The loft conversion of your under-utilised roof space will add value to your home, and not just the increased selling price.
A loft conversion can have lots of benefits. If you’ve got an expanding family, but don’t want to spend extra money extending or upsizing, converting your attic into an extra bedroom could be the most economical option. By adding another room, you’ll also add value to your existing house, allowing you to sell your home for more.
Conversions are easier and cheaper than extensions, however they can still come with their challenges. There are lots of legal requirements as to what constitutes a liveable space, and these need to be adhered to.
Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take for a loft conversion that will become an extra bedroom.
Loft Conversion: Declutter
Decluttering is likely to be your first step. You may be able to relocate some of these belongings, but it’s likely there will be lots that you can sell or dispose of.
If your loft has become a dumping ground, it could be worth hiring a skip. Lots of companies offer cheap bin hire. You may want to recycle some items too.
When selling and donating items there are lots of options such as Gumtree and local flea markets. Selling items may even help contribute some money towards your conversion costs.
Loft Conversion: Fund your project
Loft conversions can vary widely in price. As a rule, they generally cost several thousands, so you may want to consider a home improvement loan. You can save a lot of money by going DIY, although you’ll probably need to hire a few professionals along the way such as electricians and plumbers to add in heating and electricity.
If you’re not going DIY, you’ll need to hire an architect and labourers to carry out the project. You may be able to use a loft conversion company who can cover all of this.
Loft Conversion: Consider the roof height
One of the first things to consider when converting your loft is the roof height. Your loft should be 2.3 metres high in order for it to be classed as a liveable space.
This measurement should be taken from the highest point – it doesn’t matter if you have slopes, so long as part of the loft reaches this height. If your loft isn’t this high, you may be able to pay to raise the roof. This requires planning permission and can be a fairly expensive process depending on the size and shape of the roof.
For those with sloped roofs, a dormer window conversion could be an option for giving you more head space. These are cheaper and easier to get planning permission for. There are lot of dormer window designs to look into.
Loft Conversion: Consider stair access
As a matter of fire safety, your loft will also need stair access – a ladder isn’t enough for it to be legally classed as a bedroom. This can be an obstacle in many cases as fitting a staircase isn’t easy.
Stairs have to abide by a maximum step height so that they aren’t too steep and can’t be too narrow either. Installing an interior staircase might involve knocking through part of another room (a small spiral staircase is likely to be the most practical option). Alternatively, you may find that an exterior fire escape is an easier option.
Loft Conversion: Insulation
Lofts can get very cold and drafty – if the room isn’t insulated, adding insulation should be your next step. There are lots of different types of insulation to research and consider. Blanket insulation if the most common and can be more easily DIYed than other insulation options.
Sheet loft insulation meanwhile is more effective, but expensive. There are then options like blown-fibre insulation that must be carried out by a professional.
Loft Conversion: Add heating and electricity
Your next step is to then add in heating and electricity. Wiring in extra plug sockets is likely to require the help of a professional electrician, whilst adding piping for radiators may require a plumber. You can strategically place plug sockets and radiators where you like. You may also want to wire in some lighting.
Loft Conversion: Add more light
Lofts can be dark spaces, so you may want to consider ways of adding more light. Artificial lighting is the easiest way to do this – you could wire in some overhead lights or use lamps. Painting the room a bright colour such as white or cream might help to reflect the light and make the room feel brighter.
Alternatively, you could pay extra to install more windows. A loft could be the perfect room to add a skylight. This might allow whoever is sleeping there a rich source of sunlight during the day, as well as the chance to see the stars at night.
Consider other features
There are other ways in which you can customise your loft space. You may have the room to build an en suite bathroom for example. Such an improvement does come with its difficulties – getting fixtures such as bathtubs into the bathroom isn’t easy. It will also add a lot to your overall cost as you’ll need to pay for additional plumbing and tiling. However, it could be a nice luxury feature that’s convenient for whoever is using the bedroom in the future.
You might even want to use the opportunity to create a balcony. This need only be a small feature for standing out on, although you may be able to build something bigger. You can even fit a dormer window that doubles up as a balcony. Balconies require planning permission, so make sure that you consider this.
You may also want to make changes to the flooring. Some lofts may contain nothing but rough floorboards, in which case you may want to lay down some carpet or lay down some polished wood. You can also take steps to strengthen loft flooring if you don’t think it’s stable enough.
Interior Design for Loft Conversions
Interior Designer, Penelope Herbert from the Adelaide-based Plush Design Interiors will help you choose colours, textiles, surfaces and furnishings for your new loft space. Clever use of colours and furniture placement wil maximsie the quality and usefulness of your beautiful new bedroom. See more abut services, fees and testimonials on www.plushdesigninteriors.com.,au/services