There are many types of lofts. Some are apartments while some are old industrial space to living space conversions. But in this blog we won’t be discussing those. We’ll be talking about loft construction in homes. This type of loft conversion is our specialty!
We love converting high vaulted ceilings inside homes into new living space. Because from the customer’s prospective, it’s cost effective and easy to do. High ceilings are great. We’re not against those at all. They can add a spacious feeling to a room. However, if the needs of your growing family might have a better use for that space, then by all means let’s use it!
So What Works Best?
Measure your ceiling height. Headspace, naturally, is a significant consideration. In most San Diego homes (non vaulted room), the ceilings are 8 to 10 feet high. So in a room with a vaulted ceiling the minimum interior height you could start with would be 16 feet. Otherwise you won’t have standing space above.
Unless you are looking to create a low ceiling height for storage or maybe a kid’s playroom loft then under 16 feet might work as a starting point. But we’ll have to check with local codes to make sure the new loft construction is allowed.
Consider your light source. It’s important to work out how you’re going to illuminate both your elevated room and the newly enclosed space below. For natural light, if there are already existing windows then that’s great. If not then maybe we can add them. Skylights are great options too for loft construction in homes. Also consider dormer windows. They add internal head space, a great view, and a wonderful external appeal.
Safety Walls and Rails: You sure don’t want anyone falling from your loft! Since most loft designs have an open section we must consider safety. Half walls are a popular choice. However if you want to enjoy the downward view a little more then a railing might suffice. But then that really depends on your needs. We can advise you of the best loft design for you and your family.
Climbing Up into Your Loft
Now that you have a loft in your plans let’s think about how you will get up into it. The two best ways are stairs and ladders.
Stairs: Need to figure out where you want them. Stairs take up more floor space than you might think. You don’t want them in the way of room traffic either. So along the wall is usually a good place. You can also consider a spiral stair case. Those take up less space but are a little more difficult to climb up; especially if you are carrying large or heavy objects like beds, couches, desks, etc.
Ladders: These are great if space is a major concern. But you know there are lots of reasons that a ladder might not be the best option for loft access. Such as elderly guests, very young children, and pets too.
So What’s Next?
So adding a loft sounds like an excellent way to create more square footage, right? But like all construction projects, building a loft involves a lot of attention to design details. Details like we already covered such as ceiling height, railings, and stairs. We also have to consider the technical requirements of loft construction such as whether the new floor joists can span the distance without a post beneath. Or if the walls beneath the loft can support the weight. And there’s more.
Our planning and approval process ensures that all safety issues are properly addressed in the plans and construction. And that all code requirements are met. And then we take care of the loft construction in homes permit process as well. Regardless of the size or cost of the loft space renovation, having a professional contractor guide you through the process is a huge plus! When you have the right loft conversion contractor then the actual building of the loft can proceed relatively quickly.