What is a Loft Conversion? |
A loft conversion is a project taken to transform unused attic space into functional space for a home. Installing a loft conversion is a complicated process due to the specialty trades needed to carry out the project. It is possible for one to attempt a "do-it-yourself" project, however the large amount of work and skilled trades needed to convert a loft often results in many people deciding to hire a skilled building company to get the job done.
How does one know if their attic can be converted into a loft?
Before hiring a contractor, there are a few things you can check yourself to know whether or not it's feasible.
Measure the distance from the floor to the ridge of the roof (the highest peak). A minimum measurement of 2.3 meters is required to allow enough headroom. Now measure the distance from the stairs to the ceiling above the stairs. A minimum measurement of two meters is required here. If the measurements are okay, your attic is most likely feasible for a loft conversion project.
You may also want to inspect the roof for any signs of water damage. Dark stains on the roof rafters usually indicates that this problem exists. If so, you will need roof repairs before in addition to the standard construction. Most building companies can provide this service along with the loft conversion process.
Types of Loft Conversions
There are two standard types of loft conversions and the most common is a roof window conversion. This is simply adding large windows to the roof of one's attic which greatly improve the light in the space and improve the general image of one's home. It is also a fairly simple project which doesn't necessitate the restructuring of the roof itself.
The next type is a dormer conversion. A dormer is an extension of the roof which is window-featured, usually installed to provide more space in the loft. Dormers are popular due to the enhancing image they provide to the property.
Legal regulations required for Loft Conversion projects
When one plans on converting their attic into a loft, certain building control regulations are required. These requirements are in place to ensure the plans and construction are done properly to ensure the safety of the space for those using it. A professional loft conversion company will normally handle these regulations and will liaise with the proper local authorities for you. Planning permission is generally not required unless the work involves extending the roof or greatly enlarging the space.
The benefits of loft conversion projects
Loft conversions have become extremely popular over the last five years, and this may be due to their numerous benefits for home owners. Often, attics go unused in homes despite the fact that up to 30% of a property's potential space is located in the loft area. Converting the attic into a loft can therefore greatly increase the usable space in a home by adding on an additional room that can be used for a wide variety of accommodation. Typical uses include a bedroom, office, bathroom, or entertainment room.
Loft conversions will typically add a significant amount of money to the property value of a home. While this figure obviously varies, creditable sources have stated that a loft conversion can increase property value by up to 20%.
Besides increasing property value, loft conversions are a great way to add usable space to one's home without have to ensure the stressful and pricey process of buying a new home.
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