Loft, attic, random room at the top of the house – call it whatever you want! You know what we’re talking about here; the room that’s right underneath the roof, and it’s usually not used for anything at all. For some of us, this room might be a storage place for old boxes. For others, it’s not even boarded up and just serves as a place to put insulation, so your home stays warm.
Regardless, if you have a loft, then you have the potential to create something amazing. With a loft conversion, you can take this unused space and transform it into a more functional area of the home. There are so many things you can convert a loft into, including:
- An extra bedroom
- A home office
- An upstairs lounge area
- A study
- A library
- A more practical storage space
- A games room
The possibilities are limitless, and we’re not going to talk about all the different loft conversion ideas today. Instead, you must know how to go about a loft conversion. So, here’s a beginner’s guide that will help you get everything sorted with minimal fuss!
Figure out what you want to convert the loft into
Okay, this slightly goes against what was just mentioned about not talking about loft conversion ideas! We’re not going to dive too deep into this, but it is the first step in converting this part of your home. You’ll find it very hard to try and complete this conversion without any idea as to what you want it to look like.
So, decide on the purpose of the room before you get started. What do you want it to be? There’s no right or wrong answer; it depends on your home and your needs. If you have another child on the way and need an extra bedroom, then a loft conversion can be perfect for this purpose. Or, if you live alone and want to create your own little personal relaxation space, then that’s another excellent idea.
Weigh up all the options before you settle on the idea that suits you best!
Check inside your loft
Next, you need to do a little bit of recon work inside your loft. Here, you’re basically looking for things that could pose a problem. A frequent loft issue is a pest infestation. Loads of animals can find their way into your loft and make it your home. Birds do it, as do rats and other rodents. You should be able to tell if there’s been an animal presence in your loft. First of all, you might hear scratching or squeaking from downstairs. Secondly, when you go into your attic, you could spot droppings, wet patches, and the smell of pee and poo. Of course, the most obvious sign is if you see them with your own eyes too! But, many animals go out during the day and then only come back to your loft at night.
No matter what, you can’t proceed with a loft conversion unless you’ve taken care of the pest problem. You can see on https://www.000pestcontrol.com.au/ that there are companies that can help you get rid of a variety of pests. Find someone to help you out, then remove the pests from your loft. Now, there’s one less thing to worry about before you begin the conversion.
Check the roofing
Likewise, while you’re checking for pests, make sure you check the roofing as well. Typically, your roof will deteriorate with age. The shingles start to come loose and fall off, holes or cracks appear, and this poses a problem for you. If your roof is compromised, then it can lead to leaks inside. This may have already happened, and you should look inside your loft for signs of water damage.
It mentions on https://todayshomeowner.com/video/tips-for-locating-hard-to-find-roof-leaks/ that you can locate any holes or leaks by going up in your roof during the day and blocking out any light sources. Now, you’ll be in a pitch-black room – or will you? If you see rays of light breaking through the roof, then this shows there must be cracks in there. Get any holes or cracks sorted out before you start the conversion.
If your roof is ancient, then it might be better to get a new one installed. Why? Because it gives your new loft an extra layer of protection and ensures that you won’t suffer any leaks further on down the line. It’s not essential, but it could be worth it if your roof is decades old and keeps suffering from problems.
Clean the area
Once you’re sure that there are no pests, and that your roofing is free from cracks/holes, you can start preparing your loft. Clear everything out from it and give it a rigorous clean. You want it to look brand new – this may mean you need to strip down some surfaces and replace them with clean things.
Ideally, you should get a professional to help you do this. Many renovation companies can help you prepare the room – then help with the overall conversion as well. If you want to save money, then you could try and do this by yourself. Just make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the outcome and that the loft is clean enough for someone to live in.
Board it up
If your loft is already boarded up, then you can probably skip this step. If not, then get someone to come and board up the attic for you.
Essentially, this is the process of laying boards down on the floor inside the loft. Some lofts don’t have flooring that you can walk on, which obviously poses an issue during a conversion! You need to get everything boarded up and ready for you to lay down the proper flooring.
Don’t forget the insulation
Insulation is a vital part of your loft! Without it, your home will let so much heat escape through the roof. The insulation is there to trap heat and keep your house at a pleasant temperature. This is particularly important if you’re converting your loft into a room for someone to live in. Without the best insulation, the room will be freezing at night. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it also means that you waste so much money on energy bills.
Filling your loft with insulation is a relatively easy process for insulation companies. Most lofts already have some, but yours could be outdated. If you really want to ensure that this room is perfect, then it makes sense to get brand new insulation throughout. Again, this is like with your roof; the newness means the room gets extra protection and just feels newer as well.
Think about windows
The thing about lofts is that they don’t always let in a lot of natural light. There’s usually a window or two built into the roof, but there might not be any others. So, it’s worth thinking about the windows when you’re planning your conversion. Realistically, you’ll get a sense of this when you check out the roof or clean out your loft. Here, you’ll notice if it’s too dark, or if you should switch up the window placement.
Natural light is effective at making rooms look brighter and more beautiful. For me, it’s necessary to have ample windows and natural lighting in a loft. It takes it from a dark and gloomy place to a more vibrant and livable one.
Pixabay (CC0 License)
All of the above will help you prepare your loft for its new role. You’ll make sure it’s clean, free from anything unwanted, and boarded up. Now, you have to start working on the actual interior design. Consider what flooring you want, think about how you’ll cover the walls, and so on. Effectively, you’re following a typical interior design process, here!
It can be different from decorating other rooms as space is a bit more condensed and dominated by the shape of the roof! But, think about all the furniture and decorations you want in the room. Slowly but surely, you can add new things, and the room starts to come together.
Install an excellent stairway option
Lastly, you must consider the entrance point into the loft. In some homes, you pull down a ladder to get into the loft. In others, you have to literally climb up! These options are usually okay as you don’t really spend much time going back and forth between the loft and the rest of your home.
However, you’re converting the loft into a room that will be used all the time! So, you need a more practical stairway option. If you check out https://www.simplyloft.co.uk/choose-staircase-design-loft-conversion/, you’ll see a variety of stairway ideas that might be perfect for your loft.
After all of this, you should now be the proud owner of a converted loft. You’ve got an extra room in your home that makes life more comfortable for everyone. A loft conversion can take some time, and it’s also something you can do yourself or with professional help. Either option will work fine, but it can be better to bring in professionals for some of the more technical aspects of the job.