The layout of a traditional bungalow makes adding a loft conversion simple. There is a lot of potential living space in the unused, high-pitched roof. Because of this, they have become popular with homebuyers who want to expand their living area. However, before you start a loft conversion, there are a few things you should consider, apart from questions like how much is a loft conversion going to cost you.
Structural Integrity of the Walls
Any builder will tell you the importance of load-bearing walls when completing a loft conversion. Older bungalows, those built before 1960, usually have load-bearing walls. However, many newer builds do not. Why is this important? Constructing a loft conversion means adding extra weight to the foundation. Without the right support, it will crumble.
If your bungalow has load-bearing walls, it makes the conversion easier for the builder. But, it’s important to note that even without these weight-bearing walls, a loft conversion is still possible. You’ll need to hire a professional who can do some underpinning work first. Of course, this will add to the overall budget for the project.
Know the Head Height
The high ceilings in your bungalow may look perfect for a loft conversion, but you need to double-check the head height before you get started. A standard loft needs at least 180cm from the floor to allow for head height. If you want a roomier space, most experts from loft boarding companies advise that it exceeds 230cm from the house floor to the roof. Measuring the head height now will not only ensure your loft meets building regulations, but it will also make sure you can build a comfortable space.
Think About Stairs
How will you get to the loft? When building a conversion, you need to allow enough space for a staircase. Many of them are narrow and cramped, which makes adding stairs a bit tricky. No matter where you place them, you will lose some floor space from both the ground level and the loft itself. After all, your bungalow wasn’t designed initially with stairs in mind. Working with a skilled builder will help you keep the amount of lost space to a minimum.
Don’t Forget About Fire Safety.
In the event of an emergency, you need to have an exit plan in your loft conversion. Luckily, adding a loft to your bungalow will have minimal effect on your fire safety. To make sure that it meets local regulations, you’ll need to install windows that are big enough to serve as an emergency exit. All loft conversions must also have a fire door separating it from the ground floor. Install this door at the top of the stairs. Fire alarms should also be on each level.
Add Plenty of Insulation
You want your new loft conversion to be a comfortable place all year long. Without the right insulation, however, the loft may become draughty in the winter or too humid in the summer. In most conversions, insulation should be installed between the rafters and the roof covering. If you want even more heat in the colder months, consider adding underfloor heating. This addition will improve the energy efficiency of the loft.
Insulation doesn’t only provide climate control—it also works as soundproofing. You’ll want to use a highly-rated underlay to provide sound insulation in the floors. Without this type of insulation, you’ll be able to hear every conversation from the ground floor. Insulation will make your loft conversion quieter and warmer.
After you consider these key points, you’ll be ready to begin your bungalow loft conversion. Working with a skilled builder will ensure your project is completed on time and according to regulations.