The architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man shares his latest tips and ideas.

George Clarke on converting a loft 1

Whether it’s a conversion in an old property or a cleverly fitted room in a new-build, I love an attic. Often they’re only used for storage, but there’s so much potential there – it seems a shame not to take advantage of their unusual shapes and elevated views to create an inspiring new interior.

Designing an attic zone in a new-build is fairly straightforward, but if you’d like to convert an existing area into habitable space, there are a few rules you need to abide by. First, check with your local planning department to see what you can and can’t do (see planningportal.gov.uk). Dormer windows will give you much-needed head height, while carefully positioned skylights are instrumental in bringing in natural light, but both these elements can be affected by planning restrictions in your area. My advice would be to speak to a good architect, who should be able to design the space for you while taking into account any regulations. Visit the RIBA website to find a national database of chartered architects (architecture.com).

Another critical feature is the position of your new staircase – this can affect both how often you’ll use the new space, and how it impacts on the floor below. As it requires far more structural expertise than other building work, it’s best to employ a builder and structural engineer who are experienced in loft conversion.

I’ve just put in a planning application for my own attic, and I’m sure that when it’s finished it will be the best room in the house – I can’t wait to start using it.

 George Clarke on converting a loft 2

Credit: Jefferson Smith; Chris Tubbs

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
lewis-decking-upstairs-floor-construction
Home Improvements

An innovative upper floor construction method that improves performance

A Lewis Deck system is perfect for a solid, secure upstairs floor without heavy beams and blocks, with great acoustic properties.
fenix-ntm-worktops
Home Improvements

Design the perfect kitchen with colour-matched worktops and sinks

Kitchen worktops are the finishing touch of any modern kitchen. Discover a range that meld technological advances with great looks.
frameless-roof-lights-natural-light
Home Improvements

How frameless rooflights can maximise your home’s natural light

Rooflights are the perfect way to brighten your home with natura light. We take a look at a range of stylish rooflights for design-led homes
home-energy-improvement-grants
Home Improvements

Which government energy home improvement grants are available in 2021?

Discover the eco home improvement schemes you could take advantage of in 2021.
bespoke-furniture-why-buy
Home Improvements

Bespoke furniture: is it worth the investment?

Opt for bespoke furniture for a self-build project to make it a fully customised space.
the-pros-and-cons-of-resin-and-concrete-floors
Home Improvements

The pros and cons of resin and concrete floors

Things to consider when opting for a resin or concrete floor for your home.