A loft conversion is a great way to gain more space within your house whilst not making major structural changes. These conversions can be pretty simple to make and are a huge value for your property. However, if you live in a terraced house, converting your loft is slightly more challenging as there are particular problems that may arise due to its terraced nature. You may be thinking that that’s silly. Why would the fact that my house is terraced cause me more trouble? Well, a terraced house simply faces more building restrictions and thus careful choices have to be made to ensure that you don’t make any major, upsetting mistakes.
We have thus put together this list of five common mistakes for all you terraced house owners! Mistakes made when converting your loft can be horribly costly or upsetting. Therefore, it is important to know and consequently avoid such mistakes. The fact that you’re reading this article is already a step in the right direction!
So, here’s a list of the five most common mistakes made:
Focusing On Resale Value and Not Loft Quality
This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes made by people. They focus too much on how their loft conversion can increase their resale value. And, consequently, they forget to consider whether or not their loft is of the quality they need and desire.
It’s great that your loft conversion can increase the value of your house. However, that should not be your priority. After all, you are still planning to live in this house for a little while longer. Why would you focus on the investment that’s so far ahead now?
An example of this is that some people would play to their property market’s desires. The market may value a property higher if it has more bedrooms. The family converting their loft may thus choose to convert their loft into two separate rooms. Technically, this would raise their market value. However, this decision also severely compromises the quality of the created rooms. These rooms may both end up being small and uncomfortable for living. As the family still is going to continue to live there for a while, they end up with two uncomfortable, barely usable rooms. This is a major mistake.
Instead of what was done, the family should have instead thought about their needs and wants and converted their loft into that. Their property’s value would still increase and they would also have a new and usable space for them. They get the best of both worlds.
Not Checking That Your Loft Is Suitable For Conversion Before Beginning
This is another common and monumental mistake to make. Making this mistake means that you either end up with an unusable loft or you end up having to foot a huge bill. Here’s the thing, roofs may all look fairly similar on the outside. But, on the inside, they’re different.
There are two main types of roofs in terraced housing. The first is a cut timber roof. These roofs are perfect for loft conversions. If you have such a roof, go ahead, get your loft conversion done. The second roof, however, is a trussed roof and these roofs are impossible to use in a loft conversion. A loft conversion would consequently, require you to replace this entire roof first. That sets you up with a huge bill already.
Apart from roof types, you should also take note of some other factors. For example, if your roof is small and has little headroom even at its highest point, a loft conversion would be pretty useless because there simply would not be enough usable room. Another factor is that if your loft is already being used for storage and is pretty maximally filled, you might also want to reconsider your conversion. After all, where are you going to place all these items if your storage room is converted? Lastly, you wouldn’t want to create too many bedrooms in your house. You’d still want there to be a roughly equal bedroom to toilet ratio.
Placing The Stairs In The Wrong Place
Placing your stairs in the wrong place is a mistake that could severely impact the amount of space within your house. It would affect both your loft space and the lower floor space. Instead of getting more space, your house might end up feeling more cramped.
A great solution or placement for the stairs is to place them where the rest of your stairs are located too. This makes it straightforward and easy. Furthermore, it would be best if the stairs were by the side as it would take up less space for both floors. You might want to get a smaller staircase to save space. However, it is important to remember that you’d need the staircase to be comfortable for use. The stairs would also have to be able to accommodate you when you are moving furniture up into the loft.
Failing To Plan For And Construct A Rear Dormer
Failing to include a rear dormer for your loft isn’t a fatal mistake. However, it is one that could impact the comfort and space of your loft. Having a rear dormer is great because it helps to open up the room and provides a great entryway for natural light.
Rear dormers should be allowed under your house’s permitted development rights. However, it might be best to check and ensure that it is. Alternatively, you could look to see if any of your neighbours have it. If they do, it’s a pretty good sign that it’ll be okay for you too. It is important to note that a front dormer is illegal. Therefore, you’d have to stick with installing a rear dormer.
Ignoring a Potential Way to Increase the Space In Your Terraced House
There is a lot of potential for extra space to be made in your house. If you choose to convert the loft, you’ll be able to add a whole new floor to your house, which makes more room for you and your family.
If this is within your budget, you’d have to acquire planning permissions from your local authorities. It would also be important to check and ensure that your house’s foundation can withstand this added weight. If it isn’t, you’d have to add a foundation and that can be costly. Ultimately, this isn’t completely necessary for your loft conversion but it could greatly improve it too.
Those were the five most common mistakes people make when they opt for a loft conversion in their terraced house. If you live in one, be aware that terraced houses face more restrictions than other types of houses due to building restrictions. But as long as you do your homework before you start construction, you’ll be fine.