Loft conversions remain very popular amongst home owners looking to improve their property. You don’t usually have to apply for planning permission like you would if you were building an extension or fitting a pool, and you shouldn’t have to pay for any exterior construction, only interior renovations. However, if you do decide to proceed with a conversion, there are several important things that you’ll need to do as part of the process:
#1 – Take a careful look at the space
As with any big interior renovation, a loft conversion’s potential is limited to how much space is available. The first sensible step is to take a proper look at the room and work out what the design possibilities are, given its size. If you’re planning to turn it into living space, can you realistically fit a bed in? Is there going to be the room to include a TV? Will your 6’4 cousin Steve bang his head on the roof when he stays round? It’s best to work out a project is unrealistic before you start, rather than half way through it!
#2 – Plan accurately
It’s important to make a to-the-millimetre floor plan of the final design before you begin the actual renovation process. Take proper measurements of the room. If you’re not confident doing this, ask someone more experienced to help you out such as an Essex loft flooring company. If your measurements are wrong, then you might end up with a whole host of furniture that doesn’t fit!
Then, once the furniture has been measured as well, you’ll be able to set about creating an accurate map of the floor space in order to ensure that the whole design works. There are a few different software packages out there that will allow you to do this digitally, if you don’t fancy getting the pencils and graph paper out! Oh, and remember to include some ‘wiggle room’ so that the furniture doesn’t get any scrapes or scratches when it’s being moved in.
#3 – Remember to factor in natural daylight.
If you’re planning on converting the loft into a living space, then you’ll need to enable natural light to flow in from somewhere. If you don’t, the room won’t be as pleasant to stay in. Ask yourself this – would you want to stay in a hotel room that didn’t have a window?
There are a few options that you can explore in terms of natural lighting, with dormer windows and roof lights being two popular options. The windows in particular can help to provide you with extra headroom, which is never a bad thing. The room’s supply of light doesn’t have to be 100% natural – it’s normal to include some lamps here and there – but ensure that at least one window is in place.
#4 – What are you using the space for?
Most of the choices you’ll make with regards to contents will come down to the purpose of the room. For instance, creating a study that doubles as a spare bedroom will be a different process to creating a home office, as you won’t need to factor in anywhere to sleep. Another example would be if you were looking to convert the loft into a shower room or extra bathroom: you’d need to factor in the cost of the piping and the price of having the room sealed to prevent leaks.
#5 – Plan the staircase
There are plenty of loft ladders in Essex and elsewhere that will be suitable for a storage space, but a bedroom or guestroom in the loft demands something a bit snazzier! If you’ve got a narrow home then there’s nothing wrong with a narrow staircase; just ensure that it’s decorated in the same manner as either the converted space itself or the room it’s attached to. This will help improve the seamlessness of the design.
#6 – Insulate!
If you haven’t insulated the loft already, then get it done. Not only will it save you a boatload on your heating bills (up to £180 per year according to the latest figures), but it’ll also make the room itself feel cosier: ideal for those chilly winter months. It’s also worth noting that the government’s increase energy saving targets mean that anyone in the UK can currently have their loft and cavity walls insulated for free, so take advantage of a free investment!
Author Bio : Charly Daniels is a freelance writer and interior design expert, working with or researching about companies such as Use ur Loft in order to spread the word about the huge potential that conversions can offer.