5 things you need to know about loft extensions

Don't even think about breaking into your attic till you've read this

A loft extension is the most cost-effective way to gain more space in your home, but just because it’s budget friendly, it doesn’t mean it’s a less satisfactory option. The views from a loft can be amazing and a well-designed space will be bright, dramatic and can become your penthouse suite.
Another advantage is that as a loft is relatively self-contained, early-stage access can be from outside via scaffolding, so you can continue living in the house while the work is carried out, which can save money too.

1. A basic conversion transforms an existing loft in to a habitable room, whereas a loft extension adds more cubic feet with the addition of one or more dormer windows. If a conversion of sufficient for your needs, a dedicated loft conversion company is your best bet as they may have done other jobs on your street and will know what’s permissible.

2. If you want a more bespoke build, consult an architect who can explore different options and come up with a design individual to you. ‘Bring a little more personality to the space by using materials other than just white painted plasterboard’ suggests architect Dominic McKenzie. ‘And rather than grids of recessed downlighters, consider more interesting light fittings to add individuality.’

3. Properties
built before 1975 are most likely to be suitable, although modern trussed
roof can be converted with a little more structural work. There is no
minimum height for a loft room, but anything less than about 2.2m is
impractical.

4. Ceiling
joists will need to be strengthened which may raise the floor a little but
if you can afford to lose the inches downstairs, it’s possible to lower
the original ceiling. This
can make all the difference and if you’re putting in a new floor anyway
the cost won’t be much more. A conversion also needs a permanent staircase
if it’s to be considered a proper room.

5. Consider this… Lofts are usually used to create extra bedrooms or bathrooms, but in urban areas where there is minimal light at street level they make great light-filled living rooms too.

Or even a home office space…

 

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