Loft conversion guide

A loft conversion guide – what you need to know

It is startling that what once offered plentiful space for the whole family is now too small to host even a few members of the family. At this point, you start wondering if it’s time to sell the old house and move to a new housing unit.

Despite how desperate you are for extra space, weigh options such as the sentimental value of the house and the cost of moving to a new house which comprises of legal fees, transportation charges, survey and stamp duties which more often than usual amount to thousands of pounds and its money you will never get back.

Even by getting property valuation tips from propertypriceadvice, and doing the actual valuation, you might still end up spending more on moving that doing home extension. There is also an additional hassle of having to shift our children from one school to another.

While on a budget, the only option that makes sense is to expand your home without the bedlam of having to move from one house to another and at the same time increase the value of your property.

With such a move, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to design and amount of space you can add to your house. Unfortunately, some cannot afford to do a home extension due to time and cost irregularities.

For those who do not have much space to do much extension or enough money to allow for such advancements, consider loft conversion as the next workable option for you. Doing loft conversion is more practicable and could cost you way less when it comes to money and time. Either, pulling this off is dependent on the roof structure, height, and feasibility of installing a staircase.

A loft conversion is less likely to reduce the size of the compound or need permission for planning like doing a home extension but will significantly add value to your home.

Here is a guide on how to go about loft conversion, what it entails and what to expect from it.

Establishing whether the loft is suitable for conversion

This is a step that you need to take before you approach any builder to get the job done.

Measure your loft. A floor to ceiling measurement of 2.2m is what is required as the minimum measurement. If you are having trouble with headroom, there is the option of lowering the ceiling of the room directly below the loft or raising the roof but be warned that this is a complex move and one that will have you dig deeper into your pockets.

The roof structure is also used to establish the practicability of loft conversion. Ideally, the pre-1960s houses with rafters are suitable for conversion compared to a trussed roof that will need structural reinforcement. Additional features such as the plumbing system of the house running through the loft or a water tank installed in the loft could cause problems with the conversion.

Planning and Permission

In most cases, there is no need to get permission for the loft conversion as it is classified under permitted development. Either way, you must follow certain policies and conditions set such as volume allowance of 40 cubic metres of extra roof space.

Besides, the following conditions apply.

· No inclusion of a balcony, raised platform or a veranda.

· Extension should not surpass the highest part of the roof.

· Windows that are facing sideways must be obscure glazed.

· The enlargement of the roof should not overhand the outer side of the original wall.

· Retractable stairs or ladders are not acceptable. It has to be a permanent structure.

Choose a good builder to get the job done

The trick to getting wowed by the work the builder does is to find the best of the best from the many of them available. Depending on the amount of work to be done, you might consider getting an architect to produce drawings that will guide the builder during the conversion work.

At this point now, you can put the loft conversion work out on tender for the builders available to send you their quotations. But even before you put them out to tender, get recommendations from neighbour, friends, and family who have done loft conversions too and also check online review and rating of the builder.

Also, consider going through photos of previous conversion work they have done.


Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

Quick wins to make your house feel cleaner

5 quick wins to make your house feel tidier

Some days you don’t want to spend ages cleaning, but you want to do a few quick things to make your house feel like not quite so much of a disaster zone.

For those kinds of days, here are 5 things you can do to really quickly get your home feeling cleaner and tidier.


Make the bed

If you only have time to do one thing in your bedroom, make it making the bed.

The bed is most likely the biggest thing in your room, and having it nicely made, all neat and tidy has a huge impact on how tidy the room feels in general.

The same goes for your living room.

Quickly putting any throws and blankets neatly on the sofa can make the whole room feel tidier.


Hide clutter in baskets

One of the big things that makes my house feel really untidy is all the stuff everywhere.

There are days when there is not a single clear surface in the living room.  Even the sofa and chairs have stuff plonked down on them.

So having baskets and toys boxes around to stash the clutter in is a great way to quickly clear off the surfaces and make everything feel much cleaner.

This is also a great trick if you always have stuff sitting on the stairs, waiting to be taken out.  Just popping that stuff in a basket that sits on the stairs looks much tidier.  You can even get special stair baskets that are shaped to fit over two steps.


Sweep or vacuum the floors

A quick whizz round the house with a broom or hoover can really make the house feel cleaner.

If you have people coming over and are in a real hurry then just focus on the high-traffic areas and the parts of the house that people are going to see.


Empty and wipe down the sink

A lot of people say that the best place to start with cleaning the house is the kitchen sink.  I know that FlyLady starts her whole cleaning process with shining the sink and I can see the logic behind it.

If you have dishes piled up in yours, then quickly getting them washed, dried and put away can make a big difference to how the kitchen feels.

While you’re there give the sink itself a bit of a scrub and rinse the drain with some soda crystals and hot water.


Open the windows

The ultimate quick win for making your house feel cleaner is to fling open the windows.

Get rid of any stale smells and let lots of lovely fresh air in.

If you want to go one step further then lighting some scented candles or popping a fresh-smelling oil into a diffuser will make your house smell lovely and inviting.

And if you want to trick visitors into thinking you’ve been cleaning then spray a bit of furniture polish in the air so it smells like you’ve been busy dusting!


What job do you tackle when you want a quick win to make your home feel tidier and cleaner?

What do you think makes the biggest impact in making your house feel tidy quickly?

Make small space feel spacious

5 ideas to make a small home feel more spacious

One of the things I think we’re all after in our homes is the feeling of more space.

If you live in a home that’s more cosy than cavernous there are some little tricks you can use to create the illusion of space.  It’s all about being strategic with your decorating choices to trick the eye into seeing the room as bigger than it really is.

Here are 5 ideas you can try for making a small home feel more spacious:


1. Divide your space creatively

If you have an open plan living area that you want to split into different spaces then think about creative ways to do this.

You can use a slimline bookcase as a room divider, so that it doubles up as useful storage space.

Or think about using glass partitioning screens to split up the space while still letting light through.  This stops the spaces feeling too closed off and the natural light gives a more airy feel.

Another option is to divide the room up into different areas using rugs, instead of physically splitting the room with makeshift walls.


2. Keep it light

Dark colours can make a space feel smaller so stick to a bright and light colour palette in your home.

Paint the walls in a light shade and stick to lighter coloured flooring too.  You can always add different colours in with throws, cushions and accessories.


3. Get clever with your storage

When space is at a premium you need to get clever with how you store all your stuff.

Look for pieces of furniture that have hidden storage or that you can use in different ways.  Coffee tables with storage spaces are a great option, and nests of tables are perfect to tuck away when you don’t need to use them.


4. Move furniture up and out

The temptation is to push furniture like sofas right up against the wall, but actually moving them a few inches away can create the illusion of more space in the room.  The same goes for lifting furniture off the ground, so look for sofas that are up on little legs rather than flat on the ground.

Adding shelves that go right up to the ceiling is a good trick too, as the height of them draws the eye up and makes the ceiling feel taller.


5. Go big on the walls

A big mirror on the wall will reflect loads of light back into the room making it feel bigger, so this is a great addition to pretty much any room in the house.

And one big, statement piece of art on the wall gives the illusion of more space than if you were to hang several smaller pieces.

If you’re on a budget then a big poster in a frame works just as well as an expensive piece of art.  Or you could get big engineer prints made of one or two of your family photos to hang up instead.


Hopefully these tips and tricks will work for you and make your small space feel bigger.

Do you have a small, cosy home?  What trick do you like the best for making it feel more spacious?


Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post