Should You Convert Your Loft?

May 15, 2020 JPLal100 No comments exist

Lofts are great. They provide you with additional space to either serve as storage or simply, as an additional room. And you can choose to convert this room for any usage. A new gym, bedroom, cinema, or den. It can be anything you desire. And if or when you choose to sell your house, your loft would serve as a reason to increase your house’s attractiveness and value.  

With that in mind, it seems as though there are no cons to building a loft conversion. However, that is wrong. There is more to consider with loft conversions and this article will take you through the pros and cons of a loft conversion.

Pro: More Space For Storage or Another Room 

A loft is a great way to increase your house’s current living space. However, unlike conventional expansions, a loft conversion allows you to take advantage of the existing space already in your house. A loft can be converted and used as a multitude of rooms – simply as a storage area, as another bedroom, as a home gym or even as a cinema. As long as building and fire safety requirements are met, your loft can be transformed into practically anything you want. 

Furthermore, lofts are also a lot easier to build as they do not take up your lawn space, and also have fewer planning requirements. You can simply build and convert as you wish without sacrificing precious lawn space or accidentally building on your neighbour’s property. 

Pro: It’s Relatively Affordable 

A loft conversion will definitely cost you money. However, compared to actually extending your home out into your garden space (if you have a sufficient sized garden!), a loft conversion can be cheaper. This is because there are no major structural changes that have to be made for your loft to be built. 

Furthermore, lofts are great additions to your house as they increase the attractiveness and overall resale value of your house. Therefore, a loft conversion can almost be seen as a long-term investment. 

Pro: It Does Not Reduce Your Garden Space 

The great thing about lofts is that you are technically building upon existing space within your house. In conventional house expansions, you have to give up some of your garden or driveway to make way for more building room. That’s not the ideal solution for anyone. However, converting a loft requires none of that. Instead, you can build upward within your own home to create new space. You get more space without losing any outside space! 

Pro: Loft Conversions Won’t Obscure or Overshadow Neighbouring Properties 

Everyone enjoys privacy within their own homes. Therefore, we would all like to not feel as though our neighbours might be peeking into our spaces. In conventional property expansions, this is a potential side effect as the expansion may leave us hanging over our neighbours. With a loft conversion, however, there is no such worry! We also do not have to worry about our new expansions having creepy peeping windows either. This is because lofts can use Velux roof windows or sun tunnels. These windows allow for light to flood your loft but they are also positioned in a way that does not encroach upon your neighbour’s space. 

Con: Not The Best Living Space 

Lofts are built just under your own roof and this could be a problem if you intend to use your loft as a living space – there simply might not be enough headroom for your loft to be livable. The sloping ceilings also further reduce the space available and hence, your converted loft might end up being useless as people are not able to move around comfortably in it. 

Con: Your House May Not Be Suitable For Such A Conversion

Any house can have a loft converted within it, right? Wrong! Not every house is suitable for a loft conversion. The main restriction that prevents a loft conversion is whether or not your roof is too low. Houses with lowly pitched roofs, such as a truss roof, will not be able to convert and create a loft within them. If you want to create a loft in such houses, money will have to be first spent on remodelling and changing the structure of the roof or lowering the ceilings on the floor below. This can cost quite a lot of money and is thus, unappealing for some. 

On top of that, there are also many laws and rules surrounding the restructuring of a roof. In essence, the new roof cannot be restructured and changed to being beyond the current roof’s parameters. For example, the plane of the new roof cannot exceed its previous one and is not allowed to hang over onto the main road. The height of the new roof must also not exceed the greatest height of the old roof. Therefore, converting a loft within your own home might not always be feasible. 

Con: Potentially losing storage space 

This is only a concern if your loft is already holding onto some of your items. If you convert your loft into a new living area, items in storage there will then have to be moved to other parts of your home. This can thus result in you having not enough storage space for all your items. You may find it hard to have all your items packed then. 

A good potential solution to this is to have shelves or cupboards built into the eaves of your loft. These eaves would not be practical for use due to the sloping ceiling anyway. Converting them into storage space would thus be a brilliant idea that allows you to still retain some of your previous loft storage space. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, choosing whether or not to convert your loft is a personal choice. There are no right or wrong answers for this. For example, you may not be able to go through with the conversion in the first place if your house isn’t suitable for conversion. But if you are looking for a way to increase the space in your house and your house checks all the boxes, then go right ahead. Seek help from a professional if you are unsure. It’s important that you carefully weigh your decision before beginning any construction. 

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