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What Does It Take To Finish A Loft?

 It’s one of the most commonly abandoned spots of the house, often in need of a lot more love than it gets, and usually used for little more than additional storage, but if you’re looking to expand the amount of usable space in the home, to increase its value, or you want to make room for a growing family, it could be that your loft offers a lot more than you realize. However, it might seem like finishing a lot seems like a really big job to you. Here, we’re going to look at some of the plans you might want to get together.

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Do you need to make room?

The very first thing that you should do is take a look at how much room you already have in the loft and then think about how much room you’re likely to have in it after you have finished it. Finishing the room usually means adding a ceiling or walls, that are going to reduce the space. If don’t have enough space, you might not even qualify within local building codes. Think about how you’re going to access the loft, as well, as you’re likely to need to add a new staircase and change your landing.  Take the time to measure your loft as is, and think about how much room you’re going to need based on what you plan to do with it.

Start from the bottom

One common feature amongst many lofts and attics is that they don’t have real flooring. You might have some beams going across the floor of the attic and maybe even a small walkway, but you need to add real flooring to make it a real livable space. Much like the ceiling and wall panelings, this flooring is going to eat into the available space of the attic, so you want to do these calculations before you actually start doing the work. However, it’s worth inviting an expert to do this as, sometimes, it requires more than just the decking to make the attic flooring stable. The beams beneath have to be able to support the added weight. If it isn’t, then you can have additional structural work done to bring it up to standard.

Make it comfortable

You’re trying to make a previously unlivable space into a livable space, which means you have to consider what that means. Aside from the flooring, you have to look at what you can do to manage the climate of the loft, which can be difficult because, as basic physics tells us, heat rises. As such, you might need to look at adding ductwork to your loft if you don’t already have it. If you do, you should still have an HVAC specialist visit to see if it’s going to meet the changing needs of the space. Similarly, you want to make sure that you’re able to get the heating that you need in there. Aside from adding ductwork, baseboard heating is another system that might be worth considering.

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Wiring it up

While wiring up your electricals is usually one of the last parts of the loft conversion to be done, it’s one you should be planning for right from the get-go. It’s essential to work with a licensed electrician to make sure that you’re keeping up to code with any additional wiring that you’re implementing. You can also avoid many of the mishaps that DIY renovators can get into. When it comes to the electricals, doing it by hand can be truly dangerous, leading to electrical fires and injury if you don’t know what you’re doing, so it’s almost always best to leave it to the pros.

You’re going to want a bathroom

One of the common mistakes that people run into when they try a DIY renovation of the bathroom is that they think sharing a bathroom with those below them is going to have no problems, but it can really become a major inconvenience. Working with a professional plumber, you can have your own bathroom added to the loft. It will bump up the budget by quite a bit, but it also increases resale value by a lot. Otherwise, whoever is spending their time in the newly converted loft is going to be running up and down those stairs a lot, and may add even more stress to a shared bathroom situation if you’re trying to cater to a growing family.

Thinking finishes

You’re not going to want to have your roof’s interior or your insulation visible in your finish loft, so it’s worth taking the time to think about the ceiling finish, as well as any walls that you want to add. There is all kind of panels that you can apply, such as beadboard, wood paneling, and the like. These offer different types of aesthetics, not to mention heat efficiency and practicality levels, but also come with different demands on your budget. Consider how much you’re able to set aside in your budget, the look that you want, and how comfortable you want to make that space when you’re looking at the different attic ceiling options that are on offer.

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Do you need a permit?

It depends on where you live and how the renovations that you’re planning are going to affect both the interior and exterior of the home, but you should always check on whether you are likely to need a permit before you can start any work on it. Sometimes, adding electrical or ventilation to the loft can necessitate one, but it’s definitely worth doing your research before you begin. Otherwise, you can find your work getting stopped mid-way by red tape, or even end up having to pay a fine if you’re found to be in violation of your local authority’s rules.

There’s nothing to stop you from finishing your loft, as thousands of people have done before. It’s just a good idea to have in mind what you want to do, and make sure that you have the budget to do it.

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