Converting your attic space to living space

When the only way is up!

When we are looking for solutions to our space and storage woes, it can be tricky to know what might best suit your specific requirements.  If confined to the existing footprint of your home, it can prove to be a challenge.  

If feasible, converting your attic space may be the answer to your dilema!

If it is just some additional storage space you are longing for, you can simply look at flooring out your existing attic space and perhaps fitting an attic ladder.  If you choose this option be sure to check that your attic is properly insulated and make provision for additional lighting if necessary.

In order to convert your attic space into a habitable area such as a bedroom, office or playroom you must meet all the current building and fire regulations.  The main reason for these strict guidelines is to firstly protect your family so that they can use this new living space safely and secondly if and when you go to sell your home to avoid any possible regulation compliance problems.

There are generally two types of loft conversations – a “roofline” conversion and a “dormer” conversion.  With roofline conversions a room/rooms are created within the existing shape of the present roof with the use of velux windows for light and ventilation.  Planning permission is not normally required for this type of conversion, however in order to justify all current building regulations you may require a full set of architects plans along with designs from a structural engineer.

Dormer loft conversions are when an existing roof space is extended in order to produce a more habitable room.   The design, shape and design of dormers can vary greatly. This type of conversion may also not require planning permission but advice should be sought from the professionals as the criteria can vary from property to property. 

Take care when choosing your windows as light will be a crucial part of this project.  White velux window frames tend to be more asethically pleasing and subtle than traditional pine.  Pay attention to the staircase function but also aim at creating a feature of it while being mindful of it blending and working with the rest of the house.

Converting your attic is an ideal way of adding value to your property.  With current property conditions it may be more viable option to improve and renovate.  Try taking a peek at your family, friends or neighbours attic conversions to establish clearly what you are hoping to achieve and of course to help fuel your creative juices!

Be sure to make use of all possible space by custom fitting storage units right along the eaves. 

For further information about loft conversions, the Department of the Environment have a very useful and informative guide called “Loft Conversion” – Protect your Family” which is available to download from their site www.environ.ie

Planning some home improvements, why not get in touch with us for a chat 01 2548070