Loft conversions usually refer to either the conversion of commercial buildings into residential living space (lofts, or apartments), or the conversion of attic (and sometimes garage) space in a residential home to create extra living space of some type. Loft conversions for the home can be done by a contractor or can be do-it-yourself projects.
If you are planning on a loft conversion and need some design tips and information related to home (residential) loft conversions, you may wish to consider the following points.
- The first step will be to decide on what you plan to use the loft space for. Once you are clear about the purpose behind your loft conversion you can move on to exploring design options. You may require a guest bedroom for when people visit and stay over; alternatively you may only want to enhance the value of your property. There could be any number of reasons really but making a decision is what’s important. You cannot go forward without doing so.
- The next obvious step is to set a budget. This will depend on what you plan to do with the space. Let us assume you want a real luxury bedroom for yourself with all the bells and whistles, you are going to have to budget for it. If you plan to turn the loft into a simple guest room, you still need to budget. The trick in budgeting is to allow yourself some room for flexibility and then stay on track no matter what.
- This is your space and what you want to create out of it is entirely your choice. When you have decided on the room type you can start planning how to decorate it.
- Color scheme choices are very important. You can choose to add light and airiness to the space or make it dark and gloomy. Strive for minimalist and you will not be disappointed. Depending on personal taste you can pep up the walls by adding a two tone color scheme, one bold and one subdued. Choose colors that contrast boldly or colors that complement each other perfectly. Think about adding wall murals, wall paper, paintings – all of these bring life to walls and to the space itself.
If you plan to turn the loft into a playroom you can get fun wall murals done for the children to enjoy. Add lots of vibrant colors because that’s the symbol of youth and vitality. Plan on give the room plenty of light and ventilation and your children are sure to be happy bunnies.
If the space will be converted to a bedroom, you need to consider again lighting either natural or artificial, plenty of storage space and dimensions of furniture. You can go for broke and add mirrors and plants as well as a good painting or two.
Being clear in your mind about what you want and finding the right builder are two very important factors in successful loft conversions. Consider the ideas in this article as a launching pad to get yourself started.
The most important step in the conversion process is to know the kind of loft you have. This information will help you know and decide on what will best suit your home.
You don’t need to let this worry you as we will provide guidance on the subject. The 3 distinct categories of loft are dormer, rooflight or velux, mansard and hip to gable. Once you know the type of loft you have, planning a loft conversion to suit will fall into place.
The different types of loft conversions available
Dormer loft conversions
When there isn’t too much space in the loft, a dormer conversion may be used because it can add head room. This method involves extension onto the roof to provide the room with a more conventional shape that will suit the room. The extension will be constructed at the rear of the roof, which helps to provide floor and living space. Usually a square section, this type of construction will make optimum use of the entire living area. Adding extra depth the roof helps provide the extra space.
Rooflight or velux loft conversions
When planning to convert your loft into a single bedroom or some other smaller conversion project, velux conversions are used. It involves installing roof lights and this can be done with a minimum of fuss and disruption. You have a wide variety of designs to choose from to match sloping, flat or pitched roofs. You can choose wood or polyurethane frames that have rollers, glazing, shutters or electronic controls.
Mansard loft conversions are usually done to the rear and possibly the front of the property, which needs to be terraced or have a flat roof. The Mansard roof named after the French Architect Francois Mansart has 2 slopes and has the advantage of optimizing all of the available space in the loft. This type of loft conversion usually requires planning permission. A mansard is built by raising the gable wall on either side of the property to create the profile for a mansard and then the timber frame is built.
Hip to gable
This type of loft conversion requires the replacement of an existing roof hip with a gable end wall. Not a very easy proposition by any means and one that can be quite expensive. You will require planning permission to make alterations to the external roof, which is what the hip to gable loft conversion method does. Hip to gable conversion adds volume to a hipped roof that does not have sufficient head room. Apart from this it also helps support the load bearing beams and with the insulation.
Now that you are better informed about the different types of loft conversions, you can go ahead with your plans.