Once upon a time bungalows were considered to be the preserve of the elderly. Those cozy little places you retired to after a long life of hard work, maybe by the sea, with roses round the door. However bungalows these days are some of the most sought-after property types you can buy. Why? One of the biggest is reasons is that they present the potential to easily expand upwards, via an expert bungalow loft conversion, into a very chic and practical chalet bungalow.
But before you start making plans to convert your bungalow – or buy a bungalow with a view to carrying out a bungalow loft conversion there are a few important things that you should know.
Why Bungalows are So Ripe for Conversion
Because of the larger floor plan that most bungalows are built with, and their traditional pitched roofs in many cases more than 40% of the available space – space that could be converted into great usable living space – goes unused. Usually, this means that the average loft in a bungalow is a large expanse of untapped potential just waiting to be utilized in lots of different ways.
Generally, the older a bungalow is the better. Those that were built in the UK before 1960 were constructed with big, very open loft spaces that were designed for storage. Most also have load bearing walls (which is very good news, as any loft conversion specialist will tell you) that can stand up to the construction of new loft rooms, and the steep pitch of their roofs means that it is unlikely that you’ll need a dormer window either.
Having said that, even those with a shallower pitch can be easily converted into a chalet bungalow with the help of a bungalow loft conversion specialist, as they understand what all of the different options are for gaining head height and which would be best suited to your unique property.
The Importance of Load Bearing Walls
The biggest problem usually encountered when a bungalow loft conversion is being considered is a lack of load-bearing walls. This does not necessarily end the dream though, it means that it’s likely that your loft conversion specialist will need to do some structural support and/or underpinning work first. These things are not hard for an experienced pro to execute but they will add to the cost of the conversion as a whole.
Where Will the Stairs Go?
A bungalow loft conversion does mean that you will be adding stairs to a property that was never designed to have them. No matter where you choose to do this it will mean losing some of the floor space on what will now become the ground floor level. However, a good design plan will be able to tackle the issue and ensure that the space lost is minimal.
Building By the Book
In general, the good news is that building regulations are a little more relaxed for bungalow conversion staircases. In multi-story properties, new staircases should be ‘fire protected stairways’. This isn’t always possible in a bungalow, so escape windows should be added to the new loft rooms to satisfy building regulations instead. However, if you are working with a loft specialist they will take care of making sure that everything is up to code.
Getting to the Fun Part
All the basics have been covered and your loft conversion specialist is in agreement: your bungalow is a great candidate for a loft conversion. So now the real fun starts, what are you going to do with all of that extra space?
Many people choose to use the space to create a wonderful master bedroom suite (complete with bathroom) that frees up a room downstairs to be converted into something else. But that’s not your only option of course. A home office, a library, a playroom, a spare room for your teen kid to be ‘promoted’ up to there are lots of possibilities when it comes to bungalow loft conversion. All you have to do is figure out which one is right for you.
Image Source: homebuilding.co.uk