Common Loft Conversion Concerns - Getting Over Potential Stumbling Blocks

25.02.16

A loft conversion can be the most effectual, cost-effective solution for homeowners seeking additional space, especially when moving house is such an impractical alternative - whilst increasing saleability and value to your property. 

Of course, no construction project is without its fair share of stumbling blocks and the same can be said for any remodelling work done to the loft. When faced with such potential problems however, it’s important to remember there is always a way around, which is why it’s so important you employ the services of a trusted professional to ensure the best outcome.

Incase you’ve got your own concerns regarding whether or not a loft conversion is a feasible option, we’ve listed a few common obstacles that can be easily overcome.

Insufficient Headroom

One of the most common problems homeowners face when converting their loft is ensuring enough headroom for standing. Lofts tend to have low ceilings, which can make them unsuitable - from both a comfortability and safety standpoint - places for habitation.

Whilst there is no minimal height legally required, you will need at least 2.1m to 2.2m clear headroom to really make the most of it.

If your loft does not currently offer enough space, or fails to meet the desired space once a new floor and insulation has been accounted for, there is likely to be a design solution to make it possible. For example, increasing the volume of the roof or changing the overall shape can make a dramatic difference to the amount of usable space available.

Property Encroachment

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, you’ve probably ruled out a loft conversion, but your neighbours can’t prevent you from converting your loft space even if means crossing onto their property.

You will need to provide notice under the Party Wall Act (England & Wales) however, so head over to communities.gov.uk for more information.

No Space for Permanent Access 

Converting your loft into a living area, den, or any kind of room where multiple people inhabit at one time requires permanent point of egress. Typical loft ladders are not permitted under health and safety regulations, instead requiring the use of an actual staircase.

Unfortunately, many upstairs landings do not provide sufficient space for an entire staircase, or the access hatch may be awkwardly situated and therefore make it near impossible to install one.

Space saver loft ladders, on the other hand, ensure valuable space isn’t being taken up needlessly, cleverly designed to reach areas otherwise difficult to access. Narrow, elegant and understated, a space-saver is an an ideal solution that will not compromise your surrounding aesthetic.

Not Bathroom Equipped

A second or third bathroom can make a huge difference to you property, which is why many homeowners seek to convert their unused loft space into a bathroom, perhaps integrated as an ensuite.

You will of course require the correct ‘plumbing’, most notably a suitably located ‘soil stack’ (a drain-waste-vent system fitted in all bathrooms), otherwise things could get messy.

If this sounds like an altogether impossible task then you’d be very much mistaken. Although, admittedly, such work will incur extra cost, it is entirely possible for a professional to install the necessary equipment needed to create your dream third-storey bathroom.