Loft conversions are a relatively inexpensive way to obtain extra living space. They can be particularly attractive if your property is not subject to restrictive covenants. This means you don’t have to get planning permission for the conversion and can stay within your council tax band.
If your loft isn’t large enough, you might want to consider having it fully converted into habitable space or just using it as storage space with an added dormer window. There may also be other rooms in the house that need attention: perhaps your garage would make a good workshop? Or you could turn the storeroom under the stairs into a cloakroom and so increase the size of your kitchen. Once you’ve decided whether or not to convert your loft, or what type of loft conversion you want, you need to put a step-by-step plan into action.
Loft conversions can be a great opportunity for architectural creativity and a way of adding value to your property. Here are some different types of lofts that have been turned into living areas:
1) The flat roof room – this is one of the most popular loft conversions as it doesn’t involve additional height or planning permission. It’s probably the easiest type of conversion, but if there isn’t enough headroom because you’re in a terraced house, for example, it will only provide the most basic living space. This type of conversion is also known as an ‘extension on top’. You can still install dormer windows and use bright colors on the walls to make it more appealing.
2) The box-in-the-roof loft conversion – this is an extension that goes in the roof space and is finished with a pitched roof (like most lofts). This type of conversion provides more depth, meaning you can fit another room behind the main living area. This is probably the most popular type of loft conversion because it has good headroom and includes dormer windows.
3) The mansard or half-hipped roof room – this type of loft looks like two houses attached together, with each part having its own pitched roof. It’s also possible to turn your flat roof into a gable end so that there are three separate roofs instead of just one flat one. This type of loft conversion is ideal for adding more space, but planning permission might be necessary.
4) The sloping ceiling room – these are the most difficult types of lofts to convert because you have to work around sloping ceilings rather than just dropping them down to meet the floor. Planning permission isn’t usually required though. If you already have a pitched roof it’s possible to use this space as an extra room if your property is long enough. You can also turn your flat roof into a hipped end which then looks remarkably similar to the mansard loft conversion.
5) Cresting – this is where you extend upwards so that the outward appearance of your property becomes taller than before. It’s possible to create 2/3 extra stories this way, but it requires planning permission so be sure to check with your local council first.
By making maximum use of your property it’s possible to gain extra space without moving house.
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