News Article

Everything you Need to Know about Bungalow Loft Conversions

20.10.14

Bungalows: no longer the preserve of the elderly. In fact, bungalows are nowadays one of the most sought after types of property you can buy. And why is that? Because of the potential to extend upwards and – quite often – outwards too. 

But before you buy a bungalow with a view to carrying out a loft conversion to make it into a chalet bungalow, here’s what you need to know: 

Bungalows are Ripe for Conversion...

Because of the large floor plan of most bungalows, and their traditional pitched roofs, it is thought that up to 40% of the available space is unused. This means that you’ll have a fantastic space available in the attic to convert, and these properties are often located on large plots too, allowing for extensions into the garden. 

Bungalows built before 1960 are the best for conversion, as they were built with large, open, cavernous loft spaces and many have load bearing walls capable of supporting new loft rooms, too. The steep pitch of their roofs means that it is unlikely that you’ll need a dormer window either. 

Having said that, even those with a shallower pitch can be easily converted into a chalet bungalow with the help of a loft conversion specialist, who will talk you through all of the options for gaining head height. 

 ...But Remember that your Walls need to be Load Bearing! 

 The biggest - and really the only - problem with converting a bungalow is that often these houses weren’t designed to support the weight of rooms in the loft. You may therefore need some underpinning work or structural support if you’re converting your bungalow’s loft. Speak to a structural engineer and a loft conversions specialist, therefore, before making any decisions. 

 Think About the Location of your Stairs 

 Of course, you’ll also need to add stairs to a property that has never had a space designed specifically for stairs. Wherever you add the stairs, it will mean a loss of space in one of the ground floor rooms, but a good architect will be able to solve this problem and minimise the area lost. 

 Building Regulations are Slightly Different for Bungalow Conversions 

 Currently building regulations are a little more relaxed for bungalow conversion staircases. In multi-storey properties, new staircases should be ‘fire protected stairways’. This isn’t always possible in a bungalow, so escape windows should be added to the new loft rooms to satisfy building regulations instead. Check with your local authority as to what’s needed. 

 And now the Fun Part: What will you use your New Rooms for? 

 This is where you’ll suddenly see the value of converting a bungalow: many people convert their lofts into upstairs bedrooms, which are often big enough to incorporate en suite bathrooms too, and use their downstairs rooms as new reception rooms. 

 Fancy a large open plan kitchen-diner? You’ll have the ground floor space to create it. Need to use one of the old bedrooms for a playroom or study? Go ahead! 

 Whatever you’re planning on gaining from a bungalow loft conversion, you’ll often find you’ve got the space to achieve it. With the help of a loft conversion specialist, you can reach for the stars – or at least the sky – with a bungalow conversion.

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"I think Bespoke Lofts must be among the best loft conversion companies in London - for fairness, good value and a job well done, you really can't get much better."

Antonia Windsor, Guardian Journalist

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