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Its very evident that families grow but houses dont. Utilizing space available and turning it into liveable space can not only keep you in the same house but also add value to your property. You could add another room with an addition, but that can be quite costly compared to a loft conversion of your attic. Wouldnt you love to have a new bedroom or office in your house? Lets talk about how to make it happen.
CONSIDER CONVERTING YOUR UNUSED SPACE
If someone talks about their attic, we automatically think of a dusty, dark, unfinished storage space over top of a bedroom or hallway. On the other hand, if we instead call the attic a loft, it becomes a fourth bedroom or guest room, something that is quite a bit more glamorous indeed. Here is a short video of a loft conversion in process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99tw5Ewpv4c
HISTORY OF THE LOFT
The idea originated in the city that never sleeps New York, NY. Back in the 1960s, the fad was started in the SoHo area of the city. Many struggling artists made warehouse lofts their bedrooms because the price was affordable for them. Soon the idea spread across the city, especially in Manhattan. Since that time and currently, the loft is on blueprint plans all over the world and is very big in the UK.
CONVERSION OPTIONS FUEL THE POPULARITY
At least a portion of the popularity of lofts, in the UK and elsewhere, can be attributed to the available options when making the conversion. The most common usage of a loft is another bedroom of course but the space can be tailored to fit your particular needs. It can be made into a large closet/dressing room area, a neatly organized storage room or perhaps even a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub. Sun lights add a totally different perspective to the room and large windows can reveal breath-taking views.
WILL A LOFT WORK IN YOUR HOUSE
Lofts can definitely increase the aesthetic value of your property. A loft can potentially increase the worth of your house by as much as a fifth, but you have to be sure it is feasible in your case. You must be sure there is enough room first of all for a full conversion, but some folks opt for a half conversion if necessary. There cannot be any leaks in your roof so be prepared for some roof work if rain is finding a way in. You also have to make sure there is enough height to allow for headroom. Some current attics just dont have enough vertical area to support a loft. The building codes are different in every locale so it is critical that you check your jurisdiction guidelines to make sure that your house meets the specific criteria for a loft conversion.
TYPES OF LOFT CONVERSIONS
There are several types of conversions that can be built depending on the requirements of your structure, or just your preference. These are a few of the most common choices:
Roof/Window conversion This is the best way to take advantage of sunlight and really brighten up your loft. It is important to check building codes in your area for this conversion.
Hip to the gable conversion This conversion makes you alter the slope or hipped side of your house and turn it into a level gable end. This will provide added room for the staircase and the room itself.
Dormer conversion This extension of the loft focuses on windows. Normally this process is required to add more height to the loft and make access to the stairs easier.
Mansard conversion The Mansard roof possesses an upper slope and a lower slope. It is used to maximize the space provided, getting the most efficient use of it.
THE REST IS UP TO YOU
Now you have a basic understanding about loft conversions. Whether you attempt the job yourself or hire professionals, the results can be something to be proud of. Unless you are very skillful in carpentry, roofs and home improvement, you might want to hand this job over to the experts. There can be many unexpected surprises and problems if you have never tackled this type of job before. Hopefully you will meet the requirements of your jurisdiction and start working on your loft conversion. The extra room just might save you from the larger expense of relocating.
Here is a finished loft video for you to enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k8QWwu4oHk
Nisha Sharma is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement and investments. She also helps to represent http://www.chcbuild.co.uk, a company that specialise in Loft Conversions in West London.