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Converting a bungalow is quite possible with the only real hurdle to overcome being the fact that you are looking to add a second floor to a building which was specifically designed to have only one.
That said. Some bungalow’s are absolutely ideal for conversion – though all will require some preparatory work.
As we’ve said above, the biggest problem is in adding a second floor when there was never meant to be one.
And, with no second floor to originally support many, if not most, bungalow’s were built without internal load-bearing walls. This of course presents a problem.
But not an insurmountable one.
It is probable that the internal walls, and possibly the external ones too, will need to be underpinned in order to support the addition of the new second floor.
Of course a professional structural engineer will need to be consulted throughout this process and will need to work out the structural calculations but underpinning the internal walls isn’t quite as big a job as it sounds.
Happily, some bungalow’s will not require this added work but you must find out as early as possible if your bungalow will need underpinning.
And, if underpinning is necessary, it is as well to know that, unlike the actual loft conversion work, underpinning internal walls is a very intense and invasive process.
The household will be severely disrupted and it may be wise to consider alternative accommodation whilst the work is being done.
Hopefully the above hasn’t put you off the idea of adding a second floor to your home.
Rest assured there are some advantages in converting a bungalow over an existing two story building.
Some bungalow’s, most notably older pre-war properties, are ideal for a loft conversion because of their steeply pitch roof.
This ensures the new room will have plenty of headroom and will make the actual building work very easy.
One advantage all bungalow conversions have in common is that the building regulations are not as rigid.
For example, unlike when converting a two story property into a three story, there is no need to install fire doors or enclosed loft stairs in a bungalow conversion.
This will greatly reduce the cost of the project making a bungalow loft conversion one of the most profitable home improvement projects in terms of adding value to your home.
The biggest decisions in any project is the location of the stairs.
Obviously, the property was not designed to have a staircase so finding a place to put one can be a pain.
The hallway behind the front door is one solution but that would probably rule out being able to use the door for access. Not ideal!
The location of the stairs will very much depend on the internal layout of the property but it is safe to say that in order to have the additional floor some of the first floor room space will have to be sacrificed.
The question for you and your architect is how to include a flight of stairs with only losing a minimum of floor space.
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft