Guide to Loft Conversions

In the current economic climate, more and more of us are choosing to stay put in our current home rather than trying to negotiate the housing market and move to somewhere bigger. This has led to a boom in the home improvements market, with loft conversions and extensions the ideal way to expand space and stay in your home.

Planning

In most areas, planning permission is not needed if you are extending into your loft, as long as you are not changing the current roof line. You will be allowed to put in flush Velux style windows, but adding a dormer will need planning permission. The planning process can be lengthy, and if neighbours have had consent refused it is likely the decision will not go in your favour. Even if planning is not required, the extension must be approved by the Council’s Building Control department. If your loft extension will take your home to three storeys, there are many other regulations such as fire doors and hard wired smoke alarms which should be built in at the planning stage. It is best to get a professional architect to draw up plans for you.

Loft Conversions

Using the Space

Again an architect is the best person to help you get the best out of your loft space, but most houses can accommodate a large master bedroom and an en suite bathroom or shower room. Sloping ceilings can cause problems when planning where to put the furniture so before buying your Corona bedroom furniture think about the space available and how best to use it. Sloping eaves can be boxed off to make useful storage space and there are wardrobe companies who can make custom made wardrobes to fit even the most awkward of spaces. The position of the bathroom may depend on the best access for plumbing and drainage, so be guided by the advice of your architect.

Building

It’s always best to get a builder through personal recommendation, so ask friends and neighbours living locally whether they would recommend people who have done work on their houses. Get at least three quotes for comparison, and ask the builders about timescales for the project. Never pay for the whole job upfront, negotiate with the builder for payments by installment as the work progresses.

Decorating and Furniture

There is no point buying that gorgeous Corona pine wardrobe if it won’t fit up the stairs into your new loft, so ensure you have a good understanding of what the space will look like and what kind of furniture you want before hitting the shops or internet. If your loft conversion room is above other bedrooms, consider carpet rather than hard floors which can be noisy. Decisions about paint colour or wallpaper are a matter of taste, but the small wall space and high levels of natural light mean that you can often get away with brighter colours than in other rooms in the house. For simplicity, choose flatpacked items where possible so that you can build them in the room and avoid difficulties with narrow stairs.

Great value furniture such as the Corona Bedroom furniture brand can be found at National furniture.