The Skylight Blinds Direct Beginners Guide to Loft Conversions

Whether you’re increasing the value of your property or need extra space to welcome in a new family addition, consider a loft conversion. They work on the idea of improving your home rather than going through the stress and strains of moving to another building. Alongside this, they give you a freedom that most traditional home buyers never truly get to appreciate. That is the opportunity to design a home to your exact specifications where everything sits where you always imagined. Everything from the position of the light fittings to how many plug sockets a room has and where your main source of light comes from. All of these things and more can be tweaked to suit your needs and help to create a home that you are truly proud of.

An image of a two-toned loft bedroom with wooden beams

Image credit: Apartment Apothecary

Our vision here at Skylight Blinds Direct has always been to provide high-quality and premium style window blinds for your loft windows. We step in at the end of the process, when you’ve come to the fun part of dressing and styling a room to suit your family. But, we also fully understand how big of a commitment it is. To plan, build and manage a loft conversion in your very own home. All of a sudden, you’re drawn into a world of architect drawings, sourcing contractors and setting up insurance plans that. Confusing stuff, no? And when it comes to making such a drastic change to the structure of your home, you want to know that every decision you make is the right one. And that every change implemented will bring you closer to the living environment everybody in your house is looking for.

So, that’s why we’re bringing you a Beginners Guide to Loft Conversions here on the Skylight Blinds Direct blog. Over the next few months, we’ll delve into some of the most important factors you need to consider when planning your loft conversion. Along with a few sneaky styling tips for when you come to the end of your renovation. We’ll look at aspect such as:

  • Different types of loft conversion you can choose from
  • Understanding the suitability of your space for your chosen type
  • Building regulations
  • Planning permission etc

But beforehand, we thought we’d take a look into the reasons why you may choose to convert your loft space into an extra room.

Bedroom Loft Conversion

Image of a modern loft conversion bedroom example

Image credit: The Sofa and Chair

Maybe you’ve got a new arrival due to arrive or your two youngest children have shared a room for long enough. In many homes, the loft space is mostly wasted and dead space. Reserved as a storage space for old clothes that you’ve long outgrown, furniture that’s too bulky to get rid of and stacks of photo albums you never look through. Turning this dead space into an additional bedroom offers you the space you need. All without requiring you to move house or shift your entire family to another location. It gives you the ability to make sure the electrical plugs are positioned exactly where you want them. Add one below the cot bed for the video monitor. Or another for that TV you’ve been dying to hang somewhere. The option is entirely yours with a loft conversion.

In addition to housing your close family, loft bedrooms are the perfect option for guest rooms. Those with large floor spaces have the opportunity to install an en-suite bathroom alongside the bathroom to serves your guests perfectly every single time they visit. Make sure to consider floor board stability and structure when installing bathrooms as furniture. Some items, including bathtubs, will significantly increase in weight when full.

Office Loft Conversion

Image of a bright and airy loft conversion office space

Image credit: Camilla Hynynen

For anyone who runs their business from home, it can be difficult to find a quiet and private area to produce your best work. Taking those important phone calls and creatively plan the next steps for your company can be a challenge. The dead space in your loft steps in to help in this situation – easily transforming into a dedicated work hub where you can disappear for many hours. The great thing about a loft office is it’s only accessible from one place – the stairs. So you won’t risk the kids running past your door mid-space adventure as you go back and forth over budgets for your latest client. And here again, you’re given the opportunity to create the space to your exact requirements. Add in the right amount of plugs for your laptop, work phone, printer, faxing machine and to charge up the many portable devices a business requires.

Playroom Loft Conversion

An image of a colourful and useful children's playroom in a loft converion

Image credit: The Idea Room

Confine all those garishly multi-coloured toys and loud instruments to one room. Turn your loft conversion into a playroom. Think of all the space you’ll free up downstairs and in the bedrooms, if you can create a children’s haven out of the general view? In doing this and with the freedom to design the room to your specifications, you are able to create a child-safe environment where your little ones can play to their heart’s content. And, you adults can relax downstairs without a care in the world. It is important to place safety at the height of importance when designing a playroom on a separate floor. Consider stair gates, video monitors and accessibility when designing your room.

Structured Storage or Dressing Room Loft Conversion

An image of built-in shoe storage within a loft conversion wardrobe

Image credit: Holmes Hole Builders LLC

Creating a large room that spreads the entire footprint of your home offers the perfect opportunity to redesign the storage offerings in your home. Consider transforming the entire room into a luxurious and lavish walk-in dressing room. Think complete floor length mirrors across one wall and a separate shelving unit for your bags and shoes. Alternatively, this large space can be used to store stock and essential resources for your home-run business. Or precious collectables that you’ve invested in over the years. Such a large space demands appropriate use. If you do decide to create a dedicated space for storage, ensure you plan ahead to have integrated cupboards and drawers. This frees up floor space for organising, dressing or creating.

Increase the value of your home

Adding a loft extension is the perfect way to confidently increase the value of your house. It both increases the number of rooms and improve the functionality as a family home. According to one of the largest building societies in the UK, Nationwide, adding a loft conversion can add a minimum of 21% to a home’s value. This could boost a £300,000 home up to around £363,000. This is all without needing to use up valuable garden space on the ground floor. So, as well as giving you extra space that you may very well need, it can also be a highly beneficial financial investment in you and your family’s lives.

Considerations

Whatever you do decide to turn your loft conversion into, make sure you and your family understand the commitment. This build will impact your everyday life throughout both the design and construction process. Although these sorts of builds can significantly add to the value of your home, they are also costly in themselves. Decisions should be carefully thought out and discussed with everyone involved. Thinks like:

  • Do you have the money saved up or will you have to borrow?
  • If borrowing, how long do you expect it to be before you are able to pay it back?
  • Are you in a financial place where this build won’t impact your ability to make bills?

All of these questions should be asked and answered confidently before deciding to go ahead with your build.

It is important to make sure that you’ve ticked all the legal points off the list. This is something we will go into further detail about in a later blog post. Also, ensure the structure of your home is always kept at the height of importance. Remember, it is your family that will have to live there once the architects have been signed off and the builders have long since moved off to another job.

Windows… of course!

And, while we’re here – and because we are so passionate about windows at Skylight Blinds Direct– let’s quickly consider light. Light in a room dictates both practicality and purpose. Think about it. Limited light in an art studio could result in poor art. Lack of light in a kitchen could result in injury or overcooked food. Too much light in a child’s bedroom could cause disrupted sleep and naps.  Later on in this series, we’ll delve into things such as how many windows you’ll need and whether you need to consider accessibility. Also, we’ll bring you information such as the different brands of roof windows. This includes Keylite® windows, Dakstra® windows and the most recognisable brand, VELUX® windows.

But don’t despair!

Don’t let us put you off. Building a loft conversion is an exciting and thrilling adventure for everyone involved. It gives you a chance you’ve waited for years to enjoy. The opportunity to get your teeth into the world of architectural and interior design. This is something that is usually reserved for the house builders of the world.

So stay tuned – we’ll be uploading posts throughout the month with tips, legal information. With this, you’ll find our clear, concise guide into all the things you need to consider when building your very own loft conversion.

In our next post, we discuss whether your loft is suitable for a conversion.

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