If you are planning to build a house to your own specifications, you've probably thought about what to do with your loft space. That's why we've asked Kevin Goodfellow, National Housebuilder Manager at Roof Windows 4 You, to share some innovative loft ideas you can incorporate into your build.
If you're getting a home built, you might be thinking about how you can make the most out of your loft space and transform it into a useful part of your home. Not only will this give you extra space, it can also be financially beneficial should you choose to sell the property in the future. With that in mind, I've put together a few innovative ideas that you can incorporate into your house build, transforming this great space into something completely practical.
One of the problems with utilising loft space is that the sloped roof severely limits what you can do. One way around this is by creating a dormer loft, where you build up on to the roof at an angle to create more interior space. Dormer extensions tend to have flat roofs; however, they can also be pitched. You'll also have a choice in length, with dormer extensions built as small as a window to the full length of the roof.
The beauty of a dormer design is that you get to utilise the full floor space of your attic, which can give you many more choices when it comes to deciding where the staircase should go. Though it might cost a bit of time and money, the added value the space will bring is usually well worth it.
A really innovative idea that seems to be increasing in popularity is the creation of a mezzanine floor — an intermediate level that sits between your top floor and your loft, usually covering only a section of the floor space. If you have high ceilings, then a mezzanine level can be an impressive feature, and it's a great way to utilise your space in an interesting and different way.
A mezzanine area can give a room a second purpose, while allowing you to make the most of your roof space. It can also be a great way to work around an awkward room layout. The mezzanine can be something as simple as an enlarged landing overlooking the stairs or a viewing area overlooking the room below. If you want to create a larger mezzanine level, you can use it as a living area, sleeping platform, office, or even a kitchen.
With the pitch of the roof limiting what you can do with your loft, you'll have to get creative with how you use space. If you want this to become another bedroom, you'll likely have trouble fitting standard-sized furniture in, especially in a way that you think looks good.
Creating customised wardrobes and storage units and building them into the slope of the roof is a fantastic way to get the most out the room. Likewise, if you want your new bedroom to be an en-suite, having a full-size shower will limit your options. Baths take up much less height and can easily be brought in to fit a pitched roof.
The addition of a balcony to your home is a fantastic way to add a touch of class. Not only will this bring in light, creating the illusion of more space in the room, it'll also be a great way of helping to circulate airflow, especially during the summer months. By incorporating large windows and doors to this roof space, you can create a loft that is a cool and pleasant place to be.
You essentially have three options: a Juliet balcony, balcony windows, or a true balcony. The Juliet balcony is the cheapest option, with inward facing doors and a barrier that essentially makes the indoor space itself the balcony. Balcony windows are a versatile choice that allow you to create a small balcony by opening your windows, slightly protruding out from the roof. A true balcony is the most expensive option, involving a completely separate outside platform with enough space for furniture and doorways into the loft proper.
Whatever you decide to do with your loft, hopefully we've helped get your creative juices flowing. Speak to a professional builder or architect who will be able to discuss with you the feasibility of your ideas, they might even come up with something you haven't thought of.