In most homes the attic seems to be where we store the items we rarely use, suitcases, tents, old family photo albums and possessions we just can’t seem to let go of. Some of us go a step further and keep clothes from our younger years that we wouldn’t dream of wearing now, rollerskates, bodyboards and the video tapes we don’t have a player for but don’t want to throw out, and the list goes on.
Attics hold real potential to be turned into additional rooms and create further living space within the home. Depending on size and budget, they can be transformed into additional bedrooms, home offices, bathrooms or even second living rooms. If done right, converting the attic can also increase the value and desirability of your home.
Making the Attic Conversion
However, getting it right is no easy job, so before you buy any supplies or book any workmen, take a look at these helpful considerations and tips-
- Get permission from your local building authority, then consult with professionals to make sure your requirements are achievable and that the job is doable
- Is your attic big enough? They say to stick to a rule of 7’s. To be functional as a room, the attic should be 7 feet high, 7 feet wide and at least 70 square feet
- Try to optimise natural light by including a skylight or window if possible. This can also help to air the room, as lofts can get very warm during the hotter months. Dormer windows can increase space, openness and add natural light.
- Consider how you are going to insulate the ceiling and walls. Fibreglass is cheap and effective, but spray foam roof insulation is said to form a much tighter air barrier, which helps to stop heat escaping or entering
- If you still need to store some items in the loft, try to hide it in units which are fitted against the walls to optimise space. Alternatively, put the items into self storage until you figure out what to do with them
- Painting the walls in neutral colours can help the room to feel more spacious and airy, and complement the light within the room
- You are going to need a staircase or ladder up into the new room and this may require a new hatch. Make sure this is included in your budget costs
- For it to add real value and count towards the rooms within the house; as opposed to just being a ‘loft room’, it will have to meet certain standards. This will mean having a staircase and windows with suitable insulation. Your local council’s building control department should be able to advise you on these issues, as they enforce the regulations
Safestore, the UK self storage specialist, often speak to customers who are using their services whilst renovating their homes or converting old storage space into additional space for the home.