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Loft Conversions: Basic or Full?

To get maximum benefit from a loft conversion, most homeowners go for a well-designed space for whatever rooms they require, plus a new staircase for access to the additional storey in their home. But some people are not looking for this. They might not want to take on the cost of a full loft conversion or they might just want some extra storage or an area in the loft for occasional use. If this is the case for you, there are still a number of things to consider.

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A Storage Solution

If all you want is storage of light items, you might get away with some loft boarding fitted over the existing joists. Do remember though, that these joists are not likely to be designed to carry heavy weights, so it's possible they may need strengthening. If you are in any doubt, get some expert advice.

Boarding your loft for light storage will not need planning permission, but if you are adding anything else, such as a fixed electric light, you may need to check with your local council whether it should be inspected under the current building regulations. Of course, if you are using a reputable loft conversion company, all this will be taken care of for you.

The Importance of Access

Whatever you want to use the space created by your basic loft conversion for, you need to be able to reach it easily. Even more important is the ability to leave it easily and seal it off in case of fire.

You might, for example, need a larger loft hatch with hinges, and one that will meet fire regulations. That means it must be insulated, not difficult unless it is fitted with a retractable ladder. If so, the whole thing will need to be covered by an insulated box. It's possible to buy hatch, ladder and insulation box in pre-manufactured packages, or your loft conversion company will build them for you, and make the appropriate access hole.

Which Conversion to Choose

A basic loft conversion might be the perfect solution to your current needs for a relatively small price. If this is to be your home for life, and you are not concerned about what you can leave for your offspring at the end of it, go for it. It's absolutely right for you.

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What it won't do is add value to your home in the way that a full loft conversion would do. If you expect to sell and move on a few years down the line, or want to have the best possible estate to leave to your loved ones, think carefully about whether you can afford to do more before planning your economy loft conversion.

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