Guide to Planning and Designing Your Loft Conversion
There are many ways of increasing the value of your property and one of the most efficient ones is converting unused attic space into something much more functional.
However, there is a long list of requirements that need to have their box checked. The good news is, in most cases, you won’t need planning permission, but you still need to follow certain building regulations. And potentially party wall agreement.
Is it still worth even if you have to obtain planning permission? Absolutely.
Loft conversion can easily add twenty per cent to your real estate. Depending on how much you are willing to invest it can be even more. Although, you have to be careful to not overdevelop.
It’s fine if you are planning to stay there forever. But if at some point you will have to sell your house for whatever reason, and houses around are worth let’s say £300k, no one will buy yours £500k only because you have improved it so much.
Other that that you are good to go and, as a matter of fact, I am encouraging you to do so.
Below we are providing you with some advice on how to proceed with this challenge in the most efficient manner. Without further ado let’s dive in!
Check if Your Loft has Enough Space, There are Other Options Too
Before you start to plan or analyse anything in greater details, the very first thing you have to do is to check whether you have there enough space.
The absolute minimum is 2 metres of a headroom, but to use it comfortably without feeling claustrophobic you probably need at least 2.2 metres after all works are done.
That means you have to aim 2.2-2.4 metres before any works begin.
Not so long ago we have prepared this blog post about everything you did not know about loft conversions. It’s very informative and describes the whole project from slightly different angle.
Everything You did not Know About Loft Conversions Have you noticed that recently almost everyone has done or is planning to do a loft conversion?
You will find inside valuable legal information, like planning permissions and building regulations. But also more technical, like how to insulate your loft and can you actually do it yourself. We are also touching important, yet neglected, council tax matter.
It’s pretty cool, you should definitely check it out.
Coming back to space issue, what are the options if you do not have enough space to convert your attic? There are things you can do.
First of all you can convert different parts of your house, it doesn’t have to “upstairs”, it can be easily done “downstairs”. Of course not all of us have basements, but if you are one of the lucky ones it’s a fantastic idea to pursue.
Potentially basements are even better than attic itself. Why?
They are much easier to adapt, because of the even headroom. That means you can comfortably use the entire space on your -1 floor.
And other reason is they are much cooler during hot summers. Even with good insulation it can way too hot right under the roof. It’s never a case if you have a basement.
Definitely something to think about. You can also convert your garage in similar manner.
Preparation is the Key, Where Will You Move all Your Stuff?
Another thing worth to think about is where will you move all your stuff? And the question remains valid despite what option you will decide to purse.
Let’s be honest here. At least ninety nine per cent, if not all of us, are using basement or loft as a storage and that’s fact.
And usually not very well organised storage.
We are simply moving there things we are not either using or wearing anymore, but we refuse to get rid of them, right? That’s totally normal. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, I’ve done that too.
However, if you are planning to adapt any of the mentioned areas, basement or attic, you have to do something about it.
In my opinion you’ve got only three options.
And since you have moved them there for a reason, let’s assume moving them back to the rooms you are actively using is not one of them.
You can do a car boot sale which can result in some cash injection. Who doesn’t need few extra quid these days. Especially that conversions are rather expensive. And people are buying loads of stuff other people do not need anymore.
You can also give it away for free through craigslist or any of your local Facebook groups.
Ultimately you can donate it to charity and it’s probably much better options than just giving it away for free. Of course, it’s purely your choice.
But in case you would want to do that you can donate your unwanted stuff to British Heart Foundation. You can even request a house clearance.
You can also donate them to Oxfam, British Red Cross or Cancer Research, all links available below.
Your Loft Doesn’t Have to be a Single Room, Make en Suite
Once you have finally created space for your conversion, whether in the basement or at the attic, you can now kick off with actual conversion.
And the amazing thing about it is that you don’t have to create simply a room. You can go for more sophisticated options.
Naturally, it all depends how much space you have available.
In some cases there is not enough space to create something more. Nothing wrong with that, it can be just an additional bedroom or a chillout zone where you can relax. Or maybe your personal man cave to hang out with your mates or maybe a baby room.
As you can see there is a lot of potential even in case of fairly small spaces. However, if you more space at your disposal we would like to recommend you creating an en suite.
A place that can ultimately become your first or second master bedroom with private bathroom.
First of all it would significantly increase the value of your house and second of all it would make it feel much more luxurious. Combine it with dormer window and you’ve got a penthouse.
And we at Polda Builders are more than happy to assist you with this project from the start to an end. Just follow the button at the end of this page to claim your free quote with us.
Besides, building an en suite is actually very handy. Can you imagine going down to the toilet at night?
It is much better idea to have everything at one level, rather than running between floors.
If you find it interesting feel free to checkout some of the ideas right in the video below.
In Case of en Suite You Will Need Extra Plumbing and Electric Works
Although, you have to remember that in case you would decide to go for en suite it will be necessary to bring the pipes to that level. But it shouldn’t be too much of an issue and it’s so worth it.
Electricity is a must in any option so it doesn’t increase the cost or amount of work needed to prepare everything. Sockets and lights are simply necessary.
The only thing that I feel objected to remind is that electricity kills and it is no joke. Please be very careful and switch off fuses before any kind of works.
But ideally it should be performed by a professional, so if you don’t have to, don’t do it on your own.
Please also keep in mind that electric alterations need to be signed off by your Local Authority Building Control or certified electrician.
If you are wondering how many sockets you need, I would say that you should be fine with three double ones. Radio clock, a phone charger, some sort of lamp and maybe a TV. that’s four sockets, you will still have two more at your disposal.
Add another double to be 100% sure you won’t run out of outlets with more devices.
And make sure you have enough lights. Converted
When it comes to your new top floor bathroom it all depends how much space you have available. Usually simple solutions are more than enough. Toilet and a shower can satisfy the needs of most people, but if you can go for a bathtub.
Or even better – build a wet room. That will be a perfect way to finish your newly created private penthouse.
Make Your Loft Something Special With Finishing Touches
What else can you do to make your loft or basement conversion look even better? Anything you want. The list of possibilities is basically endless. It all depends on the style you prefer and available space.
If it’s supposed to be regular bedroom than I believe it’s fairly simple and there is not much of a point to explain anything in such case. That’s something you have to decide on personally.
But if you need any help, have a look at one of our blog posts regarding home decor.
It includes information like step-by-step interior design guide, how to decorate a house without spending a fortune and how to decorate rented flat to feel like home.
In case you would like to create a “wow effect” we could also recommend LED strip lights right below the ceiling. Of course, it has to be planned in advance, but the results are truly amazing.
Anything else like pictures, candles, lamps, greenery and modern or traditional elements are more than welcome. Anything that resonates with your soul is good addition.
Now, if you are planning to create some sort of a chillout zone, I have a little surprise for both of you ladies and gentlemen 😉
I am more than certain you will find there great inspirations to your own personal chillout zone. Even if it’s not supposed to be strictly only for him or for her.
Claim Your Free Quote With Polda Builders
If you are planning any kinds of home improvements, renovations, refurbishments or alterations to make your house even more special simply hit that green button and secure your free quote with us.
Polda Builders is a company founded in 2005 in London, but we are proud to say we have many happy Customers also in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge, which is currently our main location.
Not without a reason, perfection is our passion.