At Home with Sarah Beeny 2013 - (Page 244)

| above and beyond| Up, up C If space is an issue in your home, look above your head. a loft conversion can add value as well as a new room and away onverting your loft will give you another functional room under your roof to play with – whether that is an office, a den for the kids, another bedroom or even an extra bathroom – and free up space downstairs, too. It will almost always add value to your property. According to the 2012 HSBC Home Improvement Survey valuation, experts picked a loft conversion as the best way to improve a home’s value, by £16,152 on average. And with starting prices at around £8,000 to £15,000 to convert the space under your roof, it’s cheaper than an extension, and most lofts are suitable for conversion provided they have a minimum roof height of 2.4m. Disruption to the rest of your house is minimal, especially in the early stages, as access is usually gained via scaffolding from the roof, and the work should be completed within a month or so. Just don’t forgot about all the stuff that’s in your loft now, though – you need to make sure there is space to store it elsewhere, make some room in your conversion, or alternatively get rid of it all in a car boot sale! bedroom Sleep tight Having an extra bedroom at the top can mean peace and quiet for mum and dad or it could be an elegant guest bedroom that will impress your overnight guests. Open up the space by installing lots of windows allowing light to stream in. If space is an issue, consider a sofa that will convert easily into a bed and can sit under awkward A-frame beams. A loft room will absorb some of the heat loss from rooms lower down in the house and the size of most attics is also in keeping with a basic guest room. There will therefore be plenty of space to install a small basin and, with comparatively little extra cost, a walk-in shower is an ideal feature for a guest bedroom. And don’t forget the wardrobe! Attic roofs slope, so make sure you include space for clothes storage in the plans before you go ahead with a conversion. Again, if you have the space then build an en-suite alongside the bedroom, as this will make the area self-contained and will up the value of your property. playroom Make it child-friendly Thinking ahead is key if you are designing a space for the kids – in a few years time, they will no longer squeal at Bob the Builder or the Disney classics, so don’t over theme. Remember, where kids are involved safety is essential so make sure the window is inaccessible and the blinds operate electronically. The stairs should be user-friendly with child-safe rails for easy access. With kids’ rooms, storage is vital – they come with lots of stuff and that gets bigger and more prolific when they get older. Make cupboard space so you can put everything away easily. Floor area is another big consideration with kids – toys that can be built on the ground like train tracks, puzzles and imaginative games need room to grow so leave plenty of lying-down-on-the-floor room. Finally, consider what they will need when they are teenagers – study space and power points for their endless gadgets will be key. What type of conversion is best for you? There’s no set way to extend, choose the option that will suit your home In line conversion The existing roof space is converted by adding rooflights into the slope of the roof and insulating as well as fitting out the space. Dormer conversion A roof space is enlarged by adding dormer windows, usually at the back and sides of the roof, but sometimes at the front. This creates a larger area. Gable to gable conversion On a terraced house, the gable (triangular portion) walls may be built up and the back of the roof replaced with a new box-shaped roof that creates much more useable space. Hip to gable conversion A roof that slopes downwards on three or more sides is known as a hipped roof and may have limited space to build a conversion. One or more of the hips can be removed, the end wall built up to form a gable, and the roof extended over it, creating a larger area with full headroom. Structural conversion The whole roof is replaced with a steeper pitched roof, such as a mansard (a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterised by two slopes), effectively adding a new storey. Lowering ceilings In some places, such as conservation areas and national parks, the roof height can’t be raised, so the only way to increase headroom in the loft is to reduce the ceiling heights in the floor below. This is expensive but can make sense in higher value areas. > 244 | April 2013 244-250 roof/lofts FINAL.indd 244 28/2/13 11:26:48

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of At Home with Sarah Beeny 2013

Editor's letter
Sarah's Welcome
It's a date
Mellow yellow
Blooming wonderful
Proper copper
Rent revolution
Home upgrade
Leading locations
Property virgins
Safe as houses
On the move
Good on paper
A distressed look
Turn up the heat
Fire it up
Another 48 hours
Something old, something new
Suite dreams
Inside the box
On stylish ground
On the rise
DIY for girls
The blueprint
A glass act
Final draught
Heat beneath your feet
Silent enemies
Real-life renovation
Eco exclusive
Hot stuff
How very cultivated
Turn over a new leaf
Lofty deals
Keep your antenna up
What Sarah says
How bizarre
Colour cocktail
Last word

At Home with Sarah Beeny 2013