Should You Pursue Loft Living?

Should You Pursue Loft Living?
  • Opening Intro -

    City dwellers know that one of the best places to set up a residence is in a converted loft building.

    Such buildings may have been previously used for industrial or commercial purposes and later repurposed for residential living.


Loft living offers a number of distinct advantages including an open floor space, high ceilings and typically large square footage. Should you pursue loft living? Yes, if you want to live where all the action is at. Read on for some tips as you consider a loft residence lifestyle.

Ideal location

— Consider where your loft is located. Most are built in former commercial districts that have been converted to residential use. Your city’s history likely shows that such districts were next to other business districts, meaning shopping including stores, restaurants and boutiques that are still within walking distance. A loft in the center of city activity is highly desirable as it is prime location sought by tenants or buyers.

Hard or soft

— There are two types of loft buildings — hard and soft. A hard loft building is one that was used for industrial purposes previously. A soft loft building is one that was used for something else, perhaps an old school that was converted to apartments. Many of the characteristics of both are the same including large rooms, wood floors, brick walls, high windows and an open floor pan.

Your home arrangement

— The argument has been made that lofts are best for single people or married couples, and definitely not something for growing families. Years ago, loft living was the prime domain of artists, but even small families may find loft living attractive. This is especially so given that many people now work from home and choose to be close to their children. This means young families can take advantage of the proximity that they cherish without having to move away from the action. Some lofts are extra large and can easily accommodate four or five people without crowding. Furniture placement is important as is having established sleep, play and work areas. The DoItYourself people offer tips on how to use your loft space.

Room layouts

— Whether you rent or own your loft space, you’re limited by what you can do to the shell of the building including your ceilings, floors and walls. The square footage you have will determine what space you can work with. You may be able to move center, non-structurally support walls or install new walls and partitions to provide separate living areas. Some loft users prefer to install walls that don’t go from floor to ceiling, an especially desirable option if you don’t want to totally restrict natural light.

Storage compartments

— An important drawback for loft units is the lack of storage space. Most units have few closets, requiring some improvising on the part of loft dwellers. If you like traditional furniture then a wardrobe, a chifforobe or an armoire can make up for it. Choose a unit that complements your loft and reflects your tastes. Most can also offer extended purposes with hats or books stored on top and a clothing hook on the side. Wall units, generally out of fashion elsewhere, can be advantageous for the loft resident. Your books, audio system, television and artwork can occupy a full wall, providing ample storage space lacking elsewhere.

Noise and privacy

— With limited ability to make structural changes or renovations to a loft unit, what you see is typically what you get. High windows bring in ample natural light, but can also bring in snooping eyes you might prefer to keep out. Choosing the right window blinds can help you maintain control. Another consideration is noise, generally from outside and not from your neighbors. Lofts typically have thick walls, floors and ceilings, minimizing the amount of noise from your neighbors. However, being that lofts are usually located where the action is, then street noise can be loud. A white noise machine can cancel some of that out, but generally loft living is for people with a higher tolerance for city life noise.

Special Considerations

Living in a loft is a desirable option, allowing urban dwellers to have more room to move about. If you buy a loft, expect that you’ll have homeowner association (HOA) fees much as you would with a condominium. Parking may hard to come by or, if available, is out in the open. Your utility bills may be higher as you’ll have higher ceilings and may need to set the thermostat higher in the winter to keep your place warm. Even as a renter your overall costs may be higher, the price you’ll pay for the convenience and room that a loft unit offers.

Home Improvement reference:

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Categories: Loft

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".