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Everything you Need to Know about Bungalow Loft Conversions

Bungalows are no longer the preserve of the elderly. In fact, quite the opposite. With families and those seeking extra space, many more people are looking to buy bungalows nowadays than ever before, making them 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, with a bungalow loft conversion.

But before you buy a bungalow with a view to carrying out a loft conversion - ready to make it into a chalet bungalow and therefore a much bigger home - here’s what you need to know about bungalow loft conversions.

Bungalows are ripe for a bungalow loft conversion

Because of the large floor plan of most bungalows, and their traditional pitched roofs, it is thought that up to 40 per cent of the available space within this type of home is unused. This means that you’ll have a fantastic space available in the attic to convert, and bungalows are often located on large plots too, allowing for extensions into the garden if you really want to make the most of the footprint of your new home.

Take a look at bungalow loft conversion before and after pictures to see what you can achieve with an extension and a loft conversion!

Bungalows built before 1960 are the best for a roof build, 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 installed, either.

However, don’t be put off if you discover that your bungalow has a shallower pitched roof. Even those bungalows 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, such as the installation of dormer windows.

Remember! Your walls need to be load bearing for a bungalow loft conversion.

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. Having only the one floor originally designed to be habitable, the loft space would often be used simply as storage, and any additional weight may not have been taken into account when designing the original property.

You may therefore need some underpinning work or structural support if you’re converting your bungalow’s attic space. A structural engineer will be able to advise on whether this is necessary, and a loft conversion specialist will have structural engineers as part of their team, ready to assist with any structural work your bungalow may need to make it convertible.

It’s important to think about the location of your bungalow’s stairs

Wherever you add the stairs, it will mean a loss of space in one of the ground floor rooms. However, the amount of space that you’ll be gaining in the loft will certainly counteract this.

A good architect will be able to solve this problem and minimise the area lost, to really make the most of the new loft space.

Consider that Building Regulations are different for bungalow conversions

When it comes to a bungalow loft conversion, it’s important to check the Building Regulations for your project, as they may be slightly different to those in a multi-storey property. For example, in multi-storey properties, new staircases should be ‘fire protected stairways’. However, this isn’t always possible in a bungalow, so escape windows should be added to the new loft rooms to satisfy Building Regulations instead.

Remember that you may need to add additional joists to support bungalow staircases, and adequate fire protection will be needed for your new floor. A loft conversion specialist will be able to assist with getting these points right, but it’s also worth checking with your Local Authority as to the requirements you’ll be required to meet.

And now the fun part: what will you use your new rooms for?

Once you have all of the above considerations in place, 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 or perhaps a Jack and Jill bathroom between two bedrooms. Although there are plenty of other ways that you can use your new loft conversion, too, such as adding a home office or a studio, or even turning your living space upside down and moving the reception rooms upstairs.

However, don’t forget that when it comes to bungalow loft conversion ideas, you’ll need to consider how you’ll also use your newly repurposed downstairs rooms, too.

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! The beauty of a bungalow loft conversion is that it can really open up your home to new space and new possibilities.

Ready for a bungalow loft conversion? Contact Bespoke Lofts!

Whatever space you’re planning on gaining from a bungalow loft conversion and however you plan to use it, contact Bespoke Lofts. With the help of a loft conversion specialist such as ourselves, we can bring your bungalow loft conversion ideas to life to really transform your home into your dream property.

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