Loft Conversion Part 3 – where do I begin

I want a Loft Conversion – Where do I begin?

loft window paula trovalusciMost of us will know if we have a suitable loft space and what we want from your loft conversion but where do we begin? I would strongly suggest you begin by hiring a loft specialist company.  If you are unsure about who to call, why not have a drive around your area looking for properties having work done? Talk to the property owners, ask them what they like and dislike about the company doing their conversion – Did they begin on time? Did they help dealing with the council? Visit at least one loft done by the company you are thinking of appointing to do your work.

Hiring an specialist: The best thing about hiring an specialist loft company is that they will have project managers as well as labourers who are used to dealing with loft conversions. An experienced, reputable loft specialist will take you through the entire building process seamlessly from planning permission, designing the space through to the finishing details.

Do it yourself: If you are feeling brave and want to handle the project yourself, of course you could engage a good architect (preferably one who is local and have a good relationship with the council’s planning permission department).  Hiring an architect is important when dealing with potentially challenging spaces such as lofts they will work with your ideas to provide you with maximum use of the space.  With your plans in hand and while waiting approval you can then start looking to appoint your own builders. There is as much demand for loft conversions as there are builders offering to do it, so it’s important that you get at least 3 quotes, ask to see examples of their work, agree a schedule for the job and ALWAYS check that your chosen company/builder is insured!

Good building companies will usually be members of the Federation of Master Builders, if you are unsure if your company is a member of the federation take a look at www.fmb.org.uk

Whether you decide to work with an independent architect or an specialist loft company, the initial visit is usually free and you might even get a very general idea of cost.  A longer, more detailed survey will be conducted once you have appointed your chosen professional.

I’m having my loft converted now and have chosen the safer option of a loft specialist company.  What ever option you choose, let me know what your final decision is! Meanwhile, stay tuned, I will be talking about how to assess your architect’s drawings in my next post.

Paula, x

Loft Conversion Part 2 – Is my loft suitable for a conversion?

Is my loft suitable for a conversion?

From the moment we first saw our house, before we even put an offer in we knew we would eventually convert our loft to accommodate our growing family.  But how do you know if your loft is suitable for a conversion?

It’s worth noting that not all lofts have enough space to make the conversion work.  Yes, it can be structurally possible but does it add value to your house? Does it make it more appealing to the local area? Would it make your property too ‘top heavy’?  Remember, this is much more than an expense.  It’s an opportunity to live in a larger, better planned space that will not only pay for itself but also make you money in the long run.

loft conversion
by www.arquiteturadoimovelarq.blogspot.co.uk

It is generally accepted that ceiling heights in the 1st floor should be approximately 2.30m, however, this will depend on how steep the pitch/slope of your roof is.  Unfortunately for us, our pitch isn’t very high and we have to lower our ceiling to gain the head height needed for our loft conversion. For those with roomier places (I envy you!) and who have a steep pitch you could even have a mezzanine, wouldn’t that look fabulous?

The more generous properties tend to be 1930s or older, sometimes dating from the Victorian and Edwardian era. They often have rather large loft spaces and high pitches but that’s not to say it’s always the case!  The more modern houses, however, have much shallower pitches and may not even be suitable for a conversion… even though they can still provide excellent storage for those seasonal decorations that we only need once a year.

It took us 4 years to find the right Loft Specialist Company and many, many hours spent going over drawing plans and making sure that every space was made useful!  This type of project can be very disruptive indeed but, in my opinion, it’s well worth the effort.

To find out whether or not your space can be converted too, do your research. Contact at least a couple of local, recommended loft companies who know your area and preferably have undertaken similar projects and completed them successfully!  They will be able to tell you rather quickly whether or not you can convert your space.

Stay tuned. In my next blog I’ll talk to you about the first steps to take before you too get started with your loft conversion. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me or want to get in touch please email me on studio@paulatrovalusci.co.uk, it would be lovely to hear from you.

Thanks for reading,

Paula, x

Loft Conversion Part 1 – Why do we convert our lofts anyway?

loft conversion planning portal

Why do we convert our lofts anyway?

There’s great hype about Loft Conversions these days and I’m really happy about that! As more and more of us crave bigger spaces, but can’t quite afford to move up, it makes complete sense to stay put and enlarge our houses. But what exactly do we gain from a loft conversion apart form the lovely furnishings?

1. We increase the value of our home: it is believed that a standard loft conversion starts from £25K (finishing and extras not included of course!). Whilst this is a sizable expense, it is also a sure way to ‘save’ money in the long term – it would very possibly be spent as stamp-duty if you decided to move house instead. Besides, the amount invested in the loft conversion is likely to turn into a nice profit eventually when you decide to sell up and move on.

2. We simply to gain more space: take a family with young children for example, the children will be growing fast and the need for personal space will become almost a necessity as the teen years approach. That goes for the parents too, doesn’t it? Having the loft converted into a master bedroom with ensuite is dream come true for most couples.

3. We can have a home office: another reason to convert the unused loft space is to turn it into a home office. Flexible working hours, remote working and advances in technology come hand in hand with the need for secluded space, away from the buzz of family life.  Loft conversions seem a very viable option indeed.

4. We can have an extra Guest Bedroom: another good reason is that the world has somewhat become ‘smaller’.  Our family and friends travel more and with relations scattered around the globe, the loft space (yes, that dark, dusty old place we used to store our junk) can be turned into a fabulous haven of calm and tranquility for our guests to enjoy.

I have even heard of people turning their lofts into study rooms, gyms, home cinema and even a playroom, all of which sound great!

As for us, we are very lucky to live in an idyllic spot and moving isn’t an option so converting the loft into a master bedroom with ensuite wetroom, at least for us, was the perfect solution. Unfortunately, getting it done isn’t always as simple as it could be. That’s why I started this series.  I want to share with you what is like to have your loft converted… the good, the bad and the ugly will be revealed right here!

We’ll begin our ‘Journey to the Loft’ next week.  Fasten your seat belt, keep reading and take notes.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

 

Paula, x

 

 

 

 

Giving Sash Windows the ‘wow’ factor with the right window treatment

Giving Sash Windows the ‘wow’ factor with the right window treatment

sash window, roman blindAverage-sized sash or casement windows seem to be standard in many houses today, but just because they are standard doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a gorgeous window treatment. The fact is that, sash windows are great for trying out many styles.

They lend themselves very well to recessed roman blinds, shutters, floor-length curtains (watch out if you have bay windows though) and even roller blinds.  The latter is especially true in less leisurely rooms like kitchens, bathrooms and utility areas.

Blinds always look best set into the recess of course, especially if the window frame is attractive, has recently been restored or is newly painted.  But if curtains are your preferred option, you can create an understated style by choosing curtains n a plain fabric with a simple heading and hang on a slim curtain pole to keep the look bang up to date.

 

bespoke curtains
www.housetohome.co.uk

Sash windows are most common found in period properties such as Georgian & Victorian houses where there’s great tendency to use the most elegant structures.  In some cases the windows can be layered to provide privacy during the day, yet the heavier layer can ensure the heat doesn’t scape during the cooler months – these windows are notorious for being drafty, especially the original ones!

Here’s an example of a gorgeous sash window dressed with full length, lined and interlined curtains.  For the best result is worth having your curtains made-to-measure by a reputable professional.  These are usually made with fade-resistant lining, good quality-medium weight interlining and finished off by hand and to perfection.

A true professional will come out, measure up your windows, source the most suitable track or pole, make your items, install and dress your windows.  You? Oh, you wont’ have to do very much at all apart from choosing your preferred fabric.

Want to choose curtains and blinds for your sash window but don’t know how? Get in touch and we’ll tell you how! Email us on studio@paulatrovalusci.co.uk.

Thanks for reading!

Paula Trovalusci, x

Creating the right mood with colour when you get started with your inteiror decorating

interior decorating, farrow & ball paintTo inject a room with a sense of peace and tranquility you can begin by selecting serene wall colours in your interior decorating. Perhaps light shades of blues, greens, grays and off whites are always excellent choices. Think of the colours that make you fell comfortable and avoid strong colours such as red – it can create a more stressful environment.

Greens and blues are great choices for interior decorating because they are associated with nature’s own colours, tend to feel much calmer evoking a sense of ‘outdoors’, freedom, space.  Joa Studholme (Farrow&Ball colour consultant), when interviewed by Homes&Gardens, explained that green hues are both restful and refreshing, while light blues will encourage a peaceful night’s sleep and will still be easy on the eye in the morning.

The most serene colour family, however, is believed to be in the acqua group.  These will create a really harmonious scheme that’s particularly suitable for bedrooms and bathrooms. What you must remember though is that when trying to instill calm and harmony keep contrast to a minimum!

If possibly, try to use the same colour on both the walls and the woodwork so you can’t see where the walls stop and the woodwork begins. In case of whites, use one that’s sympathetic to the colour on the walls. Personally, I love Farrow & Ball and I think they have some great whites such as Stony Ground!

 

How about you? How do you like your colours? Email me on studio@paulatrovalusci.co.uk and let me know.