4 Loft Conversions on a Budget

Rose Morrison

May 9, 2021

loft

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You can use your loft for more than just storage. An attic conversion is a great way to make the space more functional and increase your home’s resale value. Plus, lofts can be a great place to escape to give your home that extra “wow” factor.

Why You Should Convert Your Loft

Here are some of the top reasons to convert your loft and make it a fun, inviting space. 

Increased Living Space

At some point, you may begin to outgrow your home. The birth of a new child or having teenagers means you will need more space. Instead of moving, an attic conversion is a good option. An extra room increases your overall living space. 

Also, loft conversations are less complex than making renovations. Adding an extension to your home takes a lot of planning and requires additional expenses. On the other hand, a conversion is a more straightforward process and allows you to maximize your unused space.

You Now Have a Room With a View 

One of the main perks of converting a room located on the top floor is you have the best view of the outside. Instead of looking out at passing traffic, you can see the tops of trees with blooming flowers. 

It’s Energy-Efficient

With more natural light coming in from the windows, the space conserves energy. Proper insulation will evenly heat the room. You will also save money on your electricity bills by maximizing your energy use. 

It Encourages You to Declutter

When remodeling your loft, you need to clear out the space. This allows you to go through your things and figure out what you can get rid of. Since you are reducing your storage, it also encourages you to downsize. 

4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Convert Your Loft

While converting your attic has many benefits, the project has some additional expenses. The average cost is $20,000 for attic conversations. Here are some ways to add an extra living space while staying on budget.

  1. Add Skylights

This is a cost-effective way to light up the room. Installing roof lights is a more straightforward process because it doesn’t require extending the area or planning permission. They also help bring in more natural light. 

Adding skylights allows you to maintain the room’s original design elements. You also have more flexibility in where you want them placed. When deciding on placement, think about where you can get the best ventilation. 

It costs about $500 to $3,000 to install skylights. Before you start the project, see if your roof is framed with a truss. You may need to cut into the truss for a skylight wider than 2 feet. You’ll then want to check your roof for any HVAC wires or plumbing that could be in the way. 

Also, figure out if you will need a chase. It’s a framed tunnel transporting light into the ceiling below. The structure is usually finished with drywall and painted. 

Consider installing a flat skylight for its moisture resistance and thermal protection. It also allows the maximum amount of light while reducing glare and hotspots. If you have enough space, think about adding a bathroom. It makes the space more functional, and the skylights can help keep it well-lit. 

In addition to your roof lights, you’ll want to reinforce your flooring. Then add a staircase, electric and heating, and fire safety measures to make the space habitable. 

  1. Install Part-Width Dormers

This is a good choice if a full dormer is not a viable option. A dormer is a window that is set vertically on a sloping roof. It helps bring in natural light to open up your space, and it also adds headroom. The windows come in a variety of options. 

Here are some dormer window styles to consider:

  • Double-hung: For this type of dormer, the bottom and top sections move up and down. They are good to install in homes without air conditioners.
  • Multiple pane: These are made of glass material and add a sense of historic charm to your home.
  • Curved: These tend to match curved-style windows and create a classic look.
  • Casement: These types of windows swing out when opened, providing the whole space with ventilation.  
  1. Use Double-Sided Dormers

This is similar to part-width dormers but is on both sides. They provide additional light and can make the space even more inviting. Having that open feel is perfect if you want to add an extra bedroom. When determining the type of dormer you want, there are multiple options to consider.

Here are some of the different options you can choose from:

  • Gable-fronted dormer: These are the most commonly used. Their sloped shape allows water to flow down the sides and away from the house.
  • Hip roof dormer: They consist of three sloping planes and are better suited for areas that are subject to hurricanes.
  • Wall dormers: These are built into the wall and are usually seen in smaller properties.
  • Eyebrow/eyelid dormer: They have an arch shape that helps break up the texture of buildings.
  1. Create a Mezzanine Space

This involves adding a partly open floor between the two ground and ceiling. You can open up the roof to create an additional area, which maximizes your vertical space. Since you aren’t adding an extension, it can be a cost-effective option. Also, having an extra bedroom can increase the resale value of your home.

You don’t need planning permission, but make sure to follow building codes before making any structural changes. Also, ensure your space is up to fire safety regulations. You will need to install a staircase and railing for the balcony that complements the room’s style. 

After adding a staircase, an engineer will need to calculate the floor strength and any necessary alterations for the roof structure. Keep in mind that the ceiling will need to be insulated. 

Best Ways to Use Your Converted Loft

Once you have made the structural changes, it’s time to figure out how to use the space. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Home Office

Working from home has become a popular trend. However, it may be hard to find a space in your house to get work done. Your attic is a great place because it’s secluded and can help minimize distractions. 

Also, working in your loft can make it easier to shut down for the day. When you leave your office, your computer can stay upstairs. This makes it less tempting to turn it back on later. 

Master Bedroom

Your loft is an excellent place to add a bedroom. Being separate from the rest of the house gives you more privacy. Keep in mind loft conservations add more natural light, so consider adding curtains to reduce the amount of light coming in from the windows in the morning. 

An extra bedroom also increases the resale value of your home. Many buyers consider the number of bedrooms when house-hunting. 

Extra Living Room

Sometimes your living room can feel crowded with multiple family members vying for control over the TV. Having an extra living room gives you a place to escape when you just need your own space. It’s also convenient for families with teenagers who value their privacy. It can give them an extra room to hang out with their friends. 

Kids Playroom 

Your attic can be an excellent place for your younger children to play. It also allows you to have more available space on the main floor and keep your kids’ toys out of view from visiting guests. To make the room cozier, consider adding soft rugs and calming paint colors, such as blues. 

Loft Conversations to Save You Money 

Converting your attic can maximize unused space and makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. Some conversions require additional costs, but implementing fewer structural changes can save you money. Consider these tips when you decide to turn your loft into a fresh new space.

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