12 Aug 5 top tips for the perfect loft conversion
The perfect loft conversion is a very personal thing. What you may love, I might question and vice versa. However, there are a few things that should be considered on any conversion project that we’ll share with you here – things that could make all the difference when you’re creating your perfect loft conversion.
When thinking about a loft conversion there are two fundamental things to consider – the costs involved and the opportunities you can maximise. Planning may well be at the root of both of these. Do you know whether you need planning permission or if your lofty plans can be actioned under ‘permitted development’ rules? Time and money can be wasted applying for planning permission that is not needed, not applying when it is needed, or either over- or under-estimating what you can do with your loft space. If you want to create the perfect loft conversion for your home and your budget, then you need to ask the right questions of the right people to determine your planning limitations and opportunities. This is especially important if you wish to make a statement with your architectural design.
Loft spaces are rarely sizeable, but you can maximise what you have with the help of a good builder and architect. The concept of space can be divided into two areas: physical space and perceived space. Your physical space can be optimised in many ways, including raising your roof pitch, clever storage space, smart balcony systems and, of course, knowing just how far you can push your design. The perception of space can often be improved with the help of natural light, so larger windows, French doors, Juliet balconies or Velux windows can all add to the natural illumination of a room, making it feel larger.
It may not be as ‘sexy’ as underfloor heating or floor-to-ceiling windows, but safety must be a concern on any construction project. When it comes to loft conversions, arguably the most important safety consideration is compliance with fire regulations which will determine everything from the doors you hang to the escape routes you build into your project. There are a huge number of factors to consider, so ask your builder for guidance on what you need to know, what they need to evidence, and whether any of these considerations might impact on the designs you are looking to develop into reality.
The perfect loft conversion may be a living space, a working space or a sleeping space, but no matter what you are using it for, you’ll need to ensure that the room is efficiently heated and serviced. Additional space requires an assessment of boiler capacity to ensure that it can cope with the added demand. Water pressure needs to be checked to make sure that it will be acceptable in the new storey and whether a pump will be needed. And insulation needs to be carefully considered as without this. the temperature fluctuation in a loft space may make it unusable at certain times of the year and incredibly inefficient to heat. Cost of use must be factored into any loft conversion project as skimping on the build could cost you dearly later on.
The perfect loft conversion should have something special about it. This will be your opportunity to stamp your personality on your space in the clouds – possibly the first opportunity you have had to create a space from scratch to be what you wish it to be. So, whether you’re looking for masses of natural light for an art studio, state-of-the-art technology for a home office, a smart king-sized bed for your new bedroom or a marble tiled wet room as your en suite, create your perfect loft conversion with a little added flair.