Did you know that loft conversions are one of the most popular renovations undertaken by UK homeowners? If you didn’t it still shouldn’t surprise you as a loft conversion is an excellent way to add livable space to your existing home without the hassle of ‘building out’ And it’s certainly far less bothersome than trying to move to a larger home in the same area if your family seems to be ‘running out of space’.
There are those people however who, although they certainly fancy the idea of a loft conversion for their home, never do get around to calling a loft conversion specialist because they believe that their loft is simply too small to convert. However, often they are quite wrong.
Think your loft space is just too small for conversion. Let’s take a look at the basics. By the time we are finished here, you may have changed your mind
Small Loft Conversion and Building Regulations
The building regulations for small loft conversion state that lofts need to be at least 2.4m at the highest point before they are converted. Not sure if your loft meets that requirement? Head up to your loft and measure f(carefully) from the top of the ceiling boards all the way up to the peak of the roof.
You should, however, be aware that the conversion process will probably reduce head height even further and that the regulations do state that there needs to be a minimum of two metres headroom remaining after the project is completed in order for the conversion to be compliant.
Two metres can be hard to envisage, but here’s a comparison. Retired NBA basketball legend Shaquille O Neal – aka Shaq – is 2.1 metres tall. So your loft height will have to equal one Shaq. Not as high as you thought right?
Trusses are Not the Big Problem You Think They Are
Trusses are those large beams that often criss-cross the attic space in order to support the weight of the roof. Many homeowners whose attics contain large W-shaped trusses believe that these mean that their lofts are unsuitable for conversion but this really isn’t the case. Trusses can be removed relatively easily, with steel or wooden beam replacements running the length of your roof to bear the load. This not only meets building regulations but will add even more space to your potential small loft conversion than before.
Work with a Loft Conversion Specialist to Get Creative with Your Plans
A small loft conversion does not have to look cramped or weird, especially as there are lots of ‘tricks’ employed in the design trade to help such spaces look and feel bigger than you might have ever imagined possible.
For example, in small spaces, maximising the amount of natural light becomes very important, as making the environment feel bright and airy is an important part of good loft conversion design. Because of their upward facing angle, sloping loft ceilings are a perfect place to add skylights. These let in far more light than a regular window at all times of day and can look rather stunning from a design point of view as well.
Not sure that you’ll have enough room to add any more up in your loft conversion than maybe a bed and a chair? Think again. There are all kinds of clever storage solutions that can be picked up inexpensively that can be used to add functionality to a small loft space without making it feel cluttered.
And speaking of furniture, don’t be afraid of big furniture Just because the room is small doesn’t mean that you have to pick out equally tiny pieces of furniture. Sometimes, it can be a much better use of space to go for one or two large pieces of furniture instead. So feel free to be bold and stick that giant sofa or king-sized bed up there (as long as they’ll fit up your loft’s stairs that is).