Loft Conversion: Practical Considerations

Loft Conversion Advice

Realising the potential of your loft

If you are looking for some extra space in the home, why not consider a loft conversion? It is much more cost effective and less stressful than moving home, is cheaper and better for space than building a ground extension and, best of all, it can add significant value to your home – up to 25% on the original value. When planning a loft, there are some practical considerations that you should take into account.

Space

The space that you have available will go a long way to determining the type of loft conversion you can have. If you loft has vast amounts of space, then you may be able to choose a Velux conversion, this will involve no changes to the roof and is by far the cheapest of any loft job. If however there is a lack of space, you are going to need to create some. This will probably mean a dormer conversion is needed. This will give you the required space but will be a much more expensive job to complete.

A general rule of thumb with lofts is that if the space from floor to the tallest part of the ceiling measures 230cm, you will have the required height needed for a conversion.

Access

Access will also be important. If the loft is being turned into a “habitable room”, for example, a bedroom, bathroom or playroom, it must have a permanent staircase. You will need to think about the space you are going to be losing below when installing a staircase; therefore it can be wise to use stairs that are less wide than those on lower floors. A staircase must also provide 210cm of headroom.

Safety

Safety is of paramount importance for obvious reasons. Fire regulations should be at the top of the list in any plans; this will mean purchasing materials that comply with building regulations in terms of fire resistance. Smoke alarms, escape access and sprinkler systems will also be required. Existing doors in a two storey home will also need to be replaced for fire resistant alternatives.

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