Attic space can be converted for almost any purpose. It is basically as versatile as you want it to be.
While the cost can vary most attic conversions on a standard attic in a 3 bedroom house takes around 2-3 weeks so the disruption is minimal and you’ll have your new room in next to no time.
All attics can be converted, although some will require more work than others. Part of the reason for the popularity of attic conversions is that you don’t need planning permission as it is a non-habital quarter – unless you are going for a dormer style, which involves installing a dormer window vertically into the existing roof slope. Since this is technically changing the structure of the building, permission would be required and it would need to be in keeping with the current aesthetic of the premises and surroundings.
No matter which style you choose, you will need a certificate of compliance from a qualified engineer, stating that your attic is built to the correct building regulations. Regulations cover structure, fire safety, electrical safety, ventilation and access to and use of building and are a legal requirement, and also necessary for your insurers.
Many people worry about the fact that their water tank is in the attic, but this is generally moved to the eves, with a door for access. Another consideration is ventilation, and this is a serious issue as up to 30% of heat can escape through a badly ventilated attic. This all needs to be taken into account when designing your new room, but a good architect will be able to advise you.
Of course, you will require access to this new room but that doesn’t have to be intrusive. Rather than having a large staircase in the middle of your upstairs landing, a spiral staircase can be a stylish and space saving alternative.