The headroom in lofts differs hugely but building regulations have set a minimum to ensure that the room is habitable, while builders often recommend that you have at least 2.3/2.4m to ensure that you have enough space to stand up and move around most of the room.
Occasionally, lofts don’t have enough headroom to do a conversion according to building regulations or to create a usable room. There are plenty of solutions to this issue, but some may require planning permission to make more extensive changes to your home.
Lower Your Ceilings
If you have high ceilings, you may choose to lower the ceiling on the top storey of your home to provide more space in the loft. This is a significant job, which requires new floor joists as well as new connections to prevent the walls from ‘spreading’. The work will also have a much larger impact on your household than a standard loft conversion, so it’s important to consider how much disruption you’re happy with.
If your ceilings are at the British standard of 2.4m, lowering your ceilings could have a negative impact on the feel of the room so it’s best to look at other options.
Use Thinner Insulation
If there are only a few cm to be added, you could simply install thinner insulation boards in the floor and ceiling to shave a few cm off the thickness of the walls and floor. Normal insulation can take up a lot of space (up to 27cm), but new technology offers the same thermal efficiency without taking up as much previous head room.
Raise the Roof
Raising the roof will require planning permission, but it is likely to be much less disruptive to you and your family than lowering ceilings. Elevating the pitch of the roof may be an option for you. If this is your preferred option, you may want to consider a Mansard loft conversion to increase the usable space in your new rooms.
Raising the roof isn’t always structurally possible on all homes – for example, planning permission is rarely granted for terraced houses and the structure of the building would not allow the change without making significant changes to the neighbouring houses too.
At LoftWorld, we have over a decade of experience and have worked on a wide variety of loft conversions in that time. We are always happy to provide solutions to your loft conversion issues, and will offer helpful advice to ensure that you make the right decision for you and your family.
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