7 Steps to Converting Your Loft for Storage

Stuff has a tendency to multiply. Only a few months, maybe few years, ago, your house seemed spacious and roomy, with place for everything and everything in its place, but now the cupboards are overflowing, the garage is full of boxes (and no room for the car)… sounds familiar?

Look up, and there might be a solution. What about your loft space? Is it used well, to its full potential?

Converting your loft for storage will free space downstairs and effectively — and efficiently — declutter your home.

For best results, follow the essential steps in the process of planning, designing and eventually, creating a storage room in your loft.

Step 1

Answer a few important questions regarding your loft and your individual storage needs. These will allow you to plan the process properly and will ensure that your storage room does the best job possible. It will also save you future hassle and quite possibly, some money.

Step 2

Measure up! The size of your loft — and the area to be boarded, often less than the total space available in the roof space — is one of the main factors in costing a loft project, and you will need to know how much boarding to get if you choose the DIY route too.

Step 3

Decide what type of storage conversion you are going for. The basic option consists of simply loft boarding at least some of the loft space and installing lighting. The most sophisticated storage conversion means creating a luxury loft storage room, also known as a non-habitable loft conversion. There are, of course, many options in between the two and the choice depends as much on your needs and the technical specifications of your loft, as on your budget. But it’s worth remembering that even a pretty fancy storage conversion isn’t going to cost anywhere near as much as a creating a habitable room in the roof.

Step 4

Cost the whole project: if you are going to go the DIY route (which is certainly possible, especially if you are experienced in bigger home improvement projects, and if your loft is simple and easy to board) you need to budget for all the materials, of which the most important are the ladder, the boards and (if it is part of your project) insulation. If you are going to use professional loft specialists, get a quote with detailed specification of the work to be done and materials used.

When getting a quote, check if the firm you are considering offers a guarantee for their work, and how long, so you can be sure of peace of mind for years down the line.

And finally… even if you are almost-sure that DIY is the way to go, do get a quote — or a few. You might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable such a service is. And if you take into account the time needed to do the work (we all know that old but true saying that time is money, sometimes literally) and all the associated hassle of getting the materials, doing the work and tidying up, hiring professionals might turn out a much better deal than the DIY option.

Reputable loft specialists will provide a free quote, and often offer deals for storage conversion packages, which means that the bigger the project, the more advantageous is to hire professionals.

Step 5

Ready to transform your slightly creepy, dusty loft space into safely accessible, well-lit storage haven for all your stuff cluttering space downstairs?

Start with removing the few boxes or suitcases that are probably already in the loft. If you are employing professionals, that’s all you need to do — they will take care of everything else!

If you are doing the work yourself, you will need a safe and secure way to get your materials and tools up into the attic space. If you already have a loft ladder, make sure it’s in good condition (you will be making a lot — and we mean A LOT — of trips up and down that ladder while working). If you are fitting one as part of your project, obviously start with that.

Getting the boarding panels into the loft is likely to be one of the biggest issues during the whole project — make sure the panels you buy are going to fit in your loft hatch! Working in semi darkness is neither safe nor efficient so make sure that you have plenty of light.

Lay the boards in the staggered pattern, taking proper care of any wiring present, and once everything is in place, screw them to the joists.

Step 6

Organise your actual storage. At the minimum, invest in some stacking storage boxes or crates (and make sure to leave enough room for access in between). For luxury storage rooms, custom-made shelving or cupboards will maximise storage space and better protect your belongings. A professional loft service company will be able to advise you on that or will build you custom-fitted ones.

Step 7

Move the clutter to the newly created attic storage and enjoy the suddenly spacious living spaces in your home!

To book a survey, get a quote or simply ask any questions of Loft Professionals, get in touch.

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