Building a new bedroom is by far the most popular choice when homeowners plan a loft conversion. And that isn’t really surprising as lofts make an absolutely ideal space for a new bedroom.
A bedroom in the loft space makes an ideal master suite, children’s room, or even an ultra-special guest room. Though personally, I would say that your new bedroom will be much too nice to use for guests but you may be a more considerate host than I.
Using your imagination and interior design skills your new room can be an oasis of calm and tranquillity. Sound-proofing and double glazing on your loft windows will ensure you can relax in peace in the highest point of the house.
Can I convert my loft into a bedroom?
Yes, you can. Bedrooms are by far the most popular choice among homeowners converting their loft. It is perfect for growing families and can add up to 20% onto the value of the house. Master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms is a favourite option.
So, the reasons you should consider building a new bedroom in your roof space are pretty clear:
The great thing about any roof space is ……it’s empty. Not rocket science I know but the point is that your empty space can be transformed into (almost) anything. Unlike moving into another house where the shape and style of a bedroom is already determined, your empty roof space allows you to start from scratch. Your design can take advantage of that by incorporating all the ideas you’ve always wanted to try.
It is so easy to add an en-suite bathroom to the bedroom and that bathroom can be quite sizable and, again, laid out exactly as you want it rather than you having to adapt your ideas to an existing space
Building a new bedroom in the loft allows the existing bedrooms in the house to be converted into hobby rooms or a home office, or for two existing small bedrooms to be knocked into one
And last, but not least, us Brits (usually) like our bedrooms to be at the top of the house, and you can’t get much closer to the top of the house than in the roof!
Loft conversion bedroom ideas
When you are considering your new loft bedroom the first decision is ‘just how far up the luxury scale’ do you want to go?
Will you include an en-suite with shower and lose some space or are you happy to use your current bathroom and dedicate the whole of your roof space to your new bedroom?
When planning a new bedroom as a loft conversion it is common, and sensible, to include an en-suite bathroom. Not only does this add a touch of luxury you could argue that is more or less essential as you don’t want to be racing down the stairs if you’re caught short during the night.
The key to all interior loft design is making best use of space. Sloping walls and less height at the sides of the room mean that space has to be utilised well.
Innovative storage solutions and careful selection of furniture is essential and consider lighting – lots of light through electrically operated and large loft windows will ensure a light and airy feel.
Your choice of décor and furnishings in your new loft bedroom will reflect your taste but some suggestions are:
A major consideration when planning your loft bedroom is plumbing. Even if you decide not to have en-suite facilities the addition of central-heating in your roof space will probably mean that your existing boiler will need upgrading. You should certainly enlist professional help here.
The good news is that the extra plumbing needed for radiators and showers etc., should be quite straight forward to install.
Most younger children will want a themed room and most parents will get a massive kick out of designing it for them!
Children’s bedroom designs can be great fun and the bed, naturally enough, should be the centre-piece. There are many companies who supply children’s beds in great designs such as racing cars for boys or four-posters for girls.
The bedding and soft furnishings can all be matched to the bed design along with accessories such as lamps.
One of the prime considerations in a child’s loft bedroom must of course be safety. The loft window should (and probably will be anyway) inaccessible with the blinds operated electrically. The loft stairs should also be user friendly with handrails.
One other thing to remember. Kids will be kids but they grow up quickly. In a few years your child will be a teenager (complete with ‘attitude’) so make sure your new loft room can be easily transformed in a teenager’s pad. Which brings us onto….
You probably won’t get much input here! Hand over the cash, stand back and watch the funky and bizarre furniture arriving along with enough electrical gadgets to open a superstore.
Of course, it all depends on which fad your teenager is ‘into’ at the time or if they prefer a cooler and more mature look. And you may even be pleasantly surprised.
Most teenagers have an excellent design sense and they will have a great time individualising their loft bedroom with colour and must have accessories.
And, even better, it won’t be that long before they up sticks and move out. You’ll then be able to reclaim their room and transform it into that office or den you’ve always wanted.
Design restrictions on your loft bedroom
The most obvious restriction when planning bedroom loft conversions is that the normal sized wardrobes and other bedroom furniture just isn’t practical. We’ve discussed some solutions in this article where we look at Eaves Cupboards in Loft Conversions.
Nevertheless, architects and planners are very adept at fitting ingenious storage solutions into the tightest of spaces.
And it’s a great excuse to buy that futon bed you have always wanted!
One of the massive points in favour of bedroom loft conversions is that with the use of large skylight windows the room can be blessed with huge tracts of natural light. In the evening, the large windows will provide a wonderful panoramic view of the night sky.
Remotely operated electric window blinds will enhance the bedroom and will just add that luxurious finishing touch.
Loft conversion bedroom with en-suite bathroom?
As we mentioned above one of the most attractive elements of bedroom conversion is the option of including a sizable en-suite bathroom.
Though bathrooms are fairly easy to add to the roof space the major consideration is of course the extra plumbing that needs to be installed.
One of the first things to be done when converting the loft is to get rid, or relocate, the old water tank. One solution is to dispose of the tank altogether and install a combi boiler.
This will make the whole plumbing part of the project easier but may not be the option that the householder wants or can afford.
If a combi boiler isn’t installed than the water tank will need to be replaced and then relocated.
Plastic water tanks are much longer lasting than older tanks but still need to be relocated – the best solution is usually under the eaves behind the new panelling.
The only drawback here is that access must be unrestricted and insulated cupboard doors and boarding must also be built in.
However, if you’re converting the loft and have a new boiler it should be good enough to service the new plumbing. See this article for more information: Boilers in Loft Conversions.
Apart from the water tank the main plumbing problem is the new waste pipes and where to fit them.
The obvious thing when planning a bedroom with added bathroom is to ensure the en-suite is as close to the existing bathroom as possible.
This will make installing the new plumbing and connecting it to the existing plumbing so much easier.
The only real problem to overcome is the limited permitted length of waste pipes. To avoid the risk of siphonage pipes can only be run over certain distances:
Toilets – maximum length of 6 metres
Basins – maximum length of 1.7 metres
Baths or showers – maximum length of 3 metres
Bedroom loft conversions
With the sheer adaptability of an empty roof space and the easy addition of an en-suite bathroom a bedroom of designer luxury can be created in most roof spaces.
No wonder bedrooms are the preferred option of so many home owners when they plan to convert their lofts.
How much does a bedroom loft conversion cost?
If you’re including an en-suite bathroom, and why wouldn’t you, a bedroom will be more expensive than a simple loft room. There is all the additional plumbing and the bathroom fixtures to take into account of course.
That being said the final cost of the conversion will very much depend on the type of property you have and where you are located. There is definitely a north south divide when it comes to building costs – especially if you live in London.
As a general ballpark figure, you should expect to pay upwards of £40K though costs can be reduced by installing roof windows instead of a dormer if practical.
As ever, if you’re think about converting the loft into a bedroom the advice is to get at least three quotes from specialist builders in your area.
Remember the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best so do take time to read our article on How to Choose a Builder for Your Loft Conversion for further advice.
Loft room vs bedroom
If you’re reading this page, you may already have made up your mind that you want a bedroom. But in case you’re still on the fence let’s take a quick look at whether you’d be wiser to opt for a loft room rather than a bedroom.
The main question to answer, actually it’s the only question to answer, is what do you need the space for? If you have a growing family then converting the loft into an additional bedroom is a no-brainer.
In fact, if you have small children the loft could easily become a double bedroom which may even free up space in the rest of the house.
But if you have enough bedrooms to accommodate the family and don’t expect any new arrivals – either children or in-laws then you’d probably get more benefit from converting the loft into a home office or entertainment room. A hobby room is another popular choice.
Will a loft conversion bedroom add value to my home?
When it comes to adding value to a home a bedroom loft conversion is the best home improvement project you could choose.
We examine this topic in depth in this article – Will a Loft Conversion Add Value to My House – which is well worth a read.
But the general takeaway is that a bedroom loft conversion has the potential to add between 15-20% onto the value of your home.
A rough and ready but nevertheless informative exercise is to compare the prices of houses in your area. Compare the costs of a 3 bedroomed house to one which has four bedrooms. Or take the value of your current home and compare it to a nearby property which as one more bedroom than yours. The differences in prices can be huge.
Of course you do have to factor in the cost of the loft conversion itself. While it will add value you do have to calculate whether it will add more to the value of the house than the cost of building it in the first place.
Do I need planning permission to convert a loft into a bedroom?
Loft conversions fall under permitted development so no, you don’t need planning permission to convert your loft into a bedroom.
There are a few exceptions to this. For example if you live in a conservation area or in a listed building. If your loft conversion is on the front facing part of the house or will be above the existing roofline you will also need planning approval.
The vast majority of loft conversions though do not need to go through the planning process. You can read more about this in this article: Do Loft Conversions Need Planning Permission?
Other regulations you need to be aware of
Although it’s highly unlikely you will need planning permission for your bedroom loft conversion you will need building regulations approval. These are in place to make sure your conversion is built to the correct standards and will be structurally sound.
For more information read our guide to What Are The Loft Conversion Building Regualtions.
Finally, to get the last of the red tape out of the way, if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property you will need to serve your neighbour with a party wall agreement.
Because it’s likely that the new supporting steel beam will be laid upon the part wall your neighbour’s property will be impacted by the work you have done.
You can read more this here: Loft conversions and the Party Wall Act.