When was the last time you went in your loft?

If you’re in an older property, you may raise your hand and say last January? You know the annual ritual of returning the Christmas decorations to storage? You may be unable to store stuff in there as it won’t support weight, like many new house don’t. You may have already converted it into another bedroom, a studio, or be thinking about it.

Envision CAD will give you a guide to loft conversions here.

When you think logically about it, a loft is a big hat on a home. A huge hat, covering the building, keeping it dry and insulated but as uses of space goes, lofts seem pretty pointless, don’t you agree. At their tallest apex, there’s 6 feet or more of height and on average about 18 feet in width and length that is home to joists and insulation.

But before you jump in, or up, to a loft conversion, ask these things:

Can the loft be converted?

Is the loft actually suitable for conversion? Your roof space may be limited or you may live in a conservation area, with strict planning stipulations. You need to ask the expert advice of a builder, architect or surveyor.

Look for local precedents

This is a very easy step and all it needs is some discreet nosiness. Have other properties in your locale had loft conversions? You don’t need to be a property detective to spot them – Velux windows are often a telltale sign. If you’re particularly confident, you can always ask the residents to show you their conversion. Most people, we find, would be very accommodating with this.

Measure the head height

If you’re under 6 feet tall, it’s well worth carefully clambering in your loft with a tape measure or grabbing a laser one for ease, and noting heights. 2.2 metres or more is ideal. Word of warning though – Victorian and Edwardian homes often measure less, yet homes from the 1930s onwards can exceed this requirement.

Check your roof type

Do you have roof trusses or roof rafters? Peek through your loft hatch and you should be able to tell immediately with a torch.

Rafters run along the edge of the roof and will leave most of the triangular space below hollow. Trusses are supports that run through the cross-section of the loft.¬†Converting a loft with trusses is possible, but extra structural support is needed to replace the trusses, and it’s likely to be more costly.

In our next loft conversion blog post, we will look at floor types, types of loft conversion types and next steps.

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