News Article

Four Loft Conversion Obstacles and how to Overcome them

30.03.16

There’s many a myth surrounding loft conversions. We say ‘myth’, because here at Bespoke Lofts we like to think that there are no problems, only solutions. But that’s not to say that there’s not a grain of truth in those myths; they have to have started somewhere! And it may be one of these obstacles that’s putting you off of converting your loft space.   

If you do have something niggling at you and stopping you from converting your attic, talk to a loft conversion specialist first. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to jump over most loft conversion hurdles.

Obstacle 1: Header Tank in the Way 

You may have a cumbersome and large header tank for your hot water placed awkwardly in your loft. These can take up a lot of valuable loft space, or be positioned in a difficult place; such as where a new staircase would emerge into the loft.   

Solution: It’s often surprisingly easy to move a header tank to a less intrusive part of the loft to make the attic space more workable for a conversion. Alternatively, you may wish to change your plumbing system to an unvented plumbing system which doesn’t require a tank in the loft.

Obstacle 2: Lack of Headroom 

Some lofts have low ceilings, resulting in a lack of headroom. Insulation material often bulks up the surface of the roof and floor in the loft too, which makes it seem like there is less room than there actually is.   

Solution: There are a few ways that you can gain extra headspace in the loft. Different insulation material can be used, such as reflective foil insulation, to create more space. Dormer windows can add height to certain parts of the room, as they have flat roofs, and in some cases it’s beneficial to lower the ceiling of the floor below.   

A specialist loft conversion company will be able to talk you through the various options available for gaining extra headspace, and will be able to advise what would work best for your home, your lifestyle and your budget.

Obstacle 3: Neighbouring Properties 

Just because you live in a semi-detached or terraced house, it doesn’t mean that you can’t convert your loft. In fact, many of your neighbours may have already done so, which will aid your case should you need planning permission.   

Solution: You will need to obtain a Party Wall agreement; speak to your local planning authority for advice on how to proceed with this. 

Obstacle 4: No Soil Pipe for a new Bathroom 

If you feel that your new loft room wouldn’t be complete without an en suite or cloakroom bathroom, but worry that you don’t have a suitably placed soil pipe, don’t worry; as with all problems, there is almost always a way around the problem.  

Solution: Although costly, you may wish to install a new soil pipe. Alternatively, you may wish to look at a pumped macerator system, which is self-contained.  

No matter what obstacles you face, it’s a rare day when a solution can’t be found. For all hurdles and obstacles relating to loft conversions, Essex homeowners can speak to Bespoke Lofts. We’ll work with you to find a solution that suits your needs and your property. No obstacle is too big to be overcome when we work together!

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