Lofty ideals: the dos and don’ts of converting your attic

“An attic conversion is one of the most affordable ways to add space to a home, but before you invest you need to know all the facts.”

From The Irish Times – Life & Style – Alanna Gallagher – Sat, Apr 6, 2019

“Most homeowners opt for a room considered storage rather than habitable space. To make the attic space look and feel habitable, you need to factor in good sources of natural light and ventilation.”
With advice given by industry experts, Noel Larkin (surveyor) and Thomas O’Connor (engineer).

This is a summary of some key points in the article.
For those with an Irish Times subscription read the full article here

Loft conversions are a great way to carve out that much sought after extra space. In her article, Alanna Gallagher outlines the various types of attics and their pros & cons as well as the regulations guiding this work.

From standard to more structurally complex we are often asked to undertake conversions for clients, the main types are:
1. Non-habitable storage room – office &/or spare sleeping space
2. Non-habitable storage room with ensuite – as above but with the addition of separate facilities, if space allows.
3. Dormer attic – to meet regulations as habitable, more than 50 per cent must have a ceiling height of 2.2m – a lot more structural work but adds real value to a home.

Consider access: Are you happy to have a spiral staircase? Will you have to lose the box room to create a staircase? What about fire precautions?

Ensure natural light and ventilation: Consider roof lights, mechanical vents &/or a light well.
We love the high spec Velux Cabrio balcony roof light if the situation allows.

Sign off & insurance: Don’t forget your attic will need an engineer to sign off and any builder you contract should have insurance. Increasingly we are asked about our builder’s insurance and agree this is vital when looking for a contractor. Rest assured Sycamore has full cover.

More guidelines can be found at the Department of Environment