- December 21, 2020
LOFT CONVERSION RENOVATION – A loft conversion is one of the easiest ways of adding space to your home. Depending on the roof structure and planning constraints, almost all houses can benefit from this type of extension with a bit of basic planning.
Converting your loft makes better use of existing space, so you don’t have to sacrifice any outdoor space by building an extension. But it can be a tricky project. You will often need to work with odd angles and sloping ceilings and figure out how to bring in natural light and insulate the space.
1. SMALL LOFT CONVERSION IDEAS: IS YOURS BIG ENOUGH?
If you’re browsing small loft conversion ideas – perhaps a small, child’s bedroom, a home office, maybe even a kids’ TV room or teen crash pad, first work out whether your small loft is even big enough to convert.
Lofts with a minimum head height of 2.3m are usually seen as fit to convert, although obstacles like chimneys or water tanks, as well as the pitch of the roof, can also affect this decision.
If the roof space is less than 2.3m, don’t throw away your dreams of a conversion, as there are other options available. Removing sections of the roof, or all of it, makes it possible to gain the required headspace, however, this adds to the cost and requires planning permission, unlike a more simple conversion. Alternatively, it is possible to lower the ceiling of the rooms below – again, this is more costly. You could also opt for a modular conversion – built off site and installed afterwards.
2. CHOOSE DESIGN IDEAS THAT EMBRACE ITS PROPORTIONS
If your loft conversion is on the smaller side, or you’re opting for a couple of small rooms as opposed to one large one, take advantage of the naturally cosy feel offered by small spaces.
While opting for a light coloured scheme – you really can’t beat white – has the power to make a room feel larger and lighter, it needs to be balanced out to prevent it from feeling too clinical.
Pair with warm woods and the occasional soft furnishing in a deeper shade to ensure the room feels cosy and welcoming – this is especially important if you intend to use the space as a spare room.
Use these cosy bedroom decorating ideas for more inspiration.loft conversion with sloping ceilings, exposed brick wall and double bed
3. PLAN THE FURNITURE’S LAYOUT AT DESIGN STAGE
You need to consider the layout of your completed loft conversion long before you start work. This means deciding where you will position pieces of furniture, the bathroom and any built-in storage.If you are planning an en suite, take into account the ceiling height in the space and prioritise pieces – namely the shower and hand basin – that cannot compromise on headroom.
4. GET THE BEST FROM THE SPACE WITH PROFESSIONAL KNOW HOW
When it comes to the design, there are two main options:
1. The first is to commission a designer, such as an architect or architectural technologist, to produce drawings, which can be put out to builders on a competitive tender basis. You will be able to steer the designer to create exactly what you want, but fees for what is a relatively small project may be high as a proportion of overall costs, and you’ll also need to hire a structural engineer.
2. The other option is to hand the whole project over to a design-and-build contractor, who will have a designer, engineer and builders in their team. They might be less creative in design terms, but the all-inclusive price is a benefit.
5. MAXIMISE THE DAYLIGHT IN YOUR LOFT CONVERSION
Taking time to think about the size and position of your windows is an important aspect of a loft conversion design. As a general rule, glazing should make up 20 per cent of the roof area if you’re keen to maximise natural light.
The position of the windows will often be dictated by the shape of the roof; for example, a long, shallow room will benefit from windows spaced evenly along its length, whereas a narrow, deeper room will benefit from one large window.
‘Since each room varies in shape and size, consider what type of window is required,’ advises Grant Sneddon, daylight expert at VELUX. ‘A top-hung option when the window is within arm’s reach allows an unspoiled view and more headroom, while a centre-pivot window, operated by a rod, or electronically, is best if the window is out of reach.’
Use our guide to maximizing daylight to get tons more tips for bringing light into your loft conversion. And see our guide to blinds for loft conversion windows to ensure you can make it perfectly dark when you want to, too.
6. USE A LOFT CONVERSION RENOVATION TO BALANCE OUT YOUR HOUSE
If you have all the living space you need downstairs but are lacking bedrooms and bathrooms, then a loft conversion can be the perfect way to bring your home into proportion. Most loft conversions are used for an extra bedroom or two with en suite bathroom. Other popular uses include a teenage den, cinema room or home office. If your home has amazing views, you could consider moving some of the living spaces up into the new loft too, to take advantage of them.