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How to Transform Your Loft into an Extra Bedroom

A loft conversion can be a valuable addition to your home

A loft conversion can be a valuable addition to your home; it provides useful storage, extra living space and can potentially increase the financial value of your house. Many people are short of space but are unable to move into a bigger property due to the financial implications. Transforming a derelict loft into a desirable extra bedroom can solve your problems, creating extra living space on a modest budget. If you decide to go ahead, here are some things to consider:

Planning permission

Generally, planning permission won't be required for your loft conversion, unless you're extending the roof space. However, it is important to inform your local council's planning department to ensure you are within the rules for your particular building. If any of the walls involved in your conversion are connected to those of your neighbours, you'll need a party-wall agreement with them before you begin. You must also meet any building regulations that are required, such as fire safety and effective insulation.

Loft ladders/stairs

When it comes to choosing appropriate access to your loft space, safety is paramount.  If you are transforming the area into a bedroom (or any room that will be used regularly) then you will most likely need secure stairs rather than a retractable ladder. There are various options, such as fashionable spiral staircases and practical space-saving stairs for those awkward-to-get-to loft spaces.  Whichever you choose, ensure these are appropriate for use by small children if needed and that they comply with fire regulations.    

Windows

Window choice plays a huge part in transforming your dark and uninviting loft into an airy bedroom space. Skylights are usually simple to install and can immediately create the feeling of space and serenity. Dormer windows can also offer extra light and headspace, but as they change the external appearance of your house, you may need planning permission before going forward.

Furnishings

Loft ceilings and walls can be awkward in shape and you may feel that you are limited in what furniture you can use. However, tailored fitted wardrobes can provide you with storage that is specifically built to fit the space and so makes the most of what you have available. To prevent your loft bedroom from feeling too enclosed, choose light colours for the walls and furniture to make it feel more bright and spacious. This doesn't mean that the room has to be plain; experiment using different textures of soft-furnishings and splashes of bright colour to give the bedroom added character.

When embarking on a conversion project, ensure that you have the funds in place to get the result that you want. If is advisable to have an additional fund of at least 10% in case there are any problems along the way. Weight up your options for the use of your loft space and consider the benefits of having an additional bedroom. If it's practical to do so, adding an en suite to the bedroom would be useful and add value. For ideas of how to make the most of your loft space, take a look at http://www.bettaliving.co.uk.

Sources:
http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/loft-conversions-10-of-the-best
http://www.aboutloftconversions.co.uk/
http://www.housetohome.co.uk/articles/advice/planning/Loft_conversions_-_the_essential_guide_427976.html
http://www.loftconversionsonline.co.uk/pages/benefits.html