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Find out if your loft can be converted

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When you’re looking for extra space in your home, a loft conversion is often the best option. Extending up through the top of your house can be less invasive than extending into your garden and losing any precious green space. We’re betting the temptation of a new bedroom or a home office (to banish working at the kitchen table) is so exciting that you’re already thinking about decoration and finishing touches!

However, not every house can qualify for development on the loft (although we are pretty nifty at finding workable solutions). There are a number of factors that impact whether or not you can convert your attic, as well as what type of conversion is suitable for your home. Let’s explore whether your property is a good candidate for a loft conversion project…

Do you have the floor space?

Ideally, the size of your loft space should be a minimum of 7.5m (front to back) by 5.5m (side to side). This is to ensure that the room is a suitable size to serve a purpose within your home. If you don’t have the space, it’s possible to have a loft conversion that is slightly smaller, but this could influence what you do with the room. For example, you may not be able to fit a double bed in this room comfortably, so it may change your space into an office or games room. If your loft space is 7.5mx5.5m or larger, a conversion could enhance your home by giving you the opportunity to add features such as an ensuite.

Is there enough ceiling height?

Having a minimum ceiling height is important in loft conversions. This will ensure that there is an opportunity during the building process for heat and sound insulation to be installed and for the floor to be built up. The ideal height for your loft ceiling is between 2.2m and 2.6m, accounting for the building work and providing ample head room when the space is finished!

What angle is my roof leaning at?

The angle of your existing roof has a direct impact on whether a loft conversion is possible. The roof space must be higher than an angle of 30° to create enough height. It is possible to raise the roof to build additional head space, but this will be more costly and could require planning permission. We can advise on other options as well as a loft conversion if your roof angle is less than is desirable!

How easy will it be to install a staircase?

An essential part of a loft conversion is your staircase. Nobody wants to be traipsing up a ladder every evening! Convenience has most projects placing the new staircase directly above the existing one. If there isn’t space for this, consider sacrificing a box room or part of a larger space. There also needs to be emphasis on fire safety with a door in line with building regulations, either at the top or bottom of the stairs.

Which loft conversion could work for you if you are short on space?

If you have limited space in your home, a dormer loft conversion could be the option that transforms your life. Dormer loft conversions offer additional headroom by adding a box structure to the existing roof with embedded dormer windows. They are also cost-effective. Dormer conversions rarely require planning permission meaning the whole process could be simply achieved and a beautiful addition to your home. Fear not, if a dormer isn’t for you, we will happily chat through and advise on other options with you.

If you’ve been looking for expert structural engineers to help you make your house a home, come to Touchstone Lofts. Our customers are consistently happy with their conversions, and we’re experienced in making the most out of your property. Call us on 0800 881 8194 or email [email protected].