What is a Loft?

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If you are thinking of renting an apartment, there are many options available to you, from apartments with no lift to high-rise apartments. Loft style apartments are one of the types that has gained a lot of popularity. These apartments appeal to a wide range of tenants because of their versatility and space. Check out this comprehensive guide to loft apartments to determine if they are the right choice for you.

What is a loft?

A loft is a residential unit in an industrial building that has been converted to a modern apartment, typically measuring over 1,000 square feet. This type of apartment has features such as high ceilings, high windows and exposed beams, pipes and brick walls. Much like an efficient studio or apartment, a loft is usually an open, singular space with no dividing walls – except around the bathroom.

Loft apartments offer many possibilities for creative interior design, thanks to their spaciousness and high ceilings. Some loft owners or managers choose to create more dimension in their apartments by building walls to provide more privacy. These apartments are a great choice for renters who have families or prefer to live with roommates. There are also loft units with vertical stairs that lead to open areas that serve as bedrooms, living rooms, or work areas.

Lofts are mostly located in the old industrial areas of large cities, but you can sometimes find them in the suburbs or small towns. You should consider renting a loft if you want to enjoy the convenience and excitement of an urban lifestyle without having to live in cramped quarters.

Types of loft apartments

There are basically two types of loft apartments: hard lofts and soft lofts.

  • Hard lofts are real lofts, that is to say apartment buildings initially built for industrial purposes. The first permanent lofts were built in New York City in the 1960s, when many national factories closed and left industrial buildings vacant. These buildings turned into affordable residences for artists who could work and live in the raw space. Hard lofts are usually located in urban areas that were once industrial areas.
  • Soft lofts are new apartments that have been built in the loft style to imitate the design of historic lofts. While they might not have the historic charm of hard lofts, soft lofts tend to provide a more enjoyable living experience as they come with modern electrical and plumbing systems, light fixtures, and finishes.

Advantages and disadvantages of renting a loft

While it can be a wonderful living space for a wide range of tenants, a loft-style apartment also has some drawbacks. Consider the following pros and cons before deciding to rent a loft / apartment:

Benefits of renting a loft

  • Lots of space: A loft has a generous square footage and high ceilings. Its space creates an airy and relaxed atmosphere and gives you virtually endless options for decoration and functionality. Whether you prefer a minimalist or an elaborate decorating style, you can fill the space however you want. Plus, you’ll have plenty of room to move around and even create a home workspace or studio.
  • Great versatility: While loft apartments usually feature an open-air concept, you may be able to find some with separate areas inside – or you can divide the space yourself. You can turn these spaces into anything from extra bedrooms for family members or roommates to work or play spaces. Renting a loft is the perfect option if you work or operate a home business.
  • Natural light: Many lofts have floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of sunlight. As well as being a proven mood booster, natural sunlight can also help you lower your electricity bills as it eliminates the need for artificial lights during the day.
  • Good location: If you are renting a hard loft, you will probably be in a desirable area. Indeed, most of the former industrial areas have turned into vibrant communities with excellent shopping and dining opportunities, exciting nightlife, and startup offices, so you’ll have convenient access to all the amenities you need. you need.

Disadvantages of renting a loft

  • Comparatively high costs: Since they are spacious and often in a good location, loft apartments are generally more expensive than studios or one bedroom apartments. If properly renovated, solid lofts could be even more expensive due to their historic details. Plus, they usually come with outdated utilities and conduits, which can lead to significantly higher utility bills. Their high ceilings also make them less energy efficient. If you are planning to rent a loft, especially a hard loft, it is important to ask the landlord for utility costs before signing the lease.
  • Limited confidentiality: Unless you choose a loft with zoned areas, you have to be prepared to sacrifice privacy if you share your apartment with roommates. You can use room dividers or bookshelves to create separate areas, but you won’t have walls and doors to create a secluded space.
  • Lack of storage space: Unlike normal apartments, lofts usually don’t provide traditional storage space like closets and kitchen cabinets. You may need to purchase custom built cupboards, dressers, and shelving to create your own storage space, which can increase your overall cost of living in a loft.
  • Lack of amenities: Many lofts do not have common space or desirable amenities. This is especially the case with hard lofts, which would need to be extensively renovated to add fitness rooms, rooftop terraces or storage areas. Some flexible lofts come with amenities, but they can be considerably more expensive than traditional apartments.

With a clear idea of ​​what a loft is, you will be in a better position to decide if it is the right living option for you. No matter where you want to live, you can search thousands of apartments on Zumper to find a loft that perfectly meets your needs.8

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