July 25, 2024

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Elegant home interior

KEY CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOFT CONVERSIONS

It is easier to extend your house than move, especially if your home is in a perfect location. A loft may be space for one or two bedrooms and possibly an office and bathroom space. But there are considerations to make when converting your loft. 

Note that not all lofts are suitable for conversions, and you must assess the ceiling height, roof structure, space, chimneys, and other services passing through the roof. The type of roof, your budget, and the area’s intended use determine the type of loft conversion suitable for your house. Find more news here.

Building regulations approval

Whether or not your loft conversion requires planning permission, it must be approved under building regulations. It is wise to have a detailed plan approval before finding a builder since it eliminates many risks. A building control inspector inspects the work and issues you with a completion certificate as a go-ahead.

Loft stairs installation

Apart from a slightly reduced floor to ceiling height, loft stairs are essentially the same as any other flight. Your ideal situation is to have your loft access run from the existing staircase, which is possible via a dormer if there is currently not enough headroom where the flight lands in the loft. Your other option is to repurpose another part of the floor below for the stairs, which would mean losing more space.

Reinforcing floor joists

There is a good chance you have to reinforce your loft unless it was built with extremely string attic trusses. An ideal way is to install new joists alongside the current ones, but they need to be thicker. That will raise the floor height, but the structure will be more robust. It is advisable to consult a structural engineer, especially with works affecting the structural integrity of your roof.

Loft ventilation and insulation

If you convert a loft into usable space, it needs to offer the same comforts as the other areas of your house. Therefore, you should consider loft insulation and ventilation, which means updating the insulation at the rafter level. If you intend to remove the existing roof covering, it makes sense to insulate above the rafters for improved performance. You will also need background ventilation using windows fitted with trickle vents, and fans may come in handy for additional ventilation.

Soundproofing

You also need to block out the internal and external noise. First things first, examine the materials that will make the fabric of your roof. If you want to eliminate noise from foot traffic, prioritize materials like acoustic plasterboard on the ceilings and party walls. It is advisable to use glazing products for more soundproofing and ensure air tightness. A well-laid floor deck will also help with soundproofing.

Plumbing and electric wiring

First, ensure the existing central plumbing and electric systems supply the new space. If installing a new bathroom, you may need to reposition the circuitry, the plumbing fixtures, and fittings.

conclusion

It is advisable to engage professionals when planning a loft conversion to make all the necessary considerations.