Lofty solution to a lack of space in your home

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admag reporter

IF you need more space at home, converting the loft into an extra room or rooms can make a lot of sense, both now and when you come to sell.

  • 1. If your home's loft is more useful to you as living space than storage, converting it is the obvious thing to do. A loft conversion should make your home more valuable and sellable and if you can fit a bathroom or shower room up there as well as a bedroom and built-in storage, you have the perfect master or guest suite.
  • 2. Loft conversions cost from around £20,000, but are often a lot more, depending on the size, spec and type of conversion. The cheapest and easiest loft conversions are ones with only skylights as the line of the roof is unchanged. But this isn't ideal if the loft has limited space and head height. If possible, building out the roof to create more usable space inside will give you a much more satisfactory conversion. 
  • 3. For a loft to be suitable for conversion, the main space should be at least 2.3 metres high - the steeper the pitch of the roof, the better it will be for conversion. Standing up in the loft and walking around will give you an idea of how much usable space there is. 
  • 4. You'll need space for a staircase up to the loft on the floor below and if this means losing a bedroom, you may not be much better off by converting the loft. Spiral staircases can be a good space-saving solution as can narrow 'space-saver' staircases.
  • 5. You sometimes see houses for sale with a 'loft room' rather than an extra bedroom in the loft and this is usually because the room doesn't comply with building regulations. It's a shame to spend all that time, money and effort converting the loft into a habitable room and not reap the full rewards, but that's not necessarily the end of the matter. If you have a loft room, it may be possible to modify it to comply with building regulations so it can officially be called a bedroom. Your local council's building control department will be able to advise you as it enforces building regulations.

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