Lots of us have grand designs of the things we could do with our attic or loft space if we had the money. A games room, a master bedroom, a luxurious bathroom. We all know this is something that takes time, effort and patience. But done properly a loft conversion is something that can not only increase the value of your home, but create a special and unique space you can get a great deal of joy and entertainment from.
So, you need to think, how can I really make the most of this space? If you’re a film buff the answer is simple – a personal cinema room. Think about it, the long rectangular space of most lofts is perfect for this as you can have a large screen on one wall at the end, while the sloping ceilings will make it feel intimate and cosy.
Where do I start?
The first step is to plan your conversion. If you have extensive DIY knowledge or some experience in this area, it’s something you can do yourself. If not, you’ll need to call on the help of an architect to draw up plans. Things to consider include:
- The height of the ceilings
- How much room you’ll realistically have for furniture
- How will you heat the room – can your boiler cope with more radiators?
- Will it be properly insulated and ventilated?
- The location of electrical points (for example, they need to be near the screen and where any lamps will go)
- Do you have a party wall agreement with neighbours?
- What will you do with the junk currently in your loft?
A loft conversion will typically take around eight weeks, and should cost in the region of £8,000 to £50,000, depending on how much work you have done and how advanced the features are. In the case of a cinema room, you are building a single room and won’t need any windows, so this will immediately keep your costs at the lower end of the scale.
Some of you might want to install a window so you can have natural light during the day if you choose. This can also be used as a fire escape route. A high-quality blind will block out the sunlight if you do want to watch films during the day – ensure you get this fitted by professionals and make sure no light escapes around the edges.
It’s vital that unless you’re a builder, you call in the professionals to take care of the manual labour. If you do it yourself and aren’t fully knowledgeable on the subject, the results could be dangerous. Check the government’s website on conversions and extensions before you start as well.
Getting the interior design right
This first thing to get right is the basics. Things like the door frame, the stairway up to the loft and the skirting boards should all match the rest of the house. By doing this you’ll make sure the loft space looks like something that’s always been part of the house, rather than a space you tacked on at the end.
If you do add windows, make sure the frames match the rest of the house. If they’re high up on the ceiling, you can get remote controls that allow you to open and close them with ease.
The rest of the interior design is up to you and the basic painting and decorating is something anyone can do. For a cinema room, it’s probably best to keep the walls free from clutter and have your large screen on one end wall. You can then let your imagination run wild when it comes to the seating arrangements and any little tables for you and your friends to put drinks and snacks on. Lots of comfy sofas are a must, while you also might want to add some beanbags and lots of oversized cushions for people lie around on.
So, if you get it right, an attic cinema room could be the perfect way to transform your loft, just make sure you take the time to plan it properly first.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This guest blog contributed by Shania Willis a home DIY guru, who wants to help you figure out the most imaginitive ideas for your loft conversions.