When space is in short supply, it can be surprisingly cost effective to extend up rather than out, although it does depend on the configuration of your loft space and whether you live in a listed building. If there are no major obstacles to negotiate, a loft conversion shouldn’t take up too much time and money, and if you do the job right, you will end up with a great living space and a home that’s worth more. So how can you make your new loft space nice and cosy?
Fit for Purpose
The first thing to decide when planning a loft conversion is how you intend on using the space. It is very common to convert loft space into an extra bedroom, perhaps with an en-suite bathroom, but although this is a good idea if you are short on bedrooms, it isn’t the only way to go.
Loft spaces make excellent living rooms. By moving your bedrooms to lower levels and transforming a loft into an open-plan living space, you can enjoy fabulous views. Depending how your home is designed, you may also be able to extend outwards and create a walk-out balcony. The key is to use your imagination and don’t limit your ideas.
Warm and Inviting
Use light and colour to give your new living space the ‘wow’ factor. Smaller loft conversions will appear larger if you stick to pale colours, but if you are lucky enough to have a lot of space to play with, adopt a more colourful palette and introduce some patterned wallpaper on a feature wall.
One of the biggest problems with attic rooms is that they can be too hot in summer and not warm enough in the winter. The majority of heat in a building is lost through the roof, so it is important to install enough insulation material when the loft is being converted.
Velux windows work well in sloping roofs, but they can be awkward to open and close when situated at height. If this is the case, look into automatic window controls from companies such as tealproducts.com – single openers can operate multiple windows, which is ideal for larger spaces.
When space is in short supply, you need to make the most of what you do have. Sloping roofs lend themselves to shelving and storage, so build some clever storage units and cupboards in areas where you can’t stand up and play around with the overall configuration until you find a layout that works the best.
Buy quirky pieces of furniture and be creative with blinds and soft furnishings. Rugs, cushions and other soft furnishings all work together to create a cosy, stylish living space. Don’t forget about lighting, either. Install a beautiful chandelier over a stairwell and use recessed spot lighting in places where the ceiling slopes down.
Loft conversions can add value, but do make sure you use a reputable builder to carry out the work as sub-standard conversions will harm your property value.