How to Decide Whether Your Home’s Loft is Suitable for Conversion

How to decide whether your home’s loft is suitable for conversion

In your mind, a loft conversion could seem like a very exciting prospect. Theoretically, it would let you create a new room – like a bedroom, bathroom, games room or home office – from space already in your home. Still, how feasible would all of this be for you specifically?

Done right, a loft conversion can boost a home’s value by up to 22%, as reveals. However, you would first need to check whether your particular loft is ripe for conversion.

Have any similar homes on your street had loft conversions?

If so, this would bode well for your chances of successfully converting a loft in your own home. You might be able to tell whether a home has had a loft conversion just by looking at the roof – as some loft conversions require this to be extended so that there will be enough usable space.

You could find that, if you ask any neighbours whether you would be able to take a closer look at their converted loft, they are receptive to the idea.

How much head height does your loft have?

The UK consumer watchdog organisation Which? insists that, for a loft to be converted, it must be at least 2.2 metres in height.

It’s easy to measure a loft’s head height just by heading to the room’s tallest area and there running a tape measure from the floor to the ceiling. Many Victorian homes could lack the required head height, as houses from this era are generally lower than those built in the 1930s or later.

What type of roof does your home have?

To find out, you just have to peek through your loft hatch and check whether the roof has trusses or rafters. The former are supports running through the loft’s cross-section, while rafters instead run along the roof’s edge, leaving most of the underlying triangular space hollow.

A loft conversion is easier when the roof has rafters rather than trusses, which would have to be replaced with extra structural support.

How would you need to change the floor below?

Since you are likely to want to visit a loft more often once it’s been converted, you would be well-advised to have some kind of steps fitted permanently between the loft and the floor below it.

While a staircase would be one option, it could also swallow up a lot of space you won’t get back. A better option might therefore be one of the loft ladders available from Instaloft, as such extendable steps would only take up floor space when strictly necessary.

How much would your loft conversion cost?

The more spacious a loft already is, the less expensive it will be to convert. For example, abundant floor space should ease your efforts to install large beams as necessary.

In the UK, loft conversion costs can fall somewhere between about £18,000 and £65,000, according to Homebuilding & Renovating. If you know you wouldn’t be able to stomach such costs, you might have to forgo a loft conversion altogether.
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