Converting your loft is a great way to increase the value of your home and create additional living space. However, this is a complex and costly construction project, and as such, it's important to think carefully before you decide to go ahead with it. Here are two factors you should take into consideration before you convert your loft.
The style of your roof
The style of your roof will play a determining role in the complexity and expense of your loft conversion. Most roofs are built with either rafters or roof trusses; the former are located along the edges of a roof and usually leave a large, hollow triangular gap in between, whilst the latter is made up of intersecting diagonally-positioned timber frames which form a bridge, of sorts, through the aforementioned triangular space in the middle of the loft.
Rafter roofs are relatively easy to convert to a loft. A roof supported by roof trusses, however, can be difficult (but not impossible) to turn into a habitable living space. This is because the timber used for roof trusses is generally not as strong as that used for traditional rafters; whilst this lack of strength is not an issue when the loft is not being lived in, it can become problematic when you wish to convert this part of your home into a functional room, as the roof trusses may not be able to provide the required level of structural support.
As such, if your property has roof trusses and you want to convert your loft, your building contractor may need to fit steel beams into the cavities of the surrounding walls or add extra supportive timber structures around the edges of the framework. This is a challenging and time-consuming process that will almost certainly extend the length and increase the cost of your construction project.
The height of the loft
In order to convert a loft into a living area, the height of the space should be a little over two metres. If it is not, then your construction project will undoubtedly be far more complex than a typical loft conversion.
There are two ways to go about converting a loft which is too low. Firstly, you can raise the height of the roof. This would require your contractor to remove a section of the roof and then reconstruct it so that there is more headroom. This is a major construction job which will prolong the conversion process by several weeks and, of course, increase the overall cost of the project.
The second option is to lower the height of the ceiling directly underneath the loft. Whilst not quite as disruptive and difficult as raising the roof, this process does require the installation of new structural supports and floor joists, which will make the conversion more expensive.
For more information, contact local professionals like Prefab Technology Pty Ltd.