Everything you need to know when considering a loft conversion

image of loft conversion

Are you planning a loft conversion? Sometimes it can be challenging to know where to start.

If you’re pulling your hair out, don’t worry: this post is here to help. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know when considering a loft extension.

Does Your Home Have Sufficient Structural Integrity?

You might not think it, but adding a loft conversion can add a significant amount of weight to your home. Putting down floorboards, adding a bed, wardrobes and other furniture can increase pressure dramatically – perhaps as much as a ton.

Before you begin any project, therefore, you need to check that your building can support it.

The best thing to do is talk to MSK Design. We can help you evaluate your property, put you in contact with the relevant professionals, and ensure that it is safe to begin your loft conversion construction.

Do You Have Sufficient Head Height?

Lofts can be tempting. Many homeowners see them as wasted space, ripe for conversion into something useful.

It’s not uncommon, therefore, for homeowners to view loft spaces through rose-tinted glasses, seeing only the total floor space and not the functional floor space, once you take the slope of the roof into account.

For properties with pitched roofs, the only available walk space is a narrow corridor down the middle where the ceiling meets its apex. Most lofts in the UK, therefore, require substantial building work to provide sufficient headroom. Otherwise, they cannot become practical, liveable spaces.

Consider Natural Light

Fortunately, natural light is almost always available in the loft.

The simplest solution is to install skylights, flooding the room with light directly from above. The other method is to extend the roof out sideways and install a Juliette balcony window. While this typically costs more, it also opens up floor space, giving you more room to walk while stood up.

Get Planning Permission

In many cases, you do not need to get planning permission for loft conversions in the UK.

There are, however, exceptions.

For instance, if you want to extend your roof beyond current limits, you’ll need to get the local authority to approve it. Also, if you’re going to build upwards at all, you’ll also need to get the permission of planners.

At MSK Design, we can help you create a loft conversion that meets your needs without requiring planning permission. What’s more, we can help you with the planning process if you settle on a design that requires you to seek approval.

Consider Where Your New Stairs Will Go

While having a ladder up to your loft is a perfectly acceptable solution, the rules are different when you want to use it as a bedroom. In short, you need stairs.

Stairs are essential for several reasons. Not only do they make accessing the bedroom practical, but they’re also crucial for things like fire safety. What’s more, you can only call a loft conversion a bedroom when you come to sell if it has stair access.

Again, MSK Design is here to help. We use our expertise to find a suitable location for your new staircase, minimising the impact on the rest of your property.

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