Of late, one of the most popular renovation techniques is a loft conversion. What was once an industrial solution to housing problems in inner cities, lofts have rapidly become the “old is new again” trend — of creating an echelon or greater level of luxury in your home. In fact, many apartment seekers are pursuing lofts that mimic the abandoned warehouses that form the origins of true lofts.
A true loft, by definition, is a large and usually unpartitioned floor over a warehouse or industrial space. There floor can then be converted into an apartment or studio. According to Street Dictionary, lofts generally have a few things in common; concrete or brick construction is prominently featured along with exposed ductwork and plumbing. Concrete floors and ceilings also figure largely into the ambiance of lofts along with other industrial features.
Of course, it’s not just apartment and inner-city living that make these spaces so popular. By adding on a loft room or second storey above your existing home, you create more space to use for either storage, as an extra bedroom for the kids or any space you can imagine.
When converting a loft space, there are many things to consider, each of which must also be kept in mind when sourcing a professional to convert your loft space. These considerations include, to name a few, loft windows and doors, storage, floor plans, stairs, bathrooms (and plumbing therein), insulation and heating, electronica, lighting, window treatments, roof access, walls, ceilings, banisters and decoration.Â One can even go so far as to create partitions in the space, where you add walls or decorative room dividers for a sense of privacy.
When it comes to planning a loft conversion, experts from Lofts and Ladders recommend that begin by sketching your ideas for the space. From there, you should prepare the space by ridding it of any clutter.
Then, consult with plumbers, electricians and flooring experts. It is important to note that there are building regulations that must be adhered to which ensure aspects like:
- The structural strength of the new floor is sufficient
- The stability of the structure (including the existing roof) is not endangered
- Safe escape from fire
- Safely designed stairs to the new floor
- Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below.
Attic Conversions and Roofing Company experts suggest that converting a loft can be done in three steps. These are:
- Step 1: The scaffolding is erected. For the first 2 weeks of the project we will be heard and not seen as all the work to create the loft rooms and new roof takes place above your existing ceilings. All interior specifications are mostly completed.
- Step 2: Then comes the ‘knock through’ when your existing roof hatch is sealed and a new opening is created to take the stairs to your almost completed loft.
- Step 3: Finally the stairs are fitted and you can enter your finished loft.
However you decide to do it, adding a loft to an existing space is a wonderful solution for a multitude of things — from a teenager insisting upon added privacy from the family to a home that needs more storage solutions.
Sources: Attic Conversions and Roofing Co.,Double-Up Roofroom Specialists, Lofts & Ladders, Planning Portal, Street Dictionary, The Loft Shop