If you have been a DIY enthusiast for many years and are considering taking on a large project such as a loft conversion, it would be normal to have a few reservations.

A Guide to a Loft Conversion

While it might seem a little daunting, turning the attic into a room is really not that difficult and with that in mind, here are a few of the major aspects of loft conversion.

Planning the Project

Much like any project, a loft conversion needs to be carefully planned, indeed, you may have to seek planning permission, depending on where you live. The first thing to do is calculate the floor space of the new room and that would depend on the size and shape of the roof, but there should be a minimum of 24sqm and possible a lot more.

Building the Floor

This is the first step, which gives you a platform to work on and it is best to expand the loft hatch, making it large enough to get materials up to the new floor. If you feel you are not quite ready for such a project, there are certified master builders in Cairns who can do most of the work, leaving you with the fixtures and fittings. Chipboard is perfect for the floor and you can cover that with carpet tiles or luxury vinyl, depending on your taste.



Essential Ventilation & Natural Light

It is recommended to have at least two skylights installed, one at each end and they will also provide ventilation when opened, bring in enough natural light. You might also like to have one window looking out to the front or rear of the property, which is something you can handle, while you should fit a couple of extractor fans into the skylights, one sucking air in and the other extracting.

A Guide to a Loft Conversion - loft

Roof Insulation

If you remove the loft insulation that is between the joists, this will allow heat to enter the loft and you need to add a layer just under the roofing tiles, which will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You can buy very thin insulation covering that is ideal for insulating the roof, which fits inside the interior roof cladding. Click here for a guide to building a deck around your pool.

Wall Cladding

This is straightforward enough, fix your plywood sheeting to batons and add some thermal insulation behind the cladding, then you can either paint or paper. Whether this will be your personal man-cave or a study room for the kids, having that extra usable living space will add significant value to the property.

Loft Access

In some ways, this is one of the toughest parts of a loft conversion, as the small hatchway needs to be removed and replaced by a set of dropdown stairs, which allows for easy access. If designing and building such a thing sounds too complex, you can buy ready-made dropdown stairs of varying sizes. Here is some Australian government information about extending and renovating your home. The best idea is to build the stairway first, then you can easily bring materials and tools into the loft area, while it is possible to build a permanent staircase for loft access, depending on how much room you have on your landing.