Making the most of your attic or loft space
Posted on 16th April 2021 at 16:18
If you are looking to create more space in your home, and you have an attic, you might be surprised at how much additional space you actually have and how much more efficiently you could be using it.
It is often a more cost-effective way of adding on additional square footage to your property, although you will be limited in how you might want to utilise the space. Using an attic room may be created into an additional bedroom or two depending on the size of the room, or adding in a bathroom or shower room to make the space independent from the other floors.
Will I need building regulations for a loft conversion?
Yes, you will, building regulations are required to convert your loft or attic space into a new room. (this may not be required if you are boarding out your loft for storage but it is always a good idea to contact your Local Authority)
If converting an attic, you are going to need to consider a number of factors:
Insulation – thermal efficiency
Fire/Safety – escape routes, fire safety doors, 30 mins resistant materials
Access – Staircases
Take a look at the Governments website for The Planning Portal for a more accurate picture of what is required
There are generally 6 types of loft conversions you can choose
Velux Loft Conversion
This type of loft conversion is also known as a Roof Light conversion, it is probably the cheapest of the conversions available as you are not changing the shape of the roof structure, but it will give you limited additional space in the room areas. They are also good if there are restrictions with planning. Having a space that has good head room is essential for this type of conversion.
L-Shaped Dormer, Loft Conversion
These types of loft conversions are very popular with mid-terraced properties with a two-storey extension at the rear, due to the space available you are often able to create 2 bedrooms and a bathroom with a separate stair access.
Mansard Loft Conversion
The main difference between this and a full dormer is there is a slope of 72degrees at the face of the dormer making it look easier on the eye, but you will be giving up a small amount of space.
Rear Dormer Loft Conversion
This is very similar to a Mansard, but with a vertical wall, both have a flat roof at the top of the extension to provide additional head room. It is worth noting the average life span of a flat roof is 20 years in comparison to a tiled or slate roof that will often last up to 100 years and sometimes longer.
Making sure you build this into your budget if you intend to stay in the property longer than 20 years as maintaining or replacing the flat roof will certainly have additional costs such as scaffolding. This is the conversion that provides you with the maximum amount of space.
Pitched Roof Dormer Loft Conversion
These are often popular in Bungalows or properties that have planning restrictions due to being in conservation areas, you can utilise the dormer windows at the rear of the property and therefor not changing the front of the property. If you decided you wanted to have windows at the front planning permission would have to be applied for and this can be a lengthy process.
Hip to Gable Loft Conversion
This is a great way to extend the space but is going to require a change to the roofing structure, these are very popular with end of terrace properties and semi-detached homes.
One other thing to consider when looking at the costs of a loft conversion
Every loft conversion is going to require scaffolding, this can increase your budget considerable especially if you need a tin hat, to encapsulate the roof area during the works, you may also need a pavement licence and its work talking to your local authority first to find out how easy that application process is going to be.
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