Best Loft Conversion Alternatives You Didn’t Know About

What are the Best Alternatives to Loft Conversions

Reading Time: 8 mins

Loft conversion is probably the most popular house alteration these days. Real estate prices are through the roof and this is one of the easiest ways to get more usable space.

It’s already there so all you have to do is to adapt and adjust this space to your needs.

Of course, you can always sell your house and buy a bigger one, but I know many people who don’t want to move. Still, they could use another room or two for their kids or as an office.

Chances are you are one of these people. It’s also very probable you’ve already done a loft conversion. Or it’s not an option in your circumstances. So is there any alternative?

Luckily there is. As a matter of fact there is a handful of solutions. 

One of the them can be adapting a basement instead of an attic. In many cases it’s even better idea than loft conversion. Why? Well first of all you can use the entire space under the ceiling.

In case of lofts you’ve got this small inconvenience of some space under the roof being unavailable because of its pitch. Basements do not have such issues, cause the floor above is flat.

Besides, it’s usually much cooler and pleasant during hot summers.

Other option is converting a garage into living space. In many cases it’s not used as a garage anyway and they are usually quite spacious. It can be easily transformed into an office or a chillout zone.

Unfortunately, despite theirs advantages these solutions do have their own challenges. But the good news is that every challenge can be tackled and overcome.

There are also other options of getting more space you can find below.

How to do a Basement Conversion

Basement conversion is not a solution for everyone. Simply because not every household has a basement. But those who do often neglect this opportunity. They are more often used as storage.

What Cellar can be Used for

And since they are often dark and dump the -1 level is not perceived as a place to live. Mistakenly. Done right they make for a perfect addition as a playroom or an office.

You can also create there a man cave or go a step further and adapt it as home cinema room.

The opportunities are basically endless and it’s only up to you what it will become. What is certain is the fact that it’s a space you already have, we just have to conform it to your needs.

How to do a Basement Conversion

It can be for example used as an additional level of your property to give your kids much more space. In such difficult times it’s been observed our offsprings tend to stay in family house longer.

Not to mention it just adds value to your real estate.

Basement Conversion From Legal Perspective

So how do you do that? The entire process is a little bit different to converting a loft, but the principle is pretty much the same. From legal perspective you usually do not planning permission.

However, you still need to adhere to party act wall if you share a wall with your neighbour and building regulations. Such as fire escape routes, ventilation, ceiling height, damp proofing, electrical wiring and water supplies.

Please note that you will need approvals if the project assumes significant changes.

For example, changing the size or height of cellar by modifying the floor or ceiling. And of course if you’re planning to create a completely new basement.

Cellar Conversion Essentials

Simple cellar conversions should take around two or three weeks if all goes smooth. From the financial perspective it’s usually the cost of anything between £1,150-£1,450/m², but it really depends on the project and what the requirements are.

There are 3 general issues with most cellars that most likely will need to be taken care of:

  • Low ceiling height
  • Dampness
  • Lack of natural light

Before starting any project there are also few steps to undertake:

  • Remove everything
  • Clean it and remove dirt and dust
  • Judge the condition of walls and floor
  • Establish what the room will be used for
    • Do you need more electric outlets?
    • Do you need running water?
  • Make sure you will have enough light
  • Don’t forget about heating, insulation and waterproofing
  • Finish the walls and tile the floor if needed

And most importantly enjoy it to the fullest!

How to do a Garage Conversion

As mentioned above cellar conversion is not a solution for everyone and it might happen you don’t have a basement to convert. Another way of getting more space is converting your garage.

Similarly to basements or lofts this space is also used very often as a storage. Ultimately as a workbench. So before starting any works you might want to find another spot for all the boxes first.

Once you have that one crossed out you can start to think about another steps.

If you don't have enough space in your attic to do #loftConversion give it a go with a #garage, it can be even better and cooler idea #moreSpace

This solution has a massive advantage over basement conversion. It doesn’t need waterproofing. As a result dampness is not your concern either. But it’s not only that.

Most of the garages can be converted in a little bit more than a week. And unlike the house extension it won’t eat up your garden space. On the flip side you have to park your car on the street.

But it’s not high of a price for getting extra room and 10%-20% increase of your home’s value.

There are, however, still a few things to consider before starting any major works. Planning permission should be off the table, but check with your local authority to be 100% sure.

And as with almost anything you need to adhere to building regulations. I have listed them in “Basement Conversion From Legal Perspective” above so check that out.

Typical key works would include:

  • Leveling and putting new floor
  • Wall and roof insulation
  • Installation of doors and windows
  • Heating and electrics, including lights
  • Finishing off the walls and ceiling

And how about the costs? It all depends on the project and quality of finish you want to achieve. Usually it’s between £500 and £900 per m², so half the price of single-storey extension.

Are There any Other Alternatives to Loft Conversions?

It might also be, and there is nothing wrong with that, that you don’t have a basement nor the garage. Our you’ve already done those alterations including loft conversions.

Is there anything else you can do in order to increase the living space of your house without the costs of moving out and moving in to different house? I have some good news for your my friend.

Luckily, there are still few other options you can make use of.

One of them is very well known in this country conservatory. It’s fairly fast and fairly cheap way of getting another room that can be used as an office or dining room with plenty of natural light.

Are There any Other Alternatives to Loft Conversions

Unfortunately, that also disqualifies this solution as an additional bedroom. But if you are willing to invest a little bit more you can give it a go and build a house extension. Also very popular.

The other two options I have prepared are much more fancy and I’m sure you will love it!

Who said that this extra living space has to be attached to your house? You can for example convert your shed in the garden into stylish summer house where you can chill and read.

Another option is to build such “house” from the scratch. Under the below link you can find an offer from the company who can build a small garden office for you. I was mind blown, awesome idea. 

Challenges with Alternatives to Loft Conversions

No matter which one of the above options you will choose, you will always have to face some challenges. But you don’t have to worry, there is always a way to tackle any of them.

The key is to know, understand and be able to get past them.

For example, in case of garden office or shed transformed into summer house first of all you need to supply the electricity. Otherwise you won’t be able to use any electric devices.

On top of that you have to think about proper ventilation, insulation and potentially heating if you would like to use it during winter. Or even in the morning and evening during colder months.

The same applies to garage and basement conversions. 

For cellars you also have to consider waterproofing, which I have mentioned at the beginning. The best ways to do it either through tanking or cavity drain membranes. Follow the link to learn all you need to know.

The most important thing when converting your #basement into living space is to #waterproof it #conversions #homeImprovement

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