How to Plan Your Loft Conversion

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Loft Conversion

When you think of a loft, you think of style and luxury. The interior design options are endless but a loft, the architectural feature itself, is a statement of modernity and elevation that will more than likely increase the value of your space whether it’s an apartment or a home. 

First things first, can your home sustain a loft addition? Even the most utilitarian individuals must confer with a professional home inspection service before they begin a loft renovation. Such an addition or remodeling effort requires drawing plans and acquiring permits. You can either research local contractors in your area or if you are thinking of working with a remodeling contractor and design team, they can advise on behalf of the project. HomeAdvisor is a good resource to get yourself started. If you are based in the United Kingdom, then you will need a London loft conversion company.

Considerations before beginning your loft conversion

A loft, according to Google definitions, is “a room or space directly under the roof of a house or other building, which may be used for accommodations or storage,” therefore, it will structurally need to support additional weight which can be a strain on your home’s foundation. You’ll first need to decide if your loft is going to accommodate people or things (likely both) and you’ll need to understand how much weight the loft addition will need to support. You’ll also want to ensure your ceilings are high enough to accommodate what you envision for your loft space; will it be meant for sitting and sleeping or do you want to have the ability to stand up with some space between your head and the ceiling?

Is your partner taller than you and how tall are your friends? And how do you plan to get up to this loft once it’s built? Likely not by way of ladder! A spiral staircase can look beautiful, but it requires proper planning. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck on a shaky and steep spiral staircase jammed in as an afterthought (we’ve all been on one of those). You’ll also want to consider what other house adjustments will be needed from a plumbing, heating and cooling perspective but your designer and/or renovation contractor will be able to determine this during the planning process.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, loft conversions can cost  $20,000 on average and $70,000 on the high end but The Abbey Partnership, a construction firm based in England, has determined that loft additions can increase your home’s value 20-25% depending on the housing market in your area. Given the broad cost range and high ROI opportunity, investing in professional advice will save you and potentially earn you more money in the long run. 

If you need a good loft conversion company in London, check out Loft 365, a loft conversion company London based.

Style and inspiration

What draws you to lofts in the first place? Space. Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Space is the breath of art,” and so it is the effective use of space that draws the eye and brings the art, as well as the home, to life. Everyone needs more space and a loft will solve that problem but bear in mind, a loft conversion will automatically add an architecturally rich story to your home; one that you can refine and amplify with details of your choosing.

In the event that you decide to enlist the help of a designer, it’ll be well worth your time to do your own research and develop a vision. An interior designer will more than likely be equipped to draw this out of you but if you come to your first meeting with a well thought out plan and a solid understanding of your goals for the space, the designer will undoubtedly be better prepared to bring your vision to fruition. 

The loft of your dreams…

If books are your thing, 150 Best of the Best Loft Ideas by Loft Publications can serve as visual inspiration and help you better understand your likes and dislikes. If you know what you are going for as far as the build or your options are limited from a structural standpoint, loft expert and host of HGTV’s Lofty Ideas, Katherine Stone’s book Loft Design: Solutions for Creating a Livable Space can serve as a guide to ensure the additional space you are creating, whether home, apartment or office space, is a perfect balance between stunning and practical. 

If you are less inclined to spend time reading books ahead of your project and activities like scrolling and tapping are more in your wheelhouse, platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest can be great resources. Instagram accounts like @Modernism_Week, @Noasantos, @dominomag, and @archdigest, to name a few, are excellent for design inspiration (plus their feeds are just gorgeous!). Pinterest is an intuitive tool for building vision boards which can really help you narrow down your aesthetic and create a place for experimentation before making any permanent decisions. 

Doing it Yourself vs. Doing it With Help

If you are curious about the technicalities of a loft conversion project or are still tempted to try it on your own, Loft Conversion Manual: The step-by-step guide to designing, building and managing a loft project by Ian Rock is a good resource; it’ll give you a holistic understanding of the work entailed and potentially arm you with good communication tools during the contractor vetting process. As with any significant home improvement project, it’s always best to work with a professional but if you do the research and planning, the project can be a collaboration between you, the builder and the designer. 

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