If you’re looking to expand your home without the hassle of a full-on extension, then a loft conversion may be just what you are after. Converting your loft or attic into a beautiful living space is far more cost effective than a normal extension and will make practical use of an area of your home which is more than likely harbouring dust and unwanted clutter. Not only is a loft conversion more affordable and very trendy, but it actually adds value to your property.
|Image from coolloftconversions.co.uk|
Although a DIY might seem like fun, it is best to get the professionals in to do this one as there are quite a few things to consider and some processes best handled by those who know what they are doing. For starters you’ll need to check the dimensions of your loft to see if there is enough height for the conversion, including space for a staircase. The general requirement is around 2.1 – 2.3m with at least a 2m clearance above the position of the stairs. The roof will also need to be checked for any water leakages and the area will need to be assessed for electrical work, heating, plumbing, etc. Keep in mind that certain roofs such as trussed, flat, and those with a very low pitch will probably not be able to be converted. However, once the area has been assessed and you have the go ahead, the fun can begin!
How you install your loft conversion will obviously depend on the assessment and what you would like to convert your loft into. There are many options and your imagination is the limit – think home office, games room, music room, home theatre, bedroom, gym, a children’s play den, or even that walk in closet you’ve been dreaming of!
|Image from charlesgrosvenor.co.uk|
|Image from hartmanbaldwin.com|
Here are the things you will need to consider:
Whenever you add extra living space to your home, you will more than likely need planning permission. Having a loft converted will often require that plans be drawn up and you’ll have to make sure that these are in line with the national building regulations and are approved by your local council. It sounds like a pain but the good news is that, in most cases, the experts you hire will draw up the plans and have them passed for you.
Windows are important for natural light and ventilation. If you already have a large loft you can simply install roof windows – choosing a size that suites the space. Picture a bedroom with windows that run from floor to ceiling, creating a light and open room. If your loft is a bit on the small side with little height readily available then you may want to look at something called a dormer extension. Dormers are a bit like bay windows that jut out of the roof and extend the space. Obviously this will be more noticeable than your roof windows but are just as stunning.
Most loft floors are intended simply to retain the ceiling underneath and not to support an entire living space. For this reason you may need to look at strengthening the floors. Another option you need to look at is what type of flooring you’d like in your finished conversion – carpets, wood, etc. The professional you hire can give you some good advice on what is and isn’t possible.
|Image from bragallaboutit.com|
Access to your new space is obviously very important and careful planning is needed when it comes to the design of the staircase. Stairs take out a big portion of floor space and whilst you will want to position it so it is out of the way, you also don’t want it so close to the eaves that you bang your head every time you go up. The stairs will also need to accommodate furniture being carried up and down as you design the interior of your space – so whilst a spiral staircase might be aesthetically pleasing, they aren’t altogether practical and can be quite expensive to manufacture.
Once your loft conversion specialist has all the details and plans, then the conversion can begin. And once the conversion is done, you can have absolute pleasure in designing the interior of the space – choosing wall colours, buying the furniture pieces, deciding where to place them, and ultimately enjoying the beauty of your newly extended, trendy home.