Are you thinking to add more space to your house? If yes, then a loft conversion might be the right thing for you. Most houses use loft areas for storage purposes but you can always change it as an important part of the living space. Other than adding new space to the home, converting a loft may add up to nearly 20% worth to your property. Go through this post to know how you can plan and build your new loft conversions in London.
Is it possible to convert the loft?
The first thing to consider you start a project is whether or not the loft is suitable to change into the living space. Thankfully, most lofts can be though there are three things to check beforehand.
Step 1: Check internal height of your loft
You need to check the height of the roof in the loft. The perfect height from the ceiling joist to the ridge board should be at least 2500 mm.
Step 2: Check the pitch of the roof
This is where you can measure the roof’s angle which means the higher the angle is, the more will be available headroom in the finished space and the easier the loft conversion will be.
Step 3: Check the footprint of your space
Then you have to calculate the internal space of your loft. Ideally, they should be able to measure 5500 mm side to side which includes chimneys and 7500 mm front to back.
Step 4: Consider the structure of the roof
The two roof structures are cut roofs or trussed. While a cut roof consists of joists, purlins and rafters in a triangular shape, the trussed kind of roof with W-shaped trusses runs through a cross-section. Trusses require additional support that a master builder or structural engineer may help with.
Different kinds of loft conversions
In the UK, you will find five types of loft conversion. These are – dormer, roof light, hip to gable, mansard and modular. Your decision depends on the present structure of the roof, planning restrictions and estimated budget. A professional should be able to help with what needs to be done.
- Dormer loft conversions – These conversions are made vertically from feature standard windows and sloping roofs. This type of loft conversion is simple, popular and affordable.
- Mansard loft conversions – The conversions may need planning permission though they are very costly. Mansard lofts are a suitable choice for period buildings and those who want en-suite bathrooms as it adds an entirely new storey extension.
- Hip to gable loft conversions – These conversions straighten the sloped part of a roof and then build the end wall for creating a new gable. This is certainly a suitable choice for bungalows.
- Rooflight loft conversions – This is a good option for smaller lofts and loft bedrooms. It is among the inexpensive options for a loft conversion and leads to minimal disruption to the home.
- Modular loft conversions – These lofts are ready-made and can be craned into position. The quick process requires less labor in your home for lessening the disruption to your lives.
How to plan for and design your loft space
Once you know the loft area is suitable for conversion, you need to think about what you should do for using additional space. Many families want to add an extra bedroom for the guests or they want to convert the space into an office.
Families with small kids may change loft space into playrooms that can become guest bedrooms till the children grow. If the area is really big, then you can plan to rent it out for your additional income.
The most important thing to consider planning to use loft space is headroom. These angled ceilings will make it really difficult to include – certain pieces of furniture or use space for different functions. The lofts are actually comfortable spaces that seem to be good places for studying, playing or sleeping.
Bathrooms in loft conversions
If you are changing the loft conversion into an extra bedroom, then you may like to include an en-suite bathroom too. This means you require the help of an experienced builder though a plumber can also install bathrooms.
Before thinking about loft bathroom ideas, you will have to take up certain challenges and discuss them with the builder:
- Disposal of wastewater
- Water pressure
- Reinforce the floor to endure weight
- Leak proofing, damp proofing and flood proofing
Do It Yourself versus Professionals Help
Though it is possible for a DIY loft conversion and may be inexpensive, loft conversions have some challenges which involve a consultation call to get the approval of building regulations. In order to ensure your building project should be executed smoothly, you should take the help of professionals who will supervise your build before you manage the project on your own.
When choosing the tradesmen, check their years of experience with a similar project, feedback from previous customers, whether they have valid insurance and if you can build a good relationship with them. It is advisable to get at least three quotes when taking any decision and not select the inexpensive option.
You may take the help of a reputed loft conversion company where specialists can help in converting loft space. This is a one-stop solution for designing and building through an experienced builder who can provide similar services. Make sure you conduct thorough research in advance so that you may hire a professional that can work on your project within your estimated budget.
Select the type of flooring
Each type of loft floor begins with boarding and it is quite easy to board your loft when you can choose DIY and reduce the costs. Some flooring options include – hardwood, laminate and carpet. The hardwood flooring appears modern but they complement by exposed beams or wood in the loft. The carpet is a suitable choice for your bedrooms as it appears comfy and keeps the room warmer. Laminate is an inexpensive option with customized opportunities and is a good choice for functional rooms such as playrooms and offices.
Good windows are a necessity
The loft will provide better views of your local area and so, windows are a necessity. The style of windows you select will depend on the kind of loft conversion you have opted for.
The main kinds include – dormers, skylights and gable-end. Dormer windows are associated with lofts in the UK. These are vertical and seemingly cut out of the wall with extra headroom. Skylights are a good choice for light and gable-end windows have a feature window. They are triangular in shape and a great choice for a balcony.
The natural light is the rescuer of loft space and so, choosing the right window is essential. You should consider the ambiance you want to create for lighting fixtures and work from there. Airy space and light make it convenient to think about the ideal design for your loft conversion.
Spotlights are a modern choice that provides plenty of light and is less obtrusive. Choosing the traditional ceiling lights, from pendants to different chandeliers, you will be able to select the placement of your lights though it does not have to be in the middle. You may want to install sockets behind bedside tables for the lamps.
How much time will a loft conversion require?
Every project of loft conversion is different from the start to the end and so, it will take almost eight or six weeks to complete. There are several factors involved such as – the kind of loft conversion, the builders you select and whether or not you need the help of a plumber.
Firstly, you will require a proper evaluation of the roof structure. If your conversions need planning permissions, then get them from the local authority before your builder may sketch new plans. After this, you have to get approval from the building control.
Now, it is the right time to hire professionals. Choose your plumbers and builders for getting the written contract. Then you have to confirm what you want to do and start prepping the space. This means removing chimney stacks or wiring by taking the advice of professionals.
The next step involves fitting new floor joists, with pipework or wiring, if needed. The floors will have to be insulated and lay the floorboards. Then the rafters are reinforced and when you install dormer windows, the roof will need to be removed. After this, the loft will be fitted with windows, roof lights and stairs. The roof will be insulated and weather-proofed.
Finally, it is essentially decorating, electrics and plumbing left. This may involve the installation of access panels, fitting skirting boards, plaster boarding and adding floor and wall tiles.
Thus, lofts are actually a functional addition to any house where you can attain a level of coziness that cannot be found elsewhere. With loft conversion in London, you will be able to use extra space in the house according to your purpose.