How to Make the Most of your Loft Conversion
Converting a loft is not a minor construction job. It is not a job that could be taken on during weekends or when you find the time. As a loft is really just the ceiling of your top floor, converting your loft would mean modifying the structural strength of your existing loft to accommodate the new load. You would have to reinforce your ceiling joists to make them structurally sound floor joists. You might have to shore up some part of the roof too if you are planning a dormer loft conversation. For this job, you need a qualified architect or contractor. Most loft conversations do not need a permit from the local building official but to be sure, it is best to consult with the local Building Regulations officer.
Before you let your imagination run on possibilities for your loft, see first if your loft meets the minimum height requirement of 2.10 meters. If there is not enough height room, don't feel hopeless as the Building Regulations is now allowing a 1.90 metre floor to ceiling clearance midway a stair step.
Now that you are ready to take the plunge in converting your loft, what is your idea for a loft conversion? Are you planning on adding a light-filled extra space or do you just want to have a bigger storage space? Do you need a bigger master bedroom and would like to convert the loft into a new bedroom suite? Do you need additional bedroom(s) for your kids or do you want a room for the kids to hang out with their friends? If you are still unsure of what to do with your loft, here are some ideas and suggestions.
Loft Master Bedroom
Converting the loft into a master bedroom is one great idea. You can opt to go modern and linear by sticking to simple yet elegant designs. If your loft ceiling height is ample, you can just tear a part of the old roof and put in skylight. The effect would be stunning as you can see the night sky while in bed. To ward off the fierce sun (especially during summers) you can fit the skylight with retractable blinds. You can also install black out blinds, sound proofing and light control at touch button technology.
If the loft area is a regular square or rectangle, planning the locations of loft furniture would be a breeze. An irregular-shaped floor plan would be more interesting though but a regular -shaped floor plan has possibilities too. Choose colours that would suit your bedroom motif. Choose well as the wrong shade of colour could make you feel stressed rather than rested.
Loft as Children's Playroom
No kid in his or her right mind would want to leave the playroom loft. If you have small kids then converting the loft into their own "haven" would be a great idea. If you have a girl, convert the loft into her very own castle in the sky. Put up wallpapers of appropriate designs. Select your little girl's favourite colours and use them with other complementing hues. Set aside a work table for doing school work and have within her reach a bookshelf of her favourite books. Assign a corner for her toys and other personal stuff. It would be a good idea to allocate a space for resting or sleeping. For safety purposes, skylights or roof windows are better choices for a children's playroom - more light and less chance of a window "opening "by mistake.
For a boy's playroom, take into consideration your little boy's favourite superhero as motif. Put in large plastic bins for toy storage and incorporate a study/work table too. For "quiet" time, throw some pillows on a floor rug and that would do for you little boy's "bed".
Loft as Recreation and Family Room
The coolest place on earth, at least for your kids and their friends, would be a video games and movie room up at the loft. You can just leave the loft's roofing as it is, add some roof windows and maybe tear a part of the wall and add glass bricks instead. Finish the walls with textured paint and accent them with posters and pictures of movies. Set one wall aside for the flat screen. Make sure there are enough shelves for the DVDs and space for gaming consoles. Make sure the loft is properly wired in terms of sockets and convenience outlets for the numerous appliances of the recreation and family room. You can add one or two comfortable recliners on top of a sofa set. Accent the floor with rugs and carpets.
Loft as a Luxurious Bathroom
Go ahead and plan the ultimate bathroom of your dreams. The loft is a very interesting space to convert into a luxurious bathroom. The bathroom could be your personal sanctuary. Reinforce the structural of the floor so you can put in a Jacuzzi for the ultimate luxury provision. If a Jacuzzi is not possible a tub would do. A qualified architect can make the irregular and tight space of your loft work for you. Fitting fixtures into nooks and crannies would be a nice touch to the bathroom suite. You can have the bathing area elevated for effect.
You can apply state-of-the-art technology in your bath or shower room; create a relaxing ambiance by the play of lighting and install under-floor heating for added comfort. Have a flat screen installed in one of the walls and provide a space for a massage or sauna room. Use your imagination!
Other Ideas for your Loft
You can convert your loft to any functional room that you want. You can convert it into your home office, a study cum library, a children's bedroom suite, or extend the loft area into an outdoor space. If you are an artist, live up to an artist's way of life and convert your loft into an artist's haven of sheer light and space.
"I think the regs say you may need to have a fire escape these days which could add a huge extra chunk on the bill not to mention unsightly outside stairs."