After months of disruption, we are all trying to navigate the ‘new normal’ but for various reasons, not everyone is heading back to the office to work the usual nine to five. Instead many are choosing loft conversions as a way of maximising their available space and creating a dedicated work area at home that can help boost productivity and wellbeing. Chris Graham, store manager from Roofing Superstore runs through some of key design features to consider to help you take homeworking to new heights of comfort.
At the peak of the UK lockdown following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics reported that nearly half of all workers (47%) were working from home and although many people have returned to work at least some of the time in their official office, others are opting to stay put for now. Those who are looking for a more permanent long-term solution are also looking up to create a bespoke home office solution in their loft space. It’s a great way to create a work area that is ideally suited to your individual needs but just like in a conventional office, it’s essential that the room works well in terms of how it looks and feels, and the impact it has on both your physical and mental wellbeing. So how do you create the ideal loft office? It’s not as much hard work as you may think.
Focus on your environment
One of the most important parts of any loft conversion is insulation as this helps regulate your home; keeping it cooler in hot weather and warmer when it’s cold to help maintain a comfortable internal temperature. It can also have a massive impact on the overall energy efficiency of your home and when you consider that approximately 25 per cent of a home’s heat loss is through the roof and 35 per cent through the walls, it makes sense to take time to find the most appropriate insulation available. Plus, with the Government announcing plans to subsidise the purchase of various energy-saving building products with its new Green Homes Grant scheme, you can save both energy and money.
One of the most popular choices of insulation is mineral wool and it’s ideal for self-builders or competent DIYers as it is extremely energy-efficient and also very easy to work with. It’s made from raw materials, including stone and glass, which are melted at high temperatures, spun into a fine texture resembling wool and then compressed into batts or rolls. As it can be used to insulate roofs and exterior walls as well as floors and ceilings, it’s both cost-effective and versatile. What’s more, it can also offer great acoustic performance and sound proofing –meaning that you are less likely to be disturbed by external noises when you are concentrating on your work or disturb anyone else in the house.
Insulation made from natural materials such as wool, hemp and recycled plastic are also becoming increasingly popular and can offer major savings in terms of the reducing the carbon footprint of a project. The other interesting benefit of using insulation made from sheep’s wool is that not only is it sustainably manufactured but it can also help reduce humidity and even absorb some atmospheric pollutants to help purify the air that enters your home.
As well as insulating your loft space, it’s also important to ensure adequate ventilation as a fresh air supply is not only good for you home but also vital for your own health and wellbeing. This, combined with the need to make sure that you have a good source of natural light, can make the choice of windows for your loft office space a real deal breaker.
From cost-effective manual operated windows to more advanced options that can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the house or that automatically close when rain is detected, roof windows are available in a choice of shapes, sizes, colours, glazing and opening styles to suit your individual requirements and budgets. If all this sounds a bit daunting, it’s definitely worth chatting through the different products with your chosen supplier – at Roofing Superstore we offer a wide range of roof window products and our expert team are on hand to help guide you with your selection.
Pitched roof windows can let in up to three times more daylight than the vertical variety which makes them ideal for loft spaces, especially where wall space may be limited. However, depending on what time of day you get the sun and where your work station is positioned, you need to be careful of glare on computer screens or rising temperatures. That’s why it is always worth investing in a good quality blind for your windows so you can control the lighting conditions with greater ease throughout the working day.
The next level of home working
Whether you are looking to create a dedicated home office or just need to expand your existing space to get a better work life balance in these challenging times, a loft conversion is a great way to make the most of your home and help to increase its value. It’s a popular self-build project to take on and one that with the right products and advice, can work in more ways than one.