Choosing the perfect space for a potential home can take time, even when most people go for the straightforward option of buildings traditionally used for housing.
But maybe you can look further than that and give industrial spaces a chance. Let’s say you realized that a warehouse, without all the warehouse equipment and tools, could look amazing when turned into a residential property.
Here are 8 tips to consider before engaging in such an intense project. You may find the information you’ve been waiting for to give you a nudge in the right investment direction!
How is a Loft Home Different from a Normal Apartment?
A lot of old or unused warehouses are eagerly looking for a makeover. Some investors and developers take advantage of these spaces and transform them into living spaces with mold in air vents. The process is known as warehouse conversion or loft conversion.
Many people like this idea because they’re attracted to that specific architecture and history.
What differentiates warehouse conversions from regular housing is the fact that they apply specifically to repurposed buildings. Most have a special history and uncommon characteristics, absent in newer developments.
They also have different open plans from the usual housing opportunities on the market. You’ll often see high ceilings and large open areas, with no dividing walls between living zones. These specifics offer an inviting living area with unique stories to tell.
Pros and Cons of a Warehouse Conversion
Before engaging in transforming a warehouse into a loft home, consider what you’re getting yourself into. Warehouse conversions are no easy feat. You know exactly what steps to take when informed of the pros and cons.
Let’s see some of those enticing benefits:
- Great open plan space to use as you see fit
- Sell transformed places in amazing locations for consistent returns
- Use the space to test your skills in interior decoration
- Warehouses have access to city transport
- If residential demand isn’t’ up to par, you can transform loft homes into commercial space.
Now let’s see some disadvantages to taking on warehouse conversion projects:
- It can be tough to find a lender willing to approve you if your finances aren’t satisfactory
- Loft conversions can be strenuous to sell, depending on the location
- Converting the warehouse by yourself can be costly
- Cold winters lead to expensive heating options
- It can be difficult to guarantee safety in industrial zones.
How to Convert Warehouses into Lofts
Let’s see how you can start a warehouse conversion project. It all begins with the financial and legal aspects, of course. Then, you’ll have to consider design options and styles.
Financing is a key aspect when it comes to warehouse conversion marketability. By comparison, it’s much easier to finance a converted apartment.
Banks prefer this over a planned mortgage, where your loan is given based on building plans. When looking for a loan before the building stage, you’re offering the bank assumed values. They don’t usually like to work with them.
Another essential criterion is location. Banks prefer to lend for well-located properties where market demand is high.
In most cases, banks can show constraint and conservativeness when loaning to warehouse conversions, mainly because of their location in industrial areas or their particular design.
Some lenders also consider buildings with a higher number of apartments. This is because they change their lending policies based on the number of available flats after conversion. That shouldn’t worry you if you have a good mortgage broker with access to different lenders and banks. It should be easier to find one ready to assess your loan.
Converting warehouse space into lofts takes time and work. Most importantly, you’ll do a lot of homework. First, consider location and money.
Having the warehouse you’re looking to transform in a zoned area with residential use permits is beneficial. Otherwise, you have to obtain zoning permits yourself.
The next step is financing. Warehouse conversions cost a lot of money. Because of the costs, you’ll most likely have to provide security for the loan in the form of another property of similar value.
If that’s not possible for you, try to find an investor or an investment trust with a high-net-worth. Although the project won’t be all yours anymore, ask to act as coordinator.
Another financing option is to crowdfund. You could find like-minded investors looking for a new challenge. Real estate brokers could also be an option. You can try to qualify some properties for historic preservation grants, urban redevelopment grants, or special tax funding.
You’ll start with a plan when looking for your next loft conversion project. Research your city’s past and discover profitable industrial history pieces.
After you identify your warehouse project, check its structure and see how long it’s been abandoned. That way, you learn more about its structure and current condition. Work with a constructor or an architect. Designing will require their assistance, as well.
Next, you’ll have to obtain permits and bids from contractors. Ask for permits for plumbing, ventilation, and electrical work. In the end, you’ll also pay for an inspection to ensure everything is safe and ready to be lived in.
Communication is key in spending the appropriate amount of money without going overboard. Your builders and architects have to work together for the best results.
To better see how the existing space will be used for a home, build a floor plan with an interior designer and an architect. Think about plumbing positions and electrical sockets.
Frame your bathrooms for privacy and construct a livable space that people can think of as their home.
Work with stairs to make use of the vertical space. Use balcony railings to prevent accidents. Large windows let in as much natural light as possible. Think about preserving privacy after dark if your loft homes have neighbors.
The industrial style is in fashion, and it’s the de facto design when considering warehouse spaces turned into living spaces. You have a generous area at your disposal to design as you see fit. Working with architects and interior designers is paramount to making your loft homes a hit on the market.
Tall warehouses make for great vertical loft projects. With vertical lofts, you make use of the vertical space. So, you use modular systems for furniture and appliances.
Use spacious areas to create more bedrooms and bathrooms with creative décor. Try out combinations of muted and vibrant colors with bold accents to see what you get. Any empty-looking space can come to life when you use industrial and contemporary accents.
For many warehouses, you have an open space without separate rooms. You can work on sectioning the available area or use the open floor idea. Be as creative with your designs as you want.
Consider separating the space vertically by using stairs. Leave your upper floor open to be able to see the main floor. You’ll get more living space and less clutter.
You can create good-looking lofts in 10-story warehouses, too. With some creativity, you can make them work, of course.
Take advantage of the panoramic views and large windows. Mix it with an interior design that transforms the place into a relaxing home. Don’t be afraid of terraces. They make a beautiful transition from indoor to outdoor areas.
Choose abstract beauty if you want to impress with minimalism. Add neutral colors and nuances of white and gray to make the home look fresh and open. Combine beauty with functionality and style to build an inviting home environment.
When using an open space design, there’s a high chance your kitchen is in full view at all times, and perhaps you don’t want that.
Switch it up a bit with colors and designs. Keep it neutral and bring in some warm accents. Neutral color schemes make it easier to keep up with the flow of the house. Integrate your appliances to prevent them from distracting you.
Keep things sleek by using floating shelves. Rounded items, plush rugs, and plants can bring the place alive. Avoid large overhead cabinets because they can make the space look bulky and cluttered.
Choose distinctive lamps and lights as design pieces that bring the place together. Use warm light and statement pieces in the style you chose for the loft.
Converting a warehouse into a loft home can be a game-changer for your plans.
Transforming a warehouse into a loft is even better because you can work on designing something that perfectly matches your style and particular tastes. Or those of the current market if you’re investing for a future sale.
Large spaces are easy to work with, and they pave the way for your creativity.
Work with the qualified specialists (workers, architects, interior design specialists) to transform a warehouse into the home of anyone’s dreams with minimum costs or a profitable housing project with a great return on investment.
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