Converting an attic is a great way of gaining extra living space, but to achieve the best results of such a conversion you need to choose the type that will suit your needs best. While making this decision, you will have to consider what you need this new room for and what sort of alterations does your roof structure allow. Depending on these factors, as well as your budget, you can choose one of the following options.
This is the loft conversion type that you’ll see the most often. They are usually implemented in situations when the pitch of the roof doesn’t leave enough room in the attic. It provides you with additional space by creating vertical walls in place of the slanted ones usually found in lofts. Such a solution allows for more possibilities of adapting the area to its intended purpose.
There are several options you may go for, depending on the requirements. Single dormers are the most common variation, as they demand less construction work and are generally more affordable. Sometimes, two of them are used to maintain the symmetry of the building. Another popular option that will let you maximise your space even more, is the full-width dormer.
If your attic space is already sufficiently big to transform it into a new room, you may choose to go with a simple internal conversion. Such conversions don’t demand big construction works, as the new windows can be installed into the existing roof.
This helps lower the costs and leaves you with more funds to focus on the interior design. If your skylights don’t provide enough light, you may also consider implementing a sun tunnel or two, to ensure the optimal lighting conditions.
Pitched roofs look great from the outside, but they limit the space available inside the house. To solve this problem, you can choose a hip-to-gable conversion. This way, you can replace one side of the existing sloping roof with an extension.
Since this extension is created with vertical walls, it gives you a lot of space to use as a new room. Such conversions are usually carried out at the back of the property, hence the facade of the house remains unchanged.
Mansard conversion replaces the existing slope of the roof with a steep wall and a roof with a very slight pitch. It’s a great solution for lofts that don’t offer enough headroom. If you decided on the construction of a double mansard, you can effectively gain another storey.
This is the type of conversion that will add the most space, but because of the extensive construction work, it will generate much greater costs. The number of alterations to the roof structure will also most likely create the need to acquire planning permission.
When you’re just using your attic as a storage room, a simple pull-down ladder will suffice as a way of getting in. However, if you decide to transform that place into a living space, a more comfortable way of reaching it will be necessary.
Choosing the correct stairs for your loft conversion should be included on the planning list from the very beginning. As a staircase needs to be put in a place with sufficient headspace above, its placement has to be considered while choosing the type of conversion.
The decision to convert a loft is a serious one, as it involves investing a lot of money into your house. It will not only give you additional room to use, but it can also increase the market value of your entire house. For this reason, the proper planning process should precede any construction work.
You need to carefully consider all the factors involved and take care of all the formalities. Remember that even though most of the attic conversions don’t require planning permissions, it’s better to make sure whether that’s true in your case as well, just to avoid any problems.