When it comes to any home improvement there are some key questions you need to answer from day one. Loft conversions are no different and top of the list of thing to ask is whether your loft is suitable for converting.
The good news is that loft conversions are extremely versatile and specialists are able to turn most attics into a profitable addition to your property. Planning permission isn’t necessary for most types of conversion either – so if you are thinking about investing in your loft space, chances are you are good to go.
Just to give you a better idea f what makes your attic suitable for a loft conversion and what kind of adjustments you can make, let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of any convertible attic.
How roof structure affects your loft conversion
There are a number of factors the structure of your roof will decide in the planning stages of your loft conversion and a number of options available, should you need to make any changes.
Generally speaking, you want a minimum of 2.2m in vertical height in the majority of your loft. The pitched structure of most attics leaves a ‘usable’ space that gradually slopes below head height.
The higher the pitch angle on your property, the more vertical space you are likely to have through the centre of your loft. In older properties this can sometimes mean a narrower attic, although the ‘usable’ space is more proportionate.
Depending on the age of your property you are likely to have one of two roof structures in place. Pre-1960s houses were built with rafters, joists and timbers cut on site to suit individual properties, while post-1960s roofs are commonly constructed from factory-made truss sections.
The pre-60s method is more suitable for a loft conversion, thanks to a greater structural integrity. More recent builds are perfectly suitable for conversions, but they often require more work – so it’s vital you speak to a specialist to find out the best approach for your property.
What if my roof structure isn’t suitable?
As we said, loft conversions are extremely versatile and if your roof structure isn’t quite suitable for the build you have in mind, most attics can be adapted to create the space your need to build.
If head height is an issue you have a few options available to increase the vertical height or ‘usable’ space in your attic. To increase the head height in your loft you can either raise the roof or lower the ceiling in the room below – something else you should discuss with a specialist before making a decision.
If the centre of your attic is tall enough, but you feel there needs to be more ‘usable’ space to work with, you can extend your attic with a number of rebuilds to create more horizontal space. Again, which type of rebuild or extension you might need depends on your property, so make sure you speak to a specialist.
What other things affect the suitability of my loft?
There are a number of other elements that come into play for any loft conversion – like building regulations, fire safety, plumbing and a range of other considerations. Generally speaking, these are all workable factors that won’t cause any problems.
The key thing to take away here is that any loft conversion should start with a conversation between property owner and a specialist loft convertor, who can go through every option available to you and help you add the perfect conversion to your home.
City Lofts London – award-winning builders
0845 519 4321
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