Converting your attic into a functional room is a fantastic way to add value to your home. However, it can become very costly to convert and sometimes you don’t always see the high return that you’re expecting. In this article we’re going to look at some simple ways you can convert your loft into a functional living space or office space without breaking the bank.
How much does a loft conversion cost?
Depending on the extent of your loft conversion, a basic conversion will cost anywhere upwards of £15,000. However, the price will fluctuate depending on how much plumbing, electrical and structural work will be required. Adding options such as a dormer loft conversion can also impact the price of the building work.
How to plan your attic conversion
When you start with any major home improvement task, planning is key. With that in mind, before you start any loft conversion, you need to work out what your new living space is going to be used for.
If you’re using it as an extra bedroom then the space will need to be designed differently to if you were going to use it as an office space. If you’re looking at adding an en suite into the new space, then you’ll have to plan the plumbing and extra space.
Planning permission for attic conversions
It’s very rare that you’ll need to get planning permission for an attic conversion. This is especially true in the case of affordable attic conversions. This is because most attic conversions fall under the permitted development legislation.
However, there are some guidelines you’ll need to follow in order to not require planning permission. To find out if you need planning permission it’s always worth talking to an architect or a builder to confirm.
It’s important to note that all building and structural work carried out in a loft conversion should meet building regulations and be signed off by a professional that’s overseeing the work such as a structural engineer.
Access your loft space
When thinking about access to your new roof space there are a couple of options available. If your new space is going to used purely as a storage space, then consider installing a loft ladder that can be folded away when not in use.
However, if your new loft space is going to be habitable, then building regulations may require you to have a full staircase fitted. Consult with your local authority beforehand to find out what building regulations require.
Making the attic conversion safe
Typically, your existing floor joists won’t be able to support a loft extension. These will need to be replaced with bigger and sturdier joists. Sound installation is required in between habitable rooms in order to comply with building control regulations and this will need to be taken into account when replacing the floor.
Windows & natural light
As with any of the structural changes in loft conversion, there are regulations around what types of windows you can have. It’s important that you consult an architect or building professional before carrying out any of these changes.
The most simple way to get light into an attic room is to install a roof light window. These are simple to install, but be aware, if you’re going to cut through the rafters in order to install these windows, then you may need to install new rafters to take the load.
Designing your loft conversion
Once all the structural components of the loft conversion have been completed it’s time to design it. This is where you can add your own unique stamp on the usable space and make it yours.
Colours & Light
When it comes to attics, they’re by nature dark and lack a lot of natural light. By picking out neutral and light colours to paint the loft space with, you’ll promote natural light and it will feel less like an attic.
Using mirrors will help bounce around natural light and can also make the room seem bigger. Mirrors are used a lot in interior design, and some of our most popular sliding doors are mirrored.
Loft Conversion Storage
With most attic conversions there are eaves that have too small head height to be functional. With sliding wardrobe doors you can turn the unused eave spaces into a functional storage. Here are some attic conversion storage ideas. Check out our full range of made-to-measure, fitted sliding wardrobe doors.