Attic/Loft Conversions – Answering All Your Questions

What is an attic/loft conversion?

In the United States, a loft conversion describes the enclosure of a partially-open, elevated living space into a private room.



What is habitable attic/loft space?

Habitable attic space must satisfy the same requirements that govern rooms in the rest of the house.



Why should you choose an attic/loft room?

Because a well-designed attic room will not only create extra habitable space to help free up a busy household, but whether you want to add an extra lounge, bathroom, guest bedroom, or even open plan kitchen to your home, it’s a really clever alternative to an extension that could even up your property’s value.



What are the benefits of an attic/loft conversion?

Unlike many basements, attics are dry and is free of major appliances (e.g., the furnace), they are also quiet, space is enclosed, and no foundations have to be poured.



What are the advantages of converting unoccupied attic/loft space?

Converting empty loft space is a great way to maximize your office and gain some extra space.



Are all attics/lofts suitable for conversion?

Not all lofts are suitable for a loft conversion.






What additional space can I add?

Following a loft conversion, the additional space can be used as an additional bedroom or two, a study or home office, a separate bathroom, or a nursery.



How much does an attic/loft conversion cost?

A loft conversion costs $7,000 to $67,600, averaging about $20,000.



What are the most common attic/loft conversions?

Dormer loft conversions are the most common type of loft conversions because of the additional space they can provide with relatively simple building works.



What is a dormer?

In effect, a dormer raises the height of a ceiling that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to walk beneath.



What is a dormer loft conversion?

With dormer loft conversions, dormer windows are added to increase the volume of the roof space while providing full head height.



What is a side dormer?

A side dormer is often used to increase head height for houses with a hipped roof, where access to the loft is located under that hip.






What is the L-Shape Dormer?

The L-Shape Dormer provides a significant amount of additional space.



How do I convert my attic/loft?

If this is your first remodel, consider hiring a professional to help you convert your attic.



How do I convert my attic/loft into a commercial space?

There are some minimum requirements in regards to the pitch of the roof and the headspace that determine whether the loft area can be converted into an area that can be used for office space or residential living.



What is the building code for an attic/loft?

To meet most building codes your attic should: Have at least 7 feet of vertical clearance in the majority of the room, be a minimum of 7 feet wide, and have at least 70 square feet of space available.



What if I do not have ductwork?

If your attic does not already have ductwork, you will need to find out if your current HVAC system will support an additional room.



What are other heating and cooling options?

If adding ductwork or HVAC capacity is beyond your budget, other options include baseboard heating and mini-spilt systems.




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What if I have a compressed attic floor?

If it is old and compressed, consider replacing it.



How much glazing should I have?

As a general rule, glazing should make up 20 percent of the roof area if you’re keen to maximize natural light.



What challenges should I be aware of?

Sloping ceilings in attic conversions may seem like a challenge but they are exciting to work with.



What are the best ways to use small spaces?

Be clever with your furniture placement to make the best use of them. If your conversion is on the smaller side, or you’re opting for a couple of small rooms as opposed to one large one, take advantage of the naturally cozy feel offered by small spaces.



How can I incorporate natural lighting?

If you’re using the space for storage, skip the window and put in a skylight to maximize wall space.



What pieces should I prioritize?

If you are planning an en suite, take into account the ceiling height in the space and prioritize pieces – namely the shower and hand basin – that cannot compromise on headroom.






What is the best way to make a room look more dramatic?

Keeping your bed central will make more of a visual impact, and otherwise, think about breaking up and zoning the space.



What is the best way to store my items?

Rather than pushing everything against the walls, consider a stud wall – as above – which will allow you to create an ensuite or wardrobe, while you could even use a tall headboard as a room divider to hide more storage behind it and help keep the rest of your room clutter-free.