Converting a loft can be a very exciting project, especially due to the myriad of fresh purposes you are probably giddily imagining your transformed space could serve. Your loft’s days as simply storage for your childhood toys or Christmas presents could soon be firmly in the past.
However, it’s not necessarily an inexpensive undertaking; in the UK, the bill for a basic loft conversion can start at about £15,000, says Homebuilding & Renovating. There do remain various little measures you could take to trim your loft conversion’s price tag…
Leave your loft’s beams visible
This tip comes from Real Homes, which advises you should do so “to up the level of snug”. The site observes that “there can be nothing more lovely than a cozy loft space, so think about enhancing what room you do have instead of hiding it.”
Taking that hands-off approach to the beams would also save you any time and expense of painting over them – or concealing them in any other fashion.
Find new uses for old and reclaimed materials
Doing this would further add to the “lived-in” look those exposed beams could already cultivate. Besides, you could be pleasantly surprised by what, both visually and practically, you can achieve with materials you already have or can source used and, thus, relatively cheaply.
It’s possible, for example, to engineer storage from an IKEA shelving unit, while reclaimed doors can be cut in new sizes that allow these doors to serve as cupboard fronts.
Use awkward spaces as storage compartments
Naturally, as it’s unlikely that your loft was originally designed for the specific purpose for which you now intend to convert it, your overhauled loft could be left with a fair few awkward spaces.
However, it also doesn’t have to be too taxing to find shelves, cupboards or desks that could fit just nicely into those otherwise conspicuously gaping gaps. Ultimately, the fit could be so close that it looks as though the room was always designed for them.
Let there be light – maximum daylight, that is
It’s obvious why ensuring this can save you money in the long run: when you can rely on natural light for much of your workday, you don’t have to fall back so much on electrical lighting and the energy costs you would need to incur to use it.
As a general rule, if you want to let as much natural light as possible stream into your loft space, you should make sure glazing comprises a fifth of its roof area.
Use raised loft boarding to protect insulation
This type of loft boarding is not to be confused with “standard” loft boarding – which, if fitted in your home, could squash loft insulation and consequently prevent it from working.
In contrast, for various homes in southern England, Instaloft provides a great loft boarding service where the boarding installed in the loft sits above its insulation, allowing it to work its magic on keeping the loft warm and reducing how much the household needs to spend on heating.