A loft conversion can be an incredibly effective way of both adding value to your home and helping to give it an air of real desirability. Not to mention, it’ll give you the option of having an extra room.
First things first, you’ll need to work out if your loft is actually suitable for conversion. Here are the key considerations:
In the UK, there are two main types of roof structure: pre-1960s and post-1960s.
In pre-1960s houses, rafters and ceiling joists were cut to size on site and then assembled. Because this form of roof has more structural input, it will often lend itself more effectively to attic conversion.
In post-1960s homes, factory made roof trusses are commonly used, and the timbers used are often thinner and cheaper. The strength comes through braced diagonal timbers, but in some cases there actually won’t be any load-bearing structures beneath the floor. To achieve a conversion, it may be necessary to insert steel beams between the load-bearing walls so the new floor joists have the required support. This typically takes a conversion out of ‘DIY’ reach.
When seeking to get the most out of a loft conversion, many people rely on flat roof conversions – otherwise known as ‘dormer’ lofts. This involves adding an extension to the existing sloping roof that removes the slope in the new living area, and allows the opportunity to more easily install skylights and other forms of window.
There are a number of benefits to this approach:
The other option for flat roof conversions is what’s known as a ‘hip-to-gable’ conversion, which involves taking a currently sloped roof and extending it on the sloping slide until it’s naturally square, before filling in the additional new space.
The benefits of this are similar to those of dormer lofts, in that you can enjoy more space, more potential uses for the room and – of course – the chance to have an additional living space in your home, without having to move!
(Planning permission is USUALLY not required for flat roof loft conversions, but it’s of course essential to get in touch with your local authority and double check).
If you’re considering a loft conversion in 2016, it’s a very good idea to take a look at a more environmentally friendly design. There are a number of benefits to this:
Here are some of the ways you can help make a loft conversion more eco-friendly:
In accordance with the building regulations, all dwellings must have an adequate amount of ventilation and lighting. Skylights are a great way to achieve this, as long as they’re installed by a specialist and within the regulation criteria.
In some homes, it may be possible to have a skylight installed that follows the pitch line of the roof, something that’s achieved by removing the tiles and battens and cutting the rafters to make way for the light. (The other rafters will of course require additional reinforcement).
Get in touch
If you’re interested in finding out more about how a skylight can help improve your loft conversion, give Sunsquare’s experienced, friendly sales team a call today on 01284 846599.