Do you have an unused attic that you want to turn into a functional room? Or maybe you need more storage space for your Christmas decorations, kids toys, or winter gear? Loft conversions are an affordable way to get an extra room and increase the value of your home.
Before you start planning, you should decide on the type of space you need the most. For example, if you have kids that want separate bedrooms, the loft is a perfect option. If you want a home office, attics are great because of natural light and privacy, so you won’t be distracted. Read on to learn how to make a loft into a fully functional room that you’ll use for years to come.
Brainstorm Ideas for the Conversion
Having an empty attic ready to be transformed is one thing, but knowing what to do with it is another. You want to convert it into a room you’ll use constantly, not just once in a while. Write down ideas on a piece of paper and for each item, make a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ list. Then, see which ideas have the most ‘pros’ and the least ‘cons’ and narrow down your choices to three.
For example, what will you need for turning a loft into a bedroom? For starters, you’ll need a professional to inspect the place and see if the structure is sound enough to hold an entire room. Then, you’ll need to insulate the loft, install plumbing for an en suite, put electrical wiring, windows, and floors. Finally, you’ll need furniture and bathroom elements to finish up. Consider all angles of the renovation before you decide.
Consider the Costs
Though lofts aren’t a typical room renovation project, you should make a budget estimate to know the renovation costs. Aside from the remodeling, consider the insulation expenses, floor reinforcement, skylight windows, furniture, heating/cooling, electrical installation, and a staircase leading to the loft. The costs add up easily, so plan for several thousand dollars to start. You can get quotes from local builders, but it’s important to set a budget and stick to it.
Have Professionals Inspect the Space
A loft conversion may sound like a simple enough job, but there are safety measures you need to take before renovating. Have a professional inspect the place for safety issues, insulation, structural strength, and support. They’ll tell you what the best options are for the loft so you can either obtain permits or start working right away. You can also hire an architect to help you set the room layout, or an interior designer to help you maximize the space.
Get the Required Permits
Before you start building, make sure to obtain all the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance policies from your county or state. Loft conversions aren’t considered extensions, but to be safe, double-check with your state and local authorities. If you plan to raise the roof, build a balcony, expand the loft outwards, or build outdoor stairs, you will need a building permit. If you keep the space as is, and just renovate on the inside, you most likely won’t need any permits.
Ideas On How to Make a Loft Functional
An empty, unused loft is a blank slate ready to become extraordinary space. It should be easily accessible and fully functional just like any other room. Below are some ideas on what you can turn it into.
An attic is a great place for a romantic, secluded loft bedroom away from the daily hustle and bustle. It’s higher than the other rooms in the house and perfect for winding down after a long day. Aside from a master bedroom, you can also turn it into a kids’ bedroom where they can have their own little nook to play in. Another idea is to use the attic as a guest bedroom and give your guests a private place to stay.
Having a home office in your house is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. With main floor offices, there’s always noise, and someone always needs something so you can’t get much work done. With basement offices, there’s not enough daylight, and it’s often cold and noisy. Having a loft office is like having a place to yourself where you can be creative, productive, and organized. This can be a place where no one else is allowed so you can work on projects and take client calls with no interruptions.
If you have kids, turning the attic into a playroom loft will make you a superstar in their eyes. They’ll spend most of their time there, and you can set up a little play area with toys, coloring books, crafts, and activities. Another area can be a place to do homework and read, and if there’s space left, you can set up an area for naps with teepees, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. Consider adding a kids’ bathroom as well so the kids don’t have to go up and down the stairs.
If you as a family need extra storage for seasonal items, you can use the loft as a designated storage space. It doesn’t have to be a cold, dusty space – with a few touch-ups, you can turn it into a storage room with lots of options. For example, instead of stuffing things into boxes, put cupboards and drawers in the loft, and install shelves on the loft’s walls. You can even add a closet and hang heavy winter jackets, boots, and kids’ clothes they’ve outgrown. Turn your loft into a storage unit where you can always find everything.
Turn Your Unused Attic into a Room You’ll Love!
Now that you know how to make a loft a cool, bright, and functional space, it’s time to get to work! Get inspired on Pinterest, browse the internet for ideas, or just draw your own layout plans. Visit our blog to find the best interior design and home improvement tips and turn your unused space into the loft of your dreams!
There is a loft area in my house and my husband and I are trying to decide what we want to do with it. Your suggestion to create a budget for the project so you can know the overall cost was honestly very helpful. I think that one of the most important things to include in your budget would be a quality ladder to get up to the loft.