Convert Your Attic Into Living Space For The Kids
Post 2020 and the Covid pandemic, more kids are staying at home with their parents, but what to do when there isn't enough living space for everyone?
When it comes to additions and extensions, the local Town Planning will only allow a certain percentage of your land to be converted into living space. Once you reach that limit, or have no other space available to house an addition or an extension, the sensible choice is to look at a loft conversion.
Benefits of a Loft Conversion
A loft conversion is one that is performed to convert an attic into a living space, whether for additional sleeping arrangements, a much-needed office space, or a flatlet for the kids. When compared to conventional additions and extensions, a loft conversion can work out much cheaper and you increase the floor plan of a home without using up any more land.
Not only will a loft conversion give you more living space, but research also shows that it can increase the value of a property by as much as twenty per cent. A loft conversion ranges in price from anywhere between R80,000 for a basic conversion and up to R 200,000 for a full-on conversion with extras and you have a way to add on for the kids to stay at home.
A Growing Trend
It is a fact that young adults are not moving out of the home as they used to and this has increased throughout the 2020 pandemic. Having the kids stay at home isn't something new as research over the years has shown that it a growing trend over the past 20 years. High cost of living, lack of employment opportunities and expensive accommodations all add to the extra burden that emerging adults need to face. On the other hand of the scale, many parents and families are struggling financially and it makes more sense to add extra living space to a property to house an entire family and reduce monthly expenditure.
Tie this in within the trend for elderly parents moving in with their children and you have a situation where extra space becomes more of a necessity - a need rather than a want.
Creating a Family Home
In general, South African homes are your basic 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom affairs with a living room, dining room and kitchen. Some have the luxury of extra bedrooms and bathrooms and others may have a family room or den. If you want to add onto a home to increase living space, using the land surrounding a property is usually the way to go. If you factor in how much land around the property can be converted into living space without compromising on outdoor entertainment and living, you are not going to be left with much.
A basic loft conversion on a 3-bedroom home is in the region of R80,000 that can be compared to payment rent of just over R6500 per month for 12 months for kids or elderly parents to rent a property.
A loft conversion utilizes the space on top of a property by modified an existing roof design to allow for increased height or space. There is very little discomfort to the rest of the home while the work is undertaken unless an interior staircase needs to be integrated into the design.
Types of Loft Conversions
The cost of a loft conversion varies according to the existing and future roof type, size of conversion area and materials used. Before you even consider a loft conversion for the purpose of increasing living space, have a specialist come out and inspect the roof and trusses to determine the best approach if a loft conversion is possible.
Adding dormer windows to the existing roof is the most popular option for using the attic as living space but not all roofs have sufficient height clearance for this, which means effectively raising the roof or designing a cut out.
You also need to consider access to the loft conversion and this involves the installation of a staircase that will be located either indoors or outdoors. A staircase can take up quite a bit of space so be sure to allow for this when planning for a loft conversion.
Arrange with an architect or architectural designer for plans to be drawn up for submission to the local town planning department.
Have Designs Drawn Up and Submit Plans
Anyone wanting to undertake any type of renovation project needs plans drawn up for submission to the local town planning. After consulting with a contractor specialising in loft conversions this will be the next step. You can arrange this with the contractor or hire your own architectural designer or structural engineer to asses the project.