Loft Conversions: Feasible for Your Home? Loft Conversions: Feasible for Your Home?

Loft conversions can increase the value of your home while offering you more space. This idea of turning an attic space into a usable living area is a dream many people have, but it requires planning to make it work. The first step in the planning is to see if your attic is capable of supporting a loft conversion.

Do You Have Enough Height?   

There needs to be enough usable ceiling height in your attic to support a conversion, or you must be able to move the ceiling out to get more height. While lofts are characterized by low ceilings under the eaves, there needs to be enough places in your attic that give you the standard, 8 foot ceiling in order to make the resulting square feet substantial enough for a room.

Consult with Professionals  

You can find a multitude of companies who specialize in loft conversions. Most of these companies can give you a free consultation. During the consultation the loft conversion company will take measurements and assuming your home has enough room, you will then discuss your options.

Besides ceiling height, other considerations are whether or not your attic floor has the floor strength to support a room and if the electrical system can handle additional circuits.

If you want to add a bathroom, then there are additional considerations about whether or not you are able to bring water to the attic, and if the sewer and plumbing systems in the home are able to handle the increased load.

If you have a trussed roof, it will have to be converted first before the actual loft conversion begins and this is one of the first things that the company will talk to you about.
   
Next, you will need to contact your local city or county inspectors and find out if you are required to obtain a building permit in order to undergo a loft conversion. If so, those documents will be needed before beginning any construction.

Your construction company should be able to acquire all permits needed for the conversion and submit all plans needed for such documents, but you should be prepared to pay extra for this service. Often times, you will find that you may not even need permits depending on the type of work that needs to be done.

Consider the Cost

When deciding on the feasibility of a loft conversion, cost becomes a determining factor. Most problems can be overcome, but the cost of fixing an inadequate plumbing system or reinforcing ceiling joists so they are strong enough to be floor joists may be so great that the conversion is not a wise investment for you.

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