Loft conversions Sydney are one of the most popular major home improvements made in the UK every year. Along with the addition of a conservatory, they remain one of the most cost effective ways to add more living space to a home.
Converting your loft can be tackled by a specialist company who will have experience in converting many different loft shapes and sizes, or as a D.I.Y project for the more adventurous.
Whichever route you choose, D.I.Y or custom built by a professional loft conversion company, you will need to obtain planning permission from your local county council before beginning its construction. Failure to do so can result in a large fine.
Possibly the largest deciding factor when considering the viability of a loft conversion for your home, is the suitability of the loft floor itself.
Many older homes in the UK, especially those which were hastily erected during World War II to house evacuees, do not have a proper floor in the loft area.
These houses have simple beams, with the ceiling boards or plaster of the ceiling below clearly visible below and between them. Moving around in this kind of loft space means balancing from beam to beam and trying not to lose your balance and put your foot through the ceiling below.
If your home does not currently have a proper loft floor, you must consider that not only will having a proper floor laid in your loft be a necessity; you may also need to have the beams strengthened, as they were never designed to bare a consistent load.
Once you have tackled the viability of your current loft floor and overcome any possible obstacles the next consideration is the kind of space you wish to create.
Often the easiest and therefore cheapest way to build a conversion is to create a box shape within the loft area, and put up walls around it. This is quick and easy, but does not make the best use of the entire loft space.
A more expensive way to perform a conversion is to turn the underside of the roof into sloping walks, creating a triangular room going all the way down to the eves.
The most common way of tackling a loft conversion sits somewhere between the hacked off box shape and the full conversion, with the roof itself being used as a boundary, down the slope and then adding short upright walls towards the edges.
Lighting is also an important consideration for your loft conversion. Sure, you can use artificial light in the loft area, but this is no substitute for real sunlight.
If you are lucky enough to have skylights in your roof, you can simply replace them with something more aesthetically pleasing.
If you do not currently have skylights in your roof, you may wish to include some form of natural lighting in the design of your loft conversion.
Most conversions are undertaken for one of three specific reasons, either to add an extra bedroom, provide some play space for young children, or as a den. Depending upon your particular use, there are a few specific considerations.
If your loft conversion is being made to add an extra bedroom to your home, you will definitely want to think about making sure there is some natural light.
If the conversion you are considering is designed to make a play space for your children, you are going to need to think about safety. Most notably the access method, young children and a folding ladder are a recipe for disaster, consider having proper stairs built.
If you intend to use your newly completed loft conversion as a den, and especially a young males den, you might like to consider some form of soundproofing.
Whichever style of loft conversion you choose, and for whatever purpose it will be used, you are going to need to consider the safety aspect.
Some areas of the UK actually have legal requirements pertaining to the safety of a completed conversion. These safety requirements cover both materials used and other direct safety criteria.
Materials used in the construction of a loft conversion in many areas of the UK need to conform to certain fire safety regulations. Check with your local authority for more information.
Additionally, where access to the completed loft conversion is limited to a single entrance, you may need to fit some form of external fire escape route.
If you do need to fit an external fire escape route, don’t panic! These can be fairly inexpensive and can often consist of a simple shock rope designed especially for use when escaping from upper stories of a structure but below a certain distance from the ground.
Furnishing a loft conversion can be a challenge, if you have opted for the simple fold away step kind of access, you may well find it hard to fit standard items of furniture through the access flap.
Most loft conversion companies can offer a suitable furniture package, or even build fitted furniture up in the loft space.
You also need to consider household utility supplies. If you are intending to add an extra bedroom with a bathroom you will need to run an extra water supply and find some way to remove waste. Small bore toilet systems are great in this role, no need for large waste pipes.
Electrical supply is also another consideration, including fitting adequate trip switches and fuses. Make sure you ask your chosen loft conversion company to quote for this inclusive in the price.
One thing you must do once you have completed your loft conversion, is inform the company who you have your building and contents insurance with. Failure to do so can mean that any claim you make will be invalid, this could be extremely costly.
A change in insurance will likely mean that you need to have your house devalued to include the new loft conversion.
Overall, a loft conversion is an extremely effective way to add extra living space to a home, as well as increasing the residual value of the property
I’ve recently launched my first website at Loft Conversions Scotland to help those interested in expanding their living space. I also provide advice about seniors health & fitness.
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