Three tips for those planning to convert their lofts

If you intend to convert your loft, here are three tips which should make this process as simple and straightforward as possible.

Choose the right type of skylight

To turn your loft into a habitable space which is comfortable for people to spend time in, you must ask your contractor to install at least one skylight window. This will allow natural light to enter the loft and in doing so, will make it look brighter and more spacious. When opened, it will also allow fresh air to circulate through the room.

When perusing the offerings of skylight window manufacturers, you should look for a style of skylight which opens fully, rather than partially.

This is important, as the loft is usually the warmest (and therefore the stuffiest) area of a house. This is because heat generated by the radiators in the lower floors rises upwards and gets trapped inside the loft.

Without the ventilation provided by a fully-opening skylight window, the loft could become so stiflingly warm that it ends up being an uncomfortable place to spend long periods of time in.

Think about access

Your loft will need a permanent form of access (i.e. a staircase of some kind) in order to serve as a habitable living space. When deciding what type of staircase to install, you should consider the mobility levels of those who will be using the loft space most frequently.

For example, if the space will be a playroom for your young child or a granny flat for your elderly parent, installing a basic fixed ladder without any banister or railing would not be advisable, as neither of these people would have the agility or the coordination to be able to safely ascend and descend from this type of structure without tripping and falling.

In either of these situations, it would be better to spend a bit more money on a full staircase with a banister that will allow your relatives to climb up and down from the loft without running the risk of sustaining an injury.

Use a contractor who has extensive experience with loft conversions

Converting a loft into a living space is a complex and challenging process. As such, it is a good idea to hire a building contractor who has already carried out several loft conversions in the past.

An experienced contractor will be familiar with the specific building regulations related to loft conversions (such as, for example, the minimum height the loft must have) and will understand how to perform the conversion in such a way that it meets these regulations.

They will also be better placed to handle structural challenges, such as how to ensure the conversion is structurally-sound when a number of obstructive roof trusses or rafters need to be removed to create the required amount of headroom.