Most homeowners face a lack of space in a house to cater to the growing family’s needs. Instead of moving to a new home or carrying out a house extension, you could opt for a loft conversion.
Loft conversion is a cost-effective and simple solution to space issues in a home. It saves you the stress of moving to a new place while adding value to your current home at an affordable cost. Different types of loft conversions like the dormer loft conversion are available to turn your loft into a bedroom.
Below, you’ll find information about the process involved in converting a loft to a bedroom to help you decide if you want to carry out a loft conversion.
Before the loft conversion
When you want to carry out any outdoor or indoor renovation, including a loft conversion, you need to consider several things to help you plan properly for the work. You have to consider the cost of the work and have a set plan. This enables you to avoid running into problems during the construction.
Converting a loft into a bedroom can involve simple work like installing a staircase to access the loft, or it could be as complicated as building new walls to accommodate the loft. Here are some things you have to consider when planning your loft conversion.
Can I convert my loft into a bedroom?
Your loft has to meet certain specifications which qualify it for a loft conversion. If you want your loft to meet the building regulation requirement to get converted to a bedroom, you must consider some design factors.
Your ceiling height is one factor to consider because anyone using the converted loft as a bedroom needs to feel comfortable. Being comfortable may not be possible if the person always has to bend to avoid bumping their head on the ceiling. You also need to ensure all angles in the loft are up to a certain height.
If your ceiling height is low, you may decide to raise the affected part of the roof or lower the room’s ceiling below the loft.
Building permits and code
Before you carry out any form of constriction work in your home, you have to check with your local building authority if the project you intend to carry out meets the set standards and whether or not you need a building permit.
If your neighbourhood has a homeowner’s association, you also need to consult them. Building codes to get a permit varies between locations, but there are certain standards throughout the country.
A building code is a collection of building regulations and safety standards every structure must pass during an inspection. If you intend to sell or rent the house in the future, it must meet the building code. Although a loft conversion can give you an extra bedroom, you cannot list the loft as a bedroom if you do not meet the set building code while converting the loft to a bedroom.
The level of a construction project like a loft conversion will determine its cost. If you want to add extra walls or close off the loft, then it would cost you more compared to adding only a new railing. You will also spend more if you want to change the roofline or lower the rooms’ ceilings below your loft.
The most expensive loft conversion is usually creating a full master’s suite. This type of loft conversion requires new plumbing and electrical work in the room. The average cost of a loft conversion in London is about £25,000.
DIY or contractors
The complexity of a loft conversion varies, depending on the design and your specific requirement for the conversion. You may be able to complete certain parts of the conversion project yourself, like closing off space if you have some DIY experience, but some parts of the project need a professional.
For example, lowering a ceiling or altering your home’s roofline requires you to get a professional because any work that changes your home structure needs to be stable and done correctly.
During the loft conversion
After you have concluded your loft conversion planning, you can start the building process, but ensure you keep your design in mind while converting the loft. Planning the floors or walls of your new loft helps you define the style you want for the room before furnishing.
Below are some design options you have to consider during the loft conversion.
Enclosing the loft
A loft is usually open to other parts of the house, but if you want to convert your loft to a bedroom, you may want to add some privacy by closing off a part of the loft. You can do this in different ways, like extending your existing railings, or you may decide to make a full or half wall to close off the loft completely and creates a room with maximum privacy.
A full wall requires breaking up the solid space, and you may want to add windows that you can open when you are not using the room to ventilate other parts of the house. A more flexible option for loft walls is using indoor shutters that you can fold back against the wall. This allows you to have a closed or open loft.
Your ceiling height is the most crucial element in creating a comfortable bedroom in your loft. A low ceiling or steep roof will keep you uncomfortable in your new loft bedroom, so you need a professional to either lower the ceiling or alter the roofline.
If you decide to raise your roof, the professional will remove that section of your roof, replace it and seal it to make it weatherproof and durable. If you opt for lowering the ceiling of the rooms below, you will remove the floor joists of the loft and existing ceiling; then the contractor will bolt a steel plate to your wall to support the new loft floor joists to ensure the new loft floor is strong enough to carry the weight of your loft. Lowering your ceiling always involves lowering half the wall or your existing railings that block the loft.
Windows are a major factor to consider. They allow air and light into the loft, making it look bigger. You may need to add windows after converting your loft to a bedroom. Most people opt for dormer windows.
Adding a dormer window requires getting permits, and you have to alter the exterior walls. Although the process seems complicated, it gives you a large window that allows a lot of light into your loft. A dormer window also creates a perfect nook for a window seat and adds a unique design to your home.
A dormer window is also perfect if you do not want to cut off the rest of your house from the extra natural light, and it gives the illusion of a higher ceiling.
You need a safe and easy way to access your loft if you intend to convert it to a loft. Different staircase designs for lofts are available. The most popular options include loft ladders, spiral, and traditional stairs.
Loft ladders are perfect for a home with limited space, but they are not suitable for heavy foot traffic. They are usually unstable and may not meet the building code.
Traditional stairs are suitable for homes with sufficient space and the most stable type of stairs. They can withstand heavy traffic, but it is not easy to alter their shape to fit a loft entrance. If you get traditional stairs with a small footprint, your stairs will be steep.
Spiral stairs have a small footprint of loft ladders and the stability of traditional stairs. It offers a flexible entry and exit point, and it has different customisable designs.
Designing the loft
When you complete the building phase of your loft conversion, the next thing to consider is designing your newly converted loft into a unique space to fit your style. You may decide to design your loft to fit the style in other parts of your house or create a different style.
You may decide to use any design for your loft. The most common design is the industrial lofts used mostly in urban settings. You could use metal accents and exposed brick walls to define your furniture.
A more streamlined design is also possible using décor and furniture with simple colours and feature clean lines. Accent pieces can add a pop of colour to your loft design and have a playful design in your loft.
You may decide to design the loft to look like a small getaway space using lightweight and pastel fabrics with a large window that allows lots of natural light into the room.
Most people see furniture as an essential part of a bedroom, so you want to have comfortable but beautiful furniture in your loft. You also have to consider the space in your loft while choosing your furniture.
The best furniture options may be multifunctional furniture that provides you with storage space and a comfortable piece to relax on. You can opt for under bed storage with a bedframe that has space for a bookshelf. A bookshelf can serve as a privacy screen and storage if you opt for an open loft.
Bedroom loft conversion
Converting a loft into a bedroom is something every homeowner looking to create extra space in the home should consider. You can create a unique space with a beautiful design to suit your growing family. Loft conversions like a dormer loft conversion London may seem like a huge task, but you do not need to stress yourself with an expert loft conversion company.
You can contact Loft London today on 020 7100 5428 for more information on converting your loft into a bedroom.