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Many people convert their loft into an extra ‘bedroom,’ but is a loft considered a bedroom?
Undoubtedly a loft can be an appealing choice if you need to add a new bedroom in time for a new arrival or want to add private office space away from the rest of the house.
It's not uncommon on sale often mention their potential fourth 'bedroom' that may be turned in one so long as it complies with building regulations.
A loft isn’t a bedroom in the traditional sense, but it can be if it meets the right criteria. The laws are more lenient when turning lofts into bedrooms; however, you must jump through some legal hoops first.
There are building regulations that your conversion needs to comply with if you’re converting a loft.
These regulations have to do with the safety and stability of the loft itself.
For example, there are minimum requirements for things such as structure and fire safety.
When a Loft Can Be Considered a Bedroom
If you are wondering can a loft be considered a bedroom, here are some of the basic criteria the loft has to meet to be considered a bedroom:
When a loft area is closed off, it can be considered a bedroom. However, lofts that are open to the floor below typically lack privacy.
If the loft has an open side, it doesn’t qualify as a bedroom but may still be used as an office or guest space.
For the loft room to comply with building regulations for a bedroom, there must be headroom along the length of one side of the bed without the ceiling hitting your head.
However, if you need to modify the roof to ensure compliance, there may be a need to seek additional planning permission.
Windows and Exits
A loft must have adequate exits and windows to be considered a bedroom.
These requirements include a door and a window that are large enough to allow people to exit safely and the sill of a window 44 inches above the ground.
Windows need to be wide enough to fit a person through.
Heating and Cooling
A loft also needs to be heated and cooled to be considered habitable.
To ensure it meets all these criteria, it’s advisable to get all the advice before you commit to knowing what is necessary for the construction process.
You want your finished space to look amazing, and sure it will.
For the loft to be considered a bedroom, it must have a ceiling of 7′ high to create a comfortable amount of headroom.
There are many different types of ceilings, and they all work differently.
The loft should have a staircase rather than an entry point with a standard ladder.
Loft stairs offer permanent access to the space and can create a traditional wood look.
Generally, for the loft to be considered a bedroom, household members should be able to access it freely.
The best doors are the ones that can open fully. They make it easy for people to go in and out and stop fires from spreading.
If the loft doors aren’t opening freely, it shouldn’t be considered a bedroom.
Hallway and Fire Escape
The loft has to have enough space in the hallway for someone to get into bed without hitting their head. This might mean you need to alter the room’s pitch or height of the room.
Ensure there is enough headroom along your fire escape route, and it needs to be at least two meters high.
Fire safety regulations vary based on the property. Height-related requirements for fire safety in taller buildings are often stricter.
It’s important to follow local laws to ensure that any loft bedroom conversion will be approved.
Note: Once you ensure your loft conversion complies with the different regulations outlined above, you can focus on the specific, additional regulations that are in place to make sure the room is a bedroom.
Converting a Loft into a Bedroom
Converting your loft can add extra space to your home by being an extra bedroom.
And it’s a less expensive option than building an extension or adding a basement.
Therefore, the ideal answer to is a loft considered a bedroom is that it can be made into one. But think carefully before pulling the trigger.
And some lofts may need an extension to the roof as well as conversion in order to increase the headroom and space available.
You should give serious thought to having a permanent staircase when planning your loft conversion.
The Building Regulations says that all buildings must have an escape route in case of a fire.
There are also certain Building Regulations that state legal requirements for building work and how a building must be built.
A ladder may not be the best option, so if you will probably have to install a staircase instead.
Cost of Building a Staircase
If your home is detached, it might not be necessary as the loft would be on top of one side of the house.
The cost and type needed depends on where it will lead from but could cost up to $ 14,000.
So, think about what would suit your home best when making this decision.
Before you begin your loft conversion, make sure that you have the necessary supplies like outlets, heaters, lights, and wires.
Also, consider whether you want an electric-powered or gas-powered heater.
This can be an important factor depending on the style of your home. Always seal any exposed openings in drywall so that ventilation is not a problem.
Note: Often, lofts have these things included, so they won't need additional work, but it's still something to look out for.
En-suite bathrooms are convenient to have for your loft conversion.
They make cleaning up after yourself quicker and easier.
But it’s also great for guests if you have company over or have children who are old enough to use the bathroom on their own.
If the loft space isn’t large enough, you may be limited to using a half bath or just a sink in your bedroom.
Note: En-suite bathrooms add value to your homes and increase their property tax value.
The central head height in your loft will determine whether you can convert it into an extra room.
Ideally, the usable part of the roof should be at least 7 feet 2 inches (2.2 meters) high, with the ridge of the roof being taller.
Measure the distance from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist; that’s how high your ceiling should be.
The higher the pitch angle, the higher your head height is likely to be. If dormers are used or the roof is redesigned, you’ll have more floor space.
The ceiling and walls of your loft conversion will probably be exposed.
Take this chance to do some insulation work in the loft if it isn’t already insulated, and seal up all the gaps.
Then decide how you want to finish these surfaces: wallpaper, paint or texture.
Or you can install a skylight for your ceiling window to let natural light flood through the loft during the day to make gazing at stars a lot easier at night.
If your telescopes are expensive, you might have to look elsewhere.
Call a professional or expert windows installer if you want one installed; do-it-yourself installations can be dangerous.
It’s always a good idea to add a balcony to your conversion especially if your room has large windows.
These balconies allow you to enjoy the scenery and the outdoors without leaving your home.
You could also opt for dormer windows since some can be designed to convert to balconies. These are ideal for slanted roofs.
If you use these, you won't have to worry about permits and restrictions since they're far less complicated than the two options above.
So is a loft considered a bedroom? The short answer is NO. But it can be converted into one.
Converting an unused loft into a bedroom can be fun and rewarding since it enables one to make sustainable changes that will increase the value of their home both now and in the future.
It is a good way to learn new skills while adding comfort and functionality simultaneously.
Remember to abide by the loft conversion laws in your area, so you don't get into trouble. It's best to hire a professional with the right skills to do your loft conversion.