How to Plan an Attic Bedroom

Loft conversions are a great way to add extra space to your home. Here are some top tips for planning an attic bedroom.

Loft conversions are a great way to add extra space to your home and increase the value of your property. They’re not typically as disruptive or costly as an extension but can still add that much-needed extra space to your home without needing to move. If you’re thinking about converting your loft, here are some top tips for planning an attic bedroom.

Check the Requirements

Before you invest money and energy into converting your loft, be sure to check that it meets the minimum requirements to be safe and structurally sound.

The Home Owners Alliance recommends that your existing loft space should measure at least 550 x 750 cm (216.5 x 295.3 inches) including the chimney. You’ll also need enough internal height – ideally a minimum of 250cm (98.4 inches.) Remember that the higher the pitch angle on your roof, the higher the central head height of your attic bedroom will be.

Your new attic bedroom will also need Building Regulations Approval and unless you live in a detached property, you’ll also need to notify your neighbors of your intentions to convert your loft, in accordance with the 1996 Party Wall Act.

Choose an Attic Type

There are several loft conversion options available so it’s important to consider which type will work best for the structure of your house and its intended use.

Roof light conversion

This is the cheapest and least disruptive type of conversion as it doesn’t involve any changes to your roof or the exterior of your property. It’s ideal if you want to create an attic room on a budget and your existing roof space is adequate.

Dormer conversion

Another popular type of conversion, the dormer is suitable for any home with a sloping roof. This adds extra headroom and floor space, however, it does require making structural changes to your home, so is more expensive and disruptive.

Hip-to-gable conversion

This extends the hip roof at the side of your property outwards to create more loft space. This is only possible on detached or semi-detached homes but is a great way to increase the size of your home and is generally cheaper than a full extension. However, it is more costly and in some cases you may need planning permission.

Mansard conversion

Mansard extensions run along the whole length of your roof, altering the angle of the slope to make it practically vertical. This can be done on most property types and creates a larger internal space, however it is costly and will drastically alter the outward appearance of your home. You’ll also need full planning permission for this type of loft conversion.

Plan Your Storage

You’ll want to make the most of all the extra space in your new attic bedroom, so it’s worth thinking about storage. Traditional furniture doesn’t always work particularly well in a loft conversion but if you work with the size, shape and layout of your new attic room, you’ll be able to maximize on its potential.

If your attic staircase is narrow or winding, you may struggle to get solid, heavy furniture up, so flatpack or bespoke furniture built in your attic room is a better choice. Make the most of nooks and crannies in your attic room with shelving and cupboards. Wardrobes made for eaves can also help you make the most of the space in your attic bedroom.

Don’t Forget Windows

You will need to include windows in your loft conversion if you want it to be used as an attic bedroom. The type of windows you choose will generally depend on the type of conversion you have. Dormer windows add headroom and light and are parallel to the exterior walls of your home, whereas skylights or rooflights are installed flat to the roof. When choosing a skylight, there are a number of options, including top-hung windows which can be raised up and out to maximize air flow and light or central-pivot windows, which are ideal if you have a low roof or want a better view. 

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One Comment

  1. I love attic bedrooms. When I was in middle school, we moved to a house with an attic, and we had the attic converted to 2 bedrooms and a half bath. I loved my room up there so much. I hung gum wrapper chains all around the room from the sloped ceilings. 🙂

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