On top of the world
Friday 17 June, 2005
Loft conversions are a practical way to extend your home without the hassle and cost of moving. SARAH SEAMARKS spoke to Colin and Jane Smith, from Chippenham, who have had their previously disused attic transformed to create their own private living space.
COLIN and Jane Smith, and their, two children Eloise, seven and Abigail, four, loved everything about their home in Audley Road, Chippenham. They got on with their neighbours, they were close to their daughter's school, within walking distance of the town centre and had a lovely big kitchen. The only thing that was missing was a fourth bedroom.
"Having a loft conversion was more of an ideal for us than a necessity," says Jane. "We already had the three bed rooms we needed but though I it would be good to have a fourth, so some of the other bedrooms could have other uses.
However, if we wanted to move house it would mean we would be looking at properties in a completely different price bracket, which we really couldn't afford. Besides, we did not want to move, we already had everything we wanted here, apart from a fourth bedroom.
"Also moving house usually means making a compromise and we didn't want that. Perhaps we could find an affordable four-bedroom home but then we may have to sacrifice our big kitchen."
Attic Life is a company specialising in loft conversions based at Standerwick, near Frome. The company had completed a conversion for Colin and Jane's friends, and when they saw it they realised there may be a solution to their problem after all.
"By having a loft conversion we could add what we wanted without losing anything," says Jane.
Colin and Jane have had the loft converted into a bedroom and en suite shower room.
"This is our space now," says Jane. "The children don’t come up here and since we have had it done it has freed up space in the rest of the house.
"Originally Colin and I had the largest bedroom and the girls had a bedroom each but since we moved up here the girls have moved into the large bedroom and they now have a playroom as well.
"Before the work we kept the computer in the dining room but now we have a separate study in one of the bedrooms so it really has changed the use of all the rooms in the house”
Although it looks like a major job the work only took five weeks to complete.
"We were so impressed," says Jane. "Attic Life told us it would be finished in five weeks and five weeks to the day it was complete. The work has also been in keeping with the rest of the house. We had a spacious stairwell before because of the high ceilings and we have not lost this. Attic Life built a staircase to fit in with the existing design. When friends visit they often say they can't remember what it looked like before because it feels like it has always been there.
"What also impressed us about Attic Life was the finishing touches, such as the carpentry. We had people working here from eight until five every day and if one workman couldn't make it they would tweak things so something else could be done instead. They always talk you through what is going on and what the next stage is.
"It was quite sad when the workmen left as they had become part of the family. They were considerate and courteous to our neighbours as well." Colin and Jane love their new room and believe it has transformed their home.
"There is something about being in a loft," says Jane. "You really do feel on top of the world, away from all the hustle and bustle, looking out over the rooftops. This was definitely the feeling I wanted.”
- Reproduced with permission of Wiltshire Times