Help a Reader Build a Sleeping Loft

A reader writes in wondering about

…a good architect to do some light remodeling in the Capitol Hill area. I’ve got a lofty unit and I’m looking to turn that loft-ish space into a nice sleeping area.

Of course, I haven’t seen the space but I wonder if he really needs an architect? Maybe a good contractor would suffice?

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • http://www.RainCityGuide.com/author/ARDELL ARDELL

    I’ve seen several of these. If it’s a condo, make sure he gets HOA approval from the drawings first. Some need an architect and permits while others just need a handyman/contractor.

    If it’s a condo, I’d ask the HOA if anyone else has submitted plans for approval of a loft. That would be a huge head start for him.

  • http://www.RainCityGuide.com/author/ARDELL ARDELL

    I’ve seen several of these. If it’s a condo, make sure he gets HOA approval from the drawings first. Some need an architect and permits while others just need a handyman/contractor.

    If it’s a condo, I’d ask the HOA if anyone else has submitted plans for approval of a loft. That would be a huge head start for him.

  • http://www.RainCityGuide.com/author/ARDELL ARDELL

    P.S. the angle of the access, which usually looks like a ladder, is often the biggest consideration. Too straight up limits the popularity on resale, too angled is too intrusive on the lower floor space, spiral staircase works for space limitations, but they aren’t that popular these days

  • http://www.RainCityGuide.com/author/ARDELL ARDELL

    P.S. the angle of the access, which usually looks like a ladder, is often the biggest consideration. Too straight up limits the popularity on resale, too angled is too intrusive on the lower floor space, spiral staircase works for space limitations, but they aren’t that popular these days

  • evilpenguin

    Thanks for posting my question.

    I’m actually not sure if I need an architect either. The loft itself is some pretty simple wood framing, which is something a competent contractor could knock out in his sleep, but I’d also like a really cool/compact staircase for getting up there and that seems a job for an architect.

    Perhaps I should be splitting it into two separate jobs.

  • EP

    Thanks for posting my question.

    I’m actually not sure if I need an architect either. The loft itself is some pretty simple wood framing, which is something a competent contractor could knock out in his sleep, but I’d also like a really cool/compact staircase for getting up there and that seems a job for an architect.

    Perhaps I should be splitting it into two separate jobs.

  • http://www.searchingseattleblog.com ARDELL

    http://www.rhs-products.co.uk/staircases_berlin.html

    Most can be pretty ugly, but I’ve seen some like the one above as “The Berlin” model used well.

    Electronically retractable ones are efficient and cool…but ugly. At least you only see them when going up or down.

  • http://www.searchingseattleblog.com ARDELL

    http://www.rhs-products.co.uk/staircases_berlin.html

    Most can be pretty ugly, but I’ve seen some like the one above as “The Berlin” model used well.

    Electronically retractable ones are efficient and cool…but ugly. At least you only see them when going up or down.

  • phi on qa

    I’ve seen some cool staircases where they build storage into the area below, from bookcases to media storage. The benefit is you can use a normal step rise/run and not waste space. No pics I’m afraid, but google – staircase storage.

    They seem to allow very steep steps in Europe, don’t know if the same is true here. Here’s a USA version -
    http://www.arkestairs.com (thanks google ads)

  • phi on qa

    I’ve seen some cool staircases where they build storage into the area below, from bookcases to media storage. The benefit is you can use a normal step rise/run and not waste space. No pics I’m afraid, but google – staircase storage.

    They seem to allow very steep steps in Europe, don’t know if the same is true here. Here’s a USA version -
    http://www.arkestairs.com (thanks google ads)

  • Nick

    I have a very creative and skilled carpenter who can knock it out in one weekend. He is helping me build this:

    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h60/coolguynick1/4.jpg

    email me for his contact info.

    -N

  • Nick

    I have a very creative and skilled carpenter who can knock it out in one weekend. He is helping me build this:

    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h60/coolguynick1/4.jpg

    email me for his contact info.

    -N

  • Justin

    Coincidentally I am looking to do the same thing in Trace North. My biggest stumbling block is the ladder. It is looking more and more like I’ll need to have it custom made.

  • Justin

    Coincidentally I am looking to do the same thing in Trace North. My biggest stumbling block is the ladder. It is looking more and more like I’ll need to have it custom made.

  • bryson

    If I had space for a ladder in my place I would get this one:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70103801

  • bryson

    If I had space for a ladder in my place I would get this one:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70103801

  • http://www.schemataworkshop.com mike, an architect

    We recently built a library loft with pull-down “attic-style” ladder in our office space between Lucky Devil and People’s Republic of Koffee. Our wood framing was a bit crude (we’re not carpenters) but there are some great industrial systems of aluminum structural members that I could point you toward.
    Drop me an e-mail: mike@schemataworkshop.com

  • http://www.schemataworkshop.com mike, an architect

    We recently built a library loft with pull-down “attic-style” ladder in our office space between Lucky Devil and People’s Republic of Koffee. Our wood framing was a bit crude (we’re not carpenters) but there are some great industrial systems of aluminum structural members that I could point you toward.
    Drop me an e-mail: mike@schemataworkshop.com