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Why a loft conversion isn't the only way to extend a home?

My clients had a typical 3 bed house in the suburbs of London; x2 good size bedrooms and a box room. With 2 young boys (the youngest had the box room) there wasn’t sufficient space upstairs for this growing family. My clients also host their extended family who often stay overnight. They were lacking space to accommodate everyone and give the youngest a better size bedroom. So, like many, they considered adding an extra room by converting the loft. This is when they called me.

Having evaluated their ideas at the initial consultation, it was clear the roof didn't provide adequate height for a loft conversion. The property also had a single storey garage attached to the side of the house. This meant that if they were to raise the roof height to create a loft conversion the house would appear asymmetric.

They could have developed the house as per the above elevation but there are a couple of reasons why this would have limited my clients. Firstly, they wouldn't have gained sufficient space they required for their needs. Guests wouldn't have been able to stay overnight without the family having to move around the house thus making it uncomfortable. Secondly, if they decided to develop the house later above the garage, then they wouldn't have maximised the space in the roof.

From our initial consultation, I reviewed their needs and we discussed their options. As well as ensuring they had sufficient space for their most pressing needs, it was also important to create a home that was well-balanced. This meant that a bedroom with an ensuite was to be created to the side of the house on the first floor. The loft could then be converted into a master bedroom.

Initially there were discussions to convert the loft for the youngest son as the box room was far too small for his growing needs. However, this wouldn’t have been fair for the eldest son, especially as there would be an ensuite in the loft conversion too. Thus, it was decided that both the boys would each have an equal size bedroom on the first floor. A guest room was created above the garage with an ensuite and my clients had a spacious new master suite designed especially for them in the loft.

The loft space provided an opportunity to create a new master suite where my clients could retreat to. They worked hard to provide for their family by running their own business. By having a space that gave them a place in the house to relax in was essential for their well-being. We designed a Juliette balcony to give them plenty of natural light and a view out, the walk-in wardrobe was concealed from their view when lying in bed and it led to a spacious ensuite. My client also dreamed of a dressing table but never really had the space previously, so there was enough space to give her a dressing area.

Working closely with my clients meant we could design a home within their means and create well-functioning spaces for all the family members. This project had many hurdles, especially with achieving the maximum space under planning restrictions. However, my clients' determination meant they ended up with a home where their growing family could enjoy their individual spaces for years to come.


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