Converting Your Attic Into A Bedroom: What You Need To Consider

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Bedroom Conversion

Attic conversions are an ideal way to create extra space in your home. Most attics can be easily transformed into an extra bedroom, which you can use for guests or tenants. However, while converting an attic into a bedroom is usually a relatively simple project, there are numerous things to consider before and during the conversion. We’ve listed what you need to be aware of when planning to convert your attic into a bedroom.

Suitability

First of all, it’s essential that you determine whether or not your attic is actually suited to bedroom conversion. You need to consider the roof pitch and structure, as well as the available head space within the attic. When it comes to converting attic and loft spaces, roofs that are of a traditional framed structure are usually easiest to work with. Some roof types are not suitable for attic conversions, whilst others will need additional structural works to meet building requirements.  You also have to look at any potential obstacles to the conversion, such as chimney stacks or water tanks.

Permission

Depending on where you live and the extent of work you’re planning on carrying out during your conversion, you might need to request planning permission beforehand. While it’s unlikely you’ll need permission to convert an attic into a bedroom, as long as the work stays within the building regulation limits, it is always safer just to make sure. This is particularly relevant if your home is a listed building or if it’s situated within a protected or conservation area. Our advice is to always check with your local state authority before carrying out any home renovations.

Experts

You can design your own loft conversion, but it is advisable to discuss your plans with an architect. It’s also wise to consult a structural engineer or property surveyor, especially if your conversion is going to be a large-scale job. For instance, it requires strengthening of roof rafters, or you have a roof type that is less suited to conversion. A structural engineer or a reputable builder will also be able to advise on what kind of additional stress your new conversion might put on the building’s foundations and whether or not they’ll require structural reinforcements.

Even if you’re a dab-hand at DIY, you should definitely get some help with your conversion, at least when it comes to wiring the space for electrics or plumbing. You don’t want to cut corners for the sake of saving a few pennies – doing so could cost you dearly in the future.

Cost And Planning

It’s always a good idea to set out a budget and a schedule of work before carrying out any home improvements. You don’t want to get halfway through your conversion and realise that you can’t afford to finish it or suddenly find an unexpected obstacle you hadn’t considered before. It’s, therefore, a good idea to create your budget after you’ve consulted with at least one expert so that you have a rough idea of what to expect. When planning your budget, consider building materials, labour costs, consultation fees, and anything else you can think of related to the project. Shop around for different quotes, and don’t neglect to read company reviews.

You shouldn’t overlook a renovation’s impact on your home insurance policy – will a new attic room conversion affect what you’re currently paying? Depending on the specifics of your project, your current policy might not be suitable. Therefore it’s wise to speak with your provider. This is particularly relevant if you’re planning on staying elsewhere whilst your building works are carried out.

Once you’ve decided on a budget for your project, set out a schedule of works specifying exactly what is being done at each stage in the project and what tradespeople you will be expecting at each point.

Insulation

You’ll likely have to add better insulation to your attic if you plan to use it as a bedroom. Not only should it be insulated to allow for a comfortable sleeping environment and to maximise energy efficiency, but it should also have insulation against noise pollution. Your space can be sound-proofed by installing mineral fibre material between the supports within the walls. This should include any partitioning walls, for instance, if you’re planning on also installing a bathroom within the space. Unlike the more lightweight thermal insulation material, sound-proofing insulation should be of a more dense quality. You can also improve energy efficiency and protect against outside noise by using double glazing on any windows.

Safety

It’s easy to overlook small details when converting a space that’s already there, but it’s vital that you make sure a room that was previously used for storage is safe to be lived in. One such detail is the safety of using your attic as a bedroom. Whilst previously your attic could have existed without windows and be accessible via a ladder, this isn’t practical for bedroom use. Your attic conversion might require a new staircase for access or renovation of an existing one if it’s not suitable for heavier foot traffic.

You’ll also want to install at least one decent-sized window, which can be used as an emergency fire escape. On the subject of fire, it’s important that your new bedroom has other adequate fire safety measures. You might, for instance, need to add an extra layer of plaster below the ceiling or install a fire-resistant door to adhere to fire safety regulations. As converting an attic is likely to add a new storey level to your property, it’s also wise to have a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your new bedroom, which are interlinked to the main alarm system.

Lighting And Decor

We’ve already pointed out the safety aspects of having windows in your new converted space, but when it comes to light, nothing beats natural daylight; therefore, you might want to take advantage of your attic’s high level. Skylight windows are an excellent feature and work well within sloping ceilings. Though, you can’t rely merely on daylight alone, so you will need to make sure the room is properly wired for lighting.

Once all the building, plumbing, and electrical works are complete, it’s time to decorate your new bedroom however you want.

Conclusion

Converting an attic into a bedroom is a great way to make the most of your living space. However, as with any home renovation, it’s always worth taking a bit of time to plan and prepare.

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Jinally Shah is coeditor at MyDecorative.Com She is the role model, especially in Social media Optimization in business and primary tasks, with understanding communicating and executing all activities related to referral searches. She works closely with the team and looks after the quality and growth of off-site factors like Social Media Marketing that drive referral growth. In addition, she analyses and creates strategic recommendations for social media promotions.

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