housing market, a roof space renovation can be a realistic option enabling them can stay in the area that they love rather than having to move out to move further out after having kids.

With property prices going through the roof, this is exactly what people should do to create much-needed living space while adding value to their own home. It may be as simple as installing a ladder to access additional storage space or you can create amazing rooms; from home offices to guest quarters.

With multi-generational living becoming the norm as young adults can’t afford to leave home, up to three generations could be living under one roof so this whole floor can become a parents or grandparents retreat. Compared to the alternatives, tapping into unused roof space is clearly the most cost-effective renovation available to people who are trapped in houses which they have outgrown.

Get in Touch and Make Your Space Liveable Again

Don’t just make-do with limited living space when you have an entire roof to take advantage of, get in contact with our attic conversion experts and find out how much you can save versus buying a bigger house. Call 1300 655 525 or book in a free consultation.