So, you've made the decision to make use of the space in your roof, but how are lofts converted. The simple answer is that they are transformed through building work with insulation, flooring and electrical fittings to turn them into a room. However, to ensure that it's done correctly, there are a few things that you'll need to consider.
Can it be done?
Before embarking on your conversion, you need to know if it can be done and whether or not if it's suitable for remodelling. One quick method is to check out other houses on your street. Can you see if any of them have got loft conversions – windows in the roof? Another way is to measure the head height, which means measuring from the floor to highest part of the roof. The minimum height for a conversion is 2.2metres. Alternatively you could ask a builder to inspect your roof, many will offer a free no obligation quote.
Do you have trusses or rafters?
You can check this by just looking through the loft hatch. Rafters run along the edge of the roof and create a triangular hollow space. Whereas, trusses run through the criss-cross section of the loft. The rafter option is the easiest to convert, however, a conversion with trusses is also possible but it will cost more as your loft will require additional supports to replace them.
Type of loft conversion
Now you've established that your loft can be converted, it's time to choose which type of conversion to go for;
Roof-light – by far the cheapest option. This type just involves having a skylight installed, laying secure flooring and adding suitable access to your new room.
Dormer – Generally the most popular type of conversion. Dormers are an extension that sticks out over the slope of the roof. They are also suitable for any type of house with a sloped roof.
Hip-to-gable – This works by extending the slop (hip) of your roof at the side of your property outwards to create a vertical (gable) wall. This type is only suitable for detached and semi-detached properties.
Mansard – these run the whole length of your roof and alter the overall angle to make it almost vertical. These are suitable for all property types
Sturdy reinforced flooring is essential for a loft conversion. As a new room it needs to be able to withhold regular foot traffic and adequate furnishings. No-one wants a wardrobe to fall onto them through the floor upstairs.