James Mitchell

Space in an urban setting is a premium. New construction can only allow so much space for each household. In addition, increasing the floor area of a new apartment or house inordinately increases the cost. In Banstead, home loft conversions are used to increase the living space without the need for external construction. The attic is converted to an extra room or additional living space with a fraction of the cost of adding a room on the ground floor.

Types of Conversions

There are several types of conversions to choose from. The basic and cheapest is the Velux conversion. Typically, a window or skylight is added directly to the roof. The window is flush to the existing roof. There is no need to raise the roof or lower the floor. The conversion allows more light to enter the converted attic. This also helps with the room’s ventilation.

A dormer conversion is another way to allow more light into the room. However, instead of being flush to the roof, the window is framed in a box which extends from the roof. There are a couple of styles to choose from. The window is attached to an extension which in turn also adds more space to the room.

Hip to gable conversion necessitates a bigger budget. Instead of just an extension for the window, the extension can be as large as the wall. One wall is extended upward, the sloping roof for that portion is also removed, and a new vertical wall is constructed. In some instances, the whole roof may be removed and then put back again. Alternatively, it can be rebuilt after the extension has been built.

The Mansard conversion is the most radical loft conversion. One side of the roof is converted to two slopes. The top slope is almost horizontal, while the connection section has about a 70-degree slope. In addition, the windows are usually of a dormer conversion. This provides plenty of floor space for people to use. It is great for an office space.

Managing Expectations

Man doing construction on the attic

Loft conversions are a compromise. These provide just enough space for a single purpose such as additional sleeping space or an office. However, there is usually not enough space for more than two beds. It would be hard to squeeze in a toilet and bath. There is also the obvious problem of headroom. People can walk only along the center of the room, under the highest portion of the roof. Even after conversion, the usable portion of the room does not cover the whole floor area. It takes some creativity to work around the limitations and maximise the available space. The same is true with the windows. The stairs may have to be rebuilt as well. Other design considerations include the electrical wiring, plumbing for a toilet and bath, heating, and insulation. The builder will also have to rethink about the location of the support structures, including load-bearing walls and posts.

A loft conversion is the easiest and least costly way to add space to a house. However, it is not always easy to create the much-coveted space. It takes planning, creative design, and an experienced team to create a loft that meets the needs of the homeowner.

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