A loft addition is, in some instances, one of the most practical solutions available for creating more space. However, this project is not without its drawbacks. Here are a few things you should consider before beginning this project, as well as a few of the reasons why some homeowners should pass this particular home improvement by.
1.How Much Room Do Loft Additions Add?
There are many sources out there that estimate 30% of the average home's space is occupied by the attic...
There are many sources out there that estimate 30% of the average home's space is occupied by the attic and that building a loft allows you to utilize that space more effectively. This may certainly be true on average, but the amount of additional space a loft conversion will actually offer your home depends on the dimensions of your home and the design of the loft itself. Truly, some lofts are extraordinary space-savers, allowing homeowners to maximize the potential of their living areas without having to add on; poorly designed lofts built in homes that do not offer an existing space will be less effective.
2.Loft Vs Home Extensions
Home extensions are typically much more expensive than loft additions and they take longer to construct, as well. Additionally, extensions may require dealing with a lot more red tape. On the other hand, an extension will typically provide a far more versatile and customizable space than a loft conversion. And though extensions are more costly and represent a longer, more involved project, they pose fewer limits to how the space can look and how it can be used.
3.Loft Vs Basement Conversion
Attics and basements are the two primary areas homeowners turn to when they need more living space but do not have the option of a traditional extension. Both of these spaces have their limitations, however. Basements are "below grade", which means that certain building materials will wear out faster in this space than they would in other areas of the home. Basements also require greater attention to certain details--especially moisture penetration. On the plus side, basements are often larger than attics, meaning a conversion will actually provide more usable space. Also, in many cases, basements provide homeowners with a space that has some very unique features like a floor with drains, excellent sound dampening, and natural temperature control.
4.Loft Vs Garage Conversion
If you have a garage that never gets used, garage conversion is an option worth considering. Since many garages are already equipped with a sufficient number of electrical outlets and some even have plumbing lines, these spaces are already well on their way to becoming living areas. Garages are, however, designed for vehicles rather than people, so insulation, ventilation, and several other needs will need to be met before they are habitable. Lofts also have a leg up on garages because lofts occupy a space that was typically not being used for any other purpose while garage conversions ensure that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements (unless your garage has a loft area above it, a situation that many have taken advantage of).
5.Building a Loft Vs The Status Quo
It is a very rare case in which building a loft addition actually leaves a property less valuable than it would have been otherwise. In fact, many sources indicate that converting an attic into a loft space is one of the few projects that is becoming more practical in the modern economy in terms of added value. That being said, a loft is not a project you want to skimp on, and since many of the features a loft can have may be far more expensive to retrofit, doing this job halfway and then finishing it later can be very costly. In a nutshell: Loft additions are an excellent investment under the right conditions and if they are constructed properly. This leaves only the large initial investment a good loft build will cost as the true drawback.