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Loft Conversion Design Ideas to Maximize Attic Efficiency

You need more space for your home. This may be because the existing living space has been cramped by the clutter you can’t just get rid of. This may also be due to an increase in your family’s head count, probably because you’ve been taking in relatives or are into having pets or kids. Another reason is probably that you simply want to see a lot more space.

Typical home extension where you stretch the perimeters of your house’s first floor may cost a lot of money, time, and effort, and as such, you’re probably thinking of not opting for it. If you have a high enough attic space however, you have a great alternative. You can convert that room above your top floor ceiling into a space fit for a person to live in.

What is Loft Conversion?

Of all the methods to increase one’s living space, a loft conversion is probably the most efficient, though this is limited to certain home designs. The efficiency of its construction lies on the fact that the attic already has a structure to support the loft room. All you need to do is to renovate this space in order to fit modern standards. This however can be costly, but then building a loft saves you a lot of time and effort.

Design Ideas to Maximize Your Loft’s Efficiency

You might be stuck in the design stage and are looking for some loft conversion design ideas. Well then, here are a few tips for you:

1. Install an efficient window.
A window is a legal requirement for every loft. This should provide not only natural ventilation and lighting, but also an avenue of escape in cases of emergency, specifically during a fire. Thus, set your loft window in an ideal location, particularly one that you can access from anywhere in the room.

2. Be clever with your furniture.
Let’s face it, lofts aren’t spacious. Thus, you should think well how you should arrange all those furnishings without sacrificing what little floor space you’ve got. Consider small, modular furniture, as those customized to fit well into the loft’s sloped walls. You should also opt for multi-functional ones, particularly those that provide storage aside from their primary functions.

3. Add adequate lighting.
Install lights that can instill the mood that you want your loft to reflect. Make it sparse and dim if you want it romantic, or you can make it as bright as you prefer it to be. However, make sure that you don’t have to flip the light switches at daytime in order to save electricity. Consider installing VELUX skylights and enjoy natural lighting at its finest.

4. Create an illusion of space.
Making your loft appear spacious is not as tricky as it sounds. Simply minimize the clutter and decoration. An orderly layout can also help, and so does a light paint scheme.

Optimizing your loft is what these loft conversion design ideas aim for. Following these can help you create a loft room that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but also possesses a highly efficient design.

Loft Conversion Costs: Factors and Prices to Consider

Living space in one’s home decreases as time goes by. The whole place ends up cramped as the property is accumulated or as new members get added to the household residents. This can be a problem to some, for which there are varying solutions. One of these is moving to a new house and another is to extend the first floor. Many however, choose to have their attics undergo loft conversion.

Converting the Loft

Converting the loft is a very practical and popular way of extending one’s living space. This requires relatively less time and effort when compared to first floor expansion and relocating to a new home. Here you don’t need to build anything from the ground up as you already have the roof and ceiling serving as your loft’s structure. It just needs some serious renovation, and you’ll be good as done.

Factors to Consider when Determining Conversion Costs

The cost is always the first thing to be figured out by anyone planning to have their attic converted into habitable lofts. The price of conversion projects usually start from around £12,000 to £60,000. Of course, the price for the rest of the project can vary. When calculating the actual cost, these are the factors you have to consider:

1. The final product.
The end result of the conversion project determines how much the loft conversion costs. The rule is that the more complex the loft is, the higher it will cost. For instance, complete residential rooms with bathrooms and all can start at £12,000, while a simple attic storage costs a measly £1000 all in all.

2. The loft’s size.
As with every conversion project, the size dictates how much is going to be spent on various essentials, specifically materials used to reinforce the structure and finish up the interiors. There is no price estimate for these, as it all depends on price of the materials, which in turn depends on the manufacturer and the area.

3. Loft access.
Stairs are a primary means of access to lofts. The cost, like that of the entire loft itself varies depending on the stairs’ complexity. Traditional ones cost around £500, while spiralling staircases come at more or less £2000.

4. Windows.
There are two common options for loft windows. The first is the dormer, the entire construction of which costs at around £2000. The second is the cheaper skylights which double as daytime illumination, the price of which comes at around £600.

5. Professional help.
Certain tasks like plumbing and installation of electricity are required by law to be done by their respective specialists. Meanwhile, the design process and overall construction may be beyond your means. As such, you should hire the necessary professionals and possibly, blue collar workers. Their costs vary, but we recommend employing the services of conversion firms rather than hiring individual contractors which are usually cheaper.

Loft conversion costs are never cheap. The expense however is only for the short term and the long term benefits of owning a loft totally outweighs everything you’ve spent constructing it.

Alternative House Extensions to Loft Conversion

If you are a frequent visitor to this site, then you’re probably more than aware of loft conversion. If not, then it is a way to extend your home by renovating your attic such that it becomes a far more useful part in the house than it originally is. This is a very convenient way to extend your home, despite the fact that it does not always come cheap.

However, loft conversion simply is not for everyone. There are many cases where a house is not compatible for such home extension process. However, the good news is that there are alternatives to loft conversion. We’ll explore the most common of these home extensions in this article.

Single Storey Extension

A single storey extension is perhaps the most common of all house extensions. It most likely is the first thing that will come to your mind whenever someone mentions “home extension”. In this extension method, a connected edifice is built at the side or rear of the house. Single storey extensions are commonly built with pitched roof, although flat-roofed extensions used to be common.

Multiple Storey Extension

Multiple storey extensions are basically similar to single storey extensions except that you are extending your house from two or more floors. When juxtaposed from the front or side of the house, they are often required to be of similar style and make as the original structure. That’s not all. In fact, this type of extension has more legal strings attached than the last.

When opting for a multiple storey extension, you also have to consider the established town plan and whether or not you will be affecting your neighbors in any way. As a heads up, do not build your extension where you will be denying the house next door access to sunlight or other such amenities.

Basement Conversion

The basement, like the attic, is another good place to renovate in order to expand your living space. However, it takes a lot less effort to convert than the loft, as just about every requirement of an extension is satisfied by the basement’s structure. This is assuming that your house already has an existing basement that’s been idly used for storage or not at all. If a basement is not present or is too low to be habitable, you can still dig one out in accordance to laws and regulations.

However, both cases have the problem of keeping groundwater from seeping into the basement. Techniques to achieve this mainly include adding a layer of waterproofing materials to the wall.

Conservatory

Conservatories or greenhouses – rooms with glass roof and walls used to grow plants – are popular in the 90s and way back to the Victorian era. The advantage of building a conservatory is that it does not require any involvement from the planning office, if the structure fits the legal definition of a conservatory.

The downside however, is that it cannot keep up with the times. Conservatories can no longer provide a comfortable temperature, and tends to produce unnecessary CO2 when we are all trying to lessen the existing amount.

Each of these house extensions is suitable for different situations. Never neglect different factors like your area, temperature and budget when deciding how to expand your home.

4 Practical Loft Conversion Advices

If you are looking for a great way to improve your home and add a great deal of space to it at the same time, look no further and convert your loft. This is because a loft extension is one of the most efficient home extension methods and is one that can produce outstanding results, often in the form of a comfortable loft room. A home within a home indeed.

Why Should You Choose to Convert Your Loft?

A loft conversion is one of the most efficient home extension methods, making it an amazing alternative to the likes of conservatories and single storey extension. For one, it does not take much time and effort to complete. Also, it may not cost you much money when planned properly.

Besides being efficient and cost-effective, loft conversion also offers a lot of side benefits. The first is obviously all that space it adds to your house. The added floor space amounts to more or less 30% in an average house. The presence of a functional loft room also increases the real property value of the house, meaning it can now be sold at a price a lot higher than how much it originally costs.

Some Advice Before Converting Your Loft

For some reason, you probably may also want to convert that useless attic space. If that’s the case, here’s some loft conversion advice:

1. Get assistance from the building control officer.
Before the actual construction could take place, make it a point to pay a visit to the local building control officer. Inquire about the regulations you should follow or if you already have a loft design, let him check on it and see if it fits your loft and is within the limits of existing regulations.

2. Plan carefully and in detail.
Be thorough with your planning. Assess your requirements and determine if it is practical with your loft and see if you can afford the conversion. Design the loft in accordance with the existing building regulations if you wish to build straight away. Going beyond the rules will require a permit, and that will take some time and may be costly to obtain.

3. Pay for professional help.
If you can’t do a certain part of the conversion, don’t be afraid to spend to hire professionals. Having someone who knows what he or she’s doing, work on that certain difficult task, can save you not only time but also money that could’ve been wasted if the problem delayed the conversion process. Employing an architect during the design stage is recommended, as this professional can create a design that’s within the limits of your budget, your loft’s dimensions, and the laws involved.

4. Remember: things don’t always go according to plan.
Be flexible. If some circumstances prevent you from proceeding to a certain task, do not linger on it and consider making some changes that you’ll still be satisfied with. Never force a solution, lest you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and effort for little gain.

Is the article too long? Here’s a short summary of all these loft conversion advice: know your limits, plan carefully, be flexible, and do not be too stingy to get professional help.

Should Your Home Undergo Loft Attic Conversion?

City life, for all its conveniences, certainly has a lot of downsides. For one, urban life can be so rushed and stressful. Also, there always is pollution, and those who live in industrial centers can especially feel this sad fact of urban life. Finally, living space outside of what you already have is very hard to come by.

Your home may start getting cramped for a variety of reasons, and you have little to no room to expand your house. Loft attic conversion is an ingenious way to address this rather common problem, without drastically breaking an entire wall section to extend your home.

An Introduction to Loft Conversion

The attic, as we all know, is perhaps the largest unused space in the house. Unfortunately, it is often used unglamorously as storage, if not left as it was during the home’s construction. Loft attic conversion aims to turn the attic space into a more functional and liveable room, complete with whatever useful feature you wish to install.

It is unfortunate though, that loft conversion may not be for every home. People often jump into conversion projects thinking that it’s just a matter of installing windows and floorboards. Well it’s not, as you have to see whether it is safe to convert your attic or not. There are a few things to take into consideration before proceeding into loft attic conversion.

Possible Loft Living Space

Usually, building authorities require headroom of at least 2.3 m. The width and length of the room usually depends on your preferences, but should be as far away from the eaves as legally possible and should not encroach into the support structure. If your room is found by the building control officer to be wanting, then you might want to ask for his advice or consider other ways to expand your home.

Type of Roof Support in the Attic

Roof support framework usually comes in two common variants, namely rafters and trusses. The simpler rafter framework runs along the roof’s underside and is supported by boards at the sides or near the top. Thus it already is spacious and may be converted given that legal conditions are satisfied. Meanwhile, trusses are uniform webs of boards that stand between the top of the ceiling and the roof. This support structure weaken when cut through, and is therefore not suitable for conversion.

Structural Strength of the Ceiling

The attic room is meant to endure the stress of daily use as much as your first floor room should. The ceiling as is, naturally can’t, and must be reinforced. It’s best to consult experts on this, if you want to know how much you should spend and how will you reinforce your ceiling joists in order to be up to standard.

You should not just do these assessments on your own, or risk making incorrect measurements. It won’t hurt to hire professionals to help you in this, especially since the end result will be a safe and efficient loft room.

Loft Conversion Building Regulations for a Safe Loft Design

There will inevitably come a time when you judge that the existing space in your home is no longer enough for you to live in. Such requires no simple solution. Will you just buy a new house and move out? It sounds easy, but it’s also a little too expensive in both the property purchase and moving costs. This option is best reserved when no renovation can fix the home. Will you just have to expand your house instead? Why not, as this frankly is a better idea.

Now what options do you have when extending your home? First you have a single storey extension where you basically add some square meters to your first floor. Then there’s a multiple storey extension, which is just the same as the first floor extension method, but applied to two or more storeys of the residential building. Fancy folks would resort to the conservatory, a sort of greenhouse extension. All of these however, take up much lot space, and may end up impractical, most especially when the house in question is situated in cramped urban areas.

Loft Conversion

If you have no way to add to the existing area covered by your home, then there’s no need to lose hope. A loft conversion can solve your house extension problem for you, provided that your home has a roof. This method is simply put transforming your normally ignored attic into a more valuable and useful top-floor room. It currently enjoys a lot of popularity thanks to its practicality, flexibility, and for its mere cool factor.

The attic’s conversion may be a lot easier and less time-consuming than the previously mentioned home extension methods, but it’s not really uncomplicated. It’s not as simple as reinforcing the ceiling and creating a semblance of a functional room out of the attic. It also needs to follow certain loft conversion building regulations, which is essential if you want to do the conversion correctly and up to legal and modern standards.

Lofts That Don’t Require a Permit

You can freely construct your loft and not be hassled by paperwork. That however is only possible if you restrict your design to the following regulations:

• The loft must never go beyond the roof’s existing dimensions.
• You need sufficient roof space: 40 cubic meters for terraced homes and 50 cubic meters for detached and semi-detached ones.
• Windows and other openings should be 1.7 meters above the loft’s floor; side-facing ones require obscure glazing.
• No open features such as balconies, verandas, etc.
• Apart from hip-and-gable, roof extensions like dormers should be no less than 20 centimeters away from the lower edges of the roof; all roof extensions are prohibited in designated areas like national parks.

These are just provisions to be followed in order to have a safe loft design. You don’t have to limit your loft to these rules. You can be as free as you wish when converting your attic, so long as you have the permit required and your design still follows the latest loft conversion building regulations. These laws, all prioritizing safety and practicality, vary from one area to another. It is thus best to consult the local building control officer for such regulations in your locale.

4 Qualities of a Good Loft Conversion Company

Your home may get a little too boring after a while. In that case, you should consider improving your home, maybe through some significant changes or even a major renovation. Change the décor, rearrange the furnishings, install new lights, and whatever you can possibly think of. You might as well want to add a few more square meters your home’s floor space. This can be done through home extension, and there are a number of ways to accomplish this endeavor. One of these is loft conversion, a very popular and efficient home extension method.

Home Extension through Loft Conversion

Many prefer loft conversion due to its apparent simplicity. With this home extension method, one only has to make a liveable loft room out of the usually ignored attic space. However, this task is never as simple as it sounds. Drastic changes are required to complete a conversion. This may be somewhere be somewhere in between simply reinforcing the ceiling’s topside to the complete reconstruction of the roof.

Some Qualities that Determine a Good Loft Conversion Firm

Most of the work in a loft conversion process can be treated as a DIY. However, not many have the sufficient skill and expertise to opt for this. Instead, the majority hires a loft conversion company to do much of the conversion work for them. If you’re thinking of doing likewise, here are a few qualities you should look for in a conversion company before hiring one:

1. Affordability
As with everything else, the budget is the first thing you should consider when hiring a loft conversion firm. Find a company that offers conversion services at a very reasonable price without sacrificing quality work. You can ask companies directly about this, as standard prices tend not to apply to most lofts.

2. Trustworthiness
Also, the company you should hire ought to be honest and trustworthy in all respects. Those with good reputations and those you can deal fairly with are the ones with whom you should do business, as they can deliver honest work – no cutting corners, unnecessary fees, and the like.

3. Efficiency
The company you should hire must be able to complete the task at the least possible time and with as little material resources as possible. Such efficient companies will save you a lot of money, as long-drawn work tends to drain a lot of cash from your funds.

4. Expertise
Know if the conversion company does their job really well. Find samples in their print materials and websites. If possible, you might even want to visit previous clients and check their lofts. Hire the company if you find their output satisfactory in terms of both function and form, but only if you can afford them. Remember, the best conversion company delivers the best possible output without being so expensive.

Before hiring a loft conversion company, always make sure that the contractor in question is trustworthy and can deliver great results in as little amount of time and resources as possible. To put it simply, the company ought to be honest and efficient, or you’ll end up spending more than you can afford.

How to Get Loft Conversion Quotes

Home extension is carried out for many different reasons. Some want more living space, some need more place to put their stuff in, and some just do it for the sake of doing it. In any case, all forms of home extension do basically the same thing: add more measures to the house’s total floor space such that the inhabitants’ needs and non-needs are ultimately satisfied.

There are several known methods to extend one’s home. While one can picture out that all these merely stretch the house on one or more sides, this is not always the case. One can always extend the edifice without letting it go beyond the area it originally occupies, provided certain conditions are met. Basements for one can be renovated to become a functional room, but that’s more or less a given to most houses with one. Meanwhile, we also have loft conversion as an alternative.

What’s Loft Conversion?

You may want to ask, “What on earth is loft conversion?” Well, a loft conversion can be simply defined as a home extension method where that oft ignored, dark, and dusty void called the attic is converted into a useful part of the house. It can function as a living space, as a mere storage area, or maybe a separate residential unit.

Loft conversion is often a preferred alternative to traditional home extension methods like first floor expansion due to the fact that it costs less time and effort to complete. To make it simple, some homeowners employ the services of loft conversion firms. Now these firms vary in how they charge their customers, being of varied expertise and approach to loft conversion. Knowing the figures involved in deals with these firms is important, especially when you are on a budget.

Finding Loft Conversion Quotes

Often, you can’t simply find how much the services of loft conversion firms cost in yellow pages and their websites. Regardless, you have the option to ask for loft conversion quotes through the following:

1. Online directories
Web directories provide search features that allow you to find conversion firms around your area, as well as the loft conversion quotes for each company. The searches may be customizable, but such sacrifices instantaneous results in order to get the best possible quotes.

2. Phone
The phone is an efficient way to get a loft conversion firm’s quotes for custom lofts in real time. You can easily find the right contact information in the conversion company’s website or the yellow pages.

3. Email
Electronic mail is also a great way to get quotes. Sending a comprehensible email to a legit conversion company will usually get you a good response. The efficiency of this medium depends on the company however, as there are still some who haven’t caught on with recent advances in telecommunications.

Asking a conversion company about loft conversion quotes is always the best way to get the price for their services. Through this, you can communicate your house’s specifications and get quotes that aren’t just right for your house but also up to your budget.

How Feasible Are Your Loft Conversion Plans?

The attic is a common feature in homes with a roof and a ceiling. Often however, this space right underneath the roof is either overlooked or made into what basically is a dump of unwanted material possessions. Whatever the case, much of the attic is generally not used, and this can be a legitimate problem. This part of the house occupies more or less 30% of a typical detached residential unit’s space, and having it taken for granted means that the house isn’t utilized to its full capacity.

Loft Conversion: A Way to Make Your Attic Useful

No wise person would want such a large space go underutilized. Instead of leaving the attic as is, they’d rather convert it to a functional part of the house. This is achieved through loft conversion, a well-known and popular house extension method wherein the attic is given structural modifications, renovation, and design overhaul so as to create a useful loft room out of it. Loft conversion, unlike other methods like first floor expansion or building an entirely new storey, does not take much time and effort, and can be cheap with proper budgeting.

What to Consider to Determine Your Loft’s Feasibility?

Making loft conversion plans is arguably the most painstaking part of the whole loft conversion process. Here you have to design the loft and subsequently calculate every single factor and figure involved. Albeit difficult, a good finalized plan can be very satisfactory, especially if you can deem it feasible at first glance.

Now feasibility is what you should always consider during the design and planning stage. Assessing it is important in order to avoid making the big mistake of building an impractical loft. Here are the important factors that can help you know whether your loft is practical or not:

1. Your loft’s design
The first thing you should assess is your design. Is it practical for your attic’s size? Is it achievable with your budget? Does it please you? If your answer to these questions is “yes”, then get the materials and start building. Otherwise, figure out what’s wrong and start again from scratch.

2. Your attic’s size
The size of your attic space is directly proportional to the amount of effort, money, and time that you’ll be spending during the conversion. Make sure that you can handle your loft’s demand of the said resources. Go back to the drawing board if you can’t and make up a better plan.

3. Your roof’s support structure
For this, here’s a simple rule to determine your loft conversion plans’ feasibility: roofing supported by rafters are safe, while those kept together by trusses can never be directly converted. If the latter is your roofing architecture, consider replacing it if you can’t afford to trash the plan.

4. Your loft conversion funds
As always, money is the key. Your loft conversion project is only feasible if your finances can afford it, and there’s no getting around this.

Before implementing your loft conversion plans, always remember to thoroughly deliberate on it. Assess the relevant factors and see if it’s feasible or not. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an impractical design, one you’ll likely give up midway into the whole process.

What to Do with all that Loft Space

Loft conversion is one great way to expand your home, especially if you are in need of extra living space or would simply want to increase your house’s value. This home extension method is basically renovating your unused loft space into a more functional room, if the right conditions as prescribed by law are met. It is by far more efficient than other ways to extend your house, as you are literally building into an existing framework, and on top of the existing structure.

Why Do a Loft Conversion?

One great reason why you should opt for loft conversion is its practicality. When converting that attic to extend your living space, you already have a structural framework – the ceiling and the roof – to build into. Also, your attic is the largest unused space in your house, so it should give you a fairly large living space post-renovation, even if you’ll only be allowed to build on a fraction of the entire loft space.

So what can you possibly make out of your loft? Here are a few examples.

  1. Convert Loft into a Bedroom
  2. Lofts commonly end up as bedrooms after conversion. Being such a huge space, attics will usually allow a set up of more than one bed. If the attic is spacious enough, you can even make multiple bedrooms instead of a simple dorm. In any case, you should always make sure the room has at least one toilet, electricity and running water.

  3. Remodel Your Attic Space for Recreation
  4. Transforming the attic into a recreational room is also not uncommon. In this case, the attic may be converted into a home theater, a room for table sports, a music room, or a hall with assorted forms of entertainment. However, these aren’t the only options. Whatever recreational function you give your attic will always depend on your own definition of entertainment or whatever indoor activities that you enjoy.

  5. Convert Your Attic into a Kitchen
  6. For cooking enthusiasts, their attics are great places to move that small kitchen downstairs. Lofts often end up as large spaces dedicated to culinary activities. The room provided by the attic is often large enough to facilitate a comfortable atmosphere that’s conducive to the flow of the chef’s creative juices.

    Loft kitchens are especially recommended to those who run a catering business. The loft space should be wide enough for multiple cooks to work in conjunction, as well as for storing of food in large quantities.

  7. Make an Office Out of Your Loft
  8. The loft, if spacious enough for work, can also be converted into an office space. This is recommended for home-based workers or people who simply can’t let any unfortunate circumstance like sickness or disease get in the way of work. Lofts should have more than enough space for paperwork, a computer and practically any other tools you’ll possibly need to perform your office tasks from home. Loft offices are also great places to prop up a small start up company.

The loft space can be transformed into just about anything that touches your preference, and the ones listed above are just a small sampling. Always remember that whatever purpose you give your converted loft should correspond with your needs, and not because you simply feel like it.