If you intend to convert your loft, there are a few important features which you'll need to include. Read on to find out more.
A large window
If you're on a tight budget, you might be considering either installing a very small window or not fitting any windows at all. However, this is a mistake which could have serious repercussions.
If you want your loft to serve as a habitable space, it must have a large window. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the sunlight that a window will allow into the room will make the loft look and feel far brighter and more spacious.
Secondly (and far more importantly), a window which is large enough for a person to fit through will act as an escape route, if a fire breaks out on the lower floors and the person inside the loft cannot, therefore, leave the property via the loft stairs.
If your loft has roof trusses which occupy most of the headspace in your loft, you will need to ask your contractor to either cut some of the trusses back (to make room for the window) or replace the entire roof system with rafters. The former is obviously a much simpler (and therefore less expensive) option, but does have the potential to cause structural issues, as roof trusses help to support the weight of the roof; as such, if too many are missing, you may eventually experience problems with the house's framework.
A suitable staircase
Generally speaking, when creating access for your loft conversion, it is better to opt for a traditional staircase, rather than a pull-down ladder, as the latter is far less sturdy and creates a sense of separateness between the loft and the rest of the property. However, not just any staircase will suffice; it's important to build the right one for your needs.
The position and style of staircase that your building contractor installs will determine how much space it consumes in both the loft itself and on the floor below it.
If you don't have a lot of extra room to spare, you might want to opt for a narrow, steep staircase (such as a backless spiral design, for example); this will take up much less room on the floor below the loft. However, this may not be an appropriate style of staircase to install if your young children, or any household members with mobility issues, intend to use the loft space, as it is much easier for them to slip and fall on a spiral staircase. Its compact size may also present issues when the loft conversion is finished and you need to move furniture into the new space.
A standard flight of stairs will take up a lot more space (you may even need to give up one of the rooms on the floor underneath the loft to create enough space for it), but is a lot safer to use.
To learn more about this process, contact services like Prefab Technology Pty Ltd.