The trickiest part of building a loft room is determining the best place for and installing the staircase to access the new space in your loft. Apart from that, most proficient DIY enthusiasts will be able to tackle the work with relative ease.
Check before Starting any Work on your Loft
Whilst local planning and building regulations may apply, generally speaking providing your loft room conversion does not extend outside of the existing buildings structure, you will be able to carry out the conversion with few problems. However, you should check on this before starting any work and pay particular attention to any fire or safety advice in your choice of materials to use or the design of your loft room.
Some Basic Concepts
Measure the space you’ve got to work in and then decide on the dimensions of the loft room you want to build. Whilst the size and shape of any loft room you decide to build will depend on the space you have to work with; generally speaking you need to have at least 40 square feet of space that an adult can stand up in, if you want to create a room that will add real value to your property.
The design for your loft room can, of course, extend into lower areas of the loft that can be used to accommodate furniture or some other storage system. Having established the design of the room you should build an outer frame with strong timbers, for any long sections in the loft you should also use joint braces as required. An inner framework can then be added which is packed with an insulating material.
At this point you should at least think where you want any electrical fittings and how they’re going to be fixed to the inner surfaces of the room. You can then fit the floor, a tong and groove wooden floor would look great or you could lay sheets of MDF or plywood and cover them with another material. The walls and ceiling can be similarly treated.
You could use plasterboard, wood or some other cladding material; entirely dependant on the ‘look’ you’re trying to create. Don’t forget, before finishing the floor, walls and ceilings; make sure the electric cables are in the correct positions for their sockets.
Accessing your New Loft Room Conversion
Again dependant on the space you have available fitting a staircase to the new loft room can be difficult. The use of a ladder system is not acceptable as an alternative to a staircase. In very limited spaces, especially if the opening into the loft can’t be moved, spiral staircases are very popular and common.
However, a point to consider here is that a spiral staircase might be great for people in some age groups but for the very young and elderly they can be entirely unsuitable. Also, installing a spiral staircase might affect the value of your loft room.
Generally, in a house a staircase has a slope of about 35 degrees and would certainly not exceed 55 degrees. So, you should be careful to check that any staircase you do fit isn’t too steep.
If you have the room then fitting a conventional staircase is to be recommended. There is plenty of advice and help available on building a staircase, most of which is concerned with measuring and cutting the staircase stringers.
Image of Loft Room by sectionZ