Loft conversions can offer many rewards – but only if they are done properly. All too often, home owners rush into renovating attic space without covering all the bases and doing the proper planning. As a result, the dream loft conversion turns into a disappointing nightmare.
One of the most common mistakes is financially related. It is tempting to take the cheapest option, but this usually means employing a regular builder rather than a loft conversion specialist. Because of the intricacies involved in converting a loft, it is a job for a seasoned campaigner and not a jack of all trades. It is certainly not a DIY job.
Steering towards the cheapest option may also mean you appoint the wrong type of contractor, and possibly the worst kind – one that cuts corners. To avoid disappointment make sure you hire a specialist with a proven track record and one that can show you examples of recent projects.
Appoint an architect
The biggest challenge of converting attic rooms is making the best use of space and natural light. An architect with experience in designing attic rooms will be familiar with numerous concepts that make best use of both.
If you currently use your loft for storage purposes you may still need the attic space to store your stuff – plus whatever else you will keep up there, especially if the conversion will be used as an extra bedroom or office.
Another major stumbling block which will lead to huge disappointment if the design is wrong is the positioning of the staircase. Remember, that a loft conversion will impact on the layout of the floor below and could encroach on bedrooms or bathrooms by not making best use of “dead space.”
Heating and sound proofing
Energy efficiency is attracting a lot of focus at the moment and loft conversions offer the opportunity to improve the heating and insulation of your home. Sound proofing is of utmost importance in order to keep noise in and out thus is worth the investment.
Look to install energy efficient double-glazing windows and heating units that provide sufficient heat to keep the roof warm on cold nights. Far-infrared heating is a good option as they work via the electricity supply and the mirror or picture designs blend naturally with your décor.
If the connection to your heating system is not executed properly, you may find that radiators leak or do not work and that you do not have hot running water to your en-suite shower, sink or toilet. This could also affect the water supply in the rest of the house, particularly if your boiler is not powerful enough to service an additional room.
The rules on home planning permission in the UK were relaxed in 2008, but there are still certain regulations householders must abide by. A loft conversion specialist or architect can help you with this, otherwise contact your local council and ask for advice.
It is also recommended that you take out a party wall agreement so protect you against any legal claim in the event an adjoining property is adversely affected by the building works.
When building a loft conversion it is always better to err on the side of caution as mistakes can prove costly and disappointing.
City Lofts London – award-winning builders
0845 519 4321
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