Bungalows are a flexible, accessible, and affordable housing option. Their biggest downside? Many bungalows (especially older mid-century homes) fall short when it comes to space.
Those who are contemplating buying or building a bungalow may ask: can you add a loft to a bungalow to expand the living space?
The answer is yes! It is possible to add a loft to a bungalow by building dormers or converting the existing space to a room. But the task is easier in some cases than others.
If you’re thinking of adding a loft to your bungalow, these are the things you should consider.
What is the Roof Structure?
Most older bungalows have a traditional cut-rafter roof. It is often easier to add a loft to a bungalow with this structure than a modern trussed roof. Though it may cost more, it is still possible to convert the space into a loft with modern trusses.
The height of the roof is another important factor. To add a loft to a bungalow, the roof of the home must be at least 2.3M tall at its peak; otherwise, there won’t be enough room to move comfortably.
Heightening the roof to accommodate a loft is an option. So is replacing one or both of the roof slopes with a new structure. However, both options significantly increase the scope and overall cost of the project.
How Will You Access the Loft?
In many cases, homeowners access the attic in a bungalow using a ladder. That won’t do for a loft. Adding a loft to a bungalow will require building a set of stairs to the new living space, which could be a challenge.
Before you set your mind to building up, it’s important to assess whether you can change the ground floor to accommodate access to the loft.
Do You have Permission?
Like any major renovation, you’ll have to obtain the proper building permits before you can add a loft to a bungalow. This step could cause a snag if you don’t prepare. Permits also impact the overall cost of the project, so don’t forget to add it to your budget (more on that below!)
Can You Afford to Add a Loft to Your Bungalow?
When budgeting for a loft addition, you’ll have to account for more than building materials.
In addition to tradespeople, the project will likely involve an architect or a structural engineer. It may require work on the home’s wiring, plumbing, ventilation, heating, and cooling systems. Plus, it will turn your home into a temporary building site, which could require you to pay for alternative accommodations.
The addition of a loft can be a boon to the home’s value. An extra bedroom alone could be what settles a person’s decision to buy. After all, who wouldn’t want to wake up each day in a cozy, sloped-roof hideaway?
In the end, the cost of adding a loft to a bungalow will vary greatly from house to house. The above points are important in deciding whether it’s worth the cost.