ロフト付き物件というと、おしゃれなイメージを持っておられる方は少なくありません。リノベーションで新たにロフトを設ける方もいらっしゃいます。しかし、ロフトは初めだけで、数年すると使わなくなったという方も案外多いものです。ロフトを設けるメリットだけでなく、デメリットを把握していなければ無駄なスペースになりかねません。
リノベーションで新たにロフトを設けようと思っている方や、既にロフトがあるけど、使われていないという方に、どのようなロフトを作れば使い勝手の良い空間になるかをご紹介したいと思います。

1.案外使われていないロフトが多い!?

使い勝手の良いロフトにするためには、まずロフトがどのようなもので、どんなメリットやデメリットがあるかを知っておく必要があります。

ロフトって何?

屋根裏を活用した部屋のことを指してロフトと言われますが、建築基準法では、ロフトスペースの天井高は1.4m以下で、ロフトがある階の床面積の2分の1未満の面積と、高さや広さの制限があります。ロフトに昇る方法としては、はしごや壁のないオープンな階段が一般的で、地方自治体によってはロフトへの階段が固定されてはいけないという規制があるところもあります。

ロフトは、床面積として算入されないため、建ぺい率が限られている家でも、スペースを確保するうえで役立ちます。戸建ての場合は、屋根裏などを活用して高さのあるロフトを設けることが出来ますが、一般的なマンションでは、リノベーションでロフトを設ける場合、屋根裏がなく、天井高が限られているので、ロフト下に圧迫感が出てしまったり、ロフトスペースの高さも確保できなかったりします。新築時からロフトが付いているマンションやアパートは、天井高が元々高くなっている物件が多いです。

夏は暑すぎる!?

天井に近く、暖かい空気が上に昇ってくるため、ロフトは暑くなりやすいというデメリットがあります。特に、はしごを使っての上り下りも加わり、暑さがこたえる夏になってロフトを使うことが億劫になり、そのまま使わなくなったという方も多いようです。
ロフトをベッドルームにする場合は、シーリングファンや冷房機器を設置したり、家の断熱性をあげたりするなどの暑さ対策を考えておく必要があります。収納として使う場合でも、湿気が溜まらないように注意が必要です。

2.ロフトを有効活用する方法

メリット、デメリットを踏まえたうえで、どんな点に注意してロフトを作れば良いのか、お気に入りのスペースとしてロフトが活躍しているお宅の例を参考にしてみましょう。また、既にロフトがあるお宅では、どのようなリフォームを行えば、ロフトを生き返らせることが出来るかについても注目してみましょう!

使いやすいロフトは高さがカギ!

ロフトと言えば、はしごで天井に近い、高い位置まで登らなければいけない、というイメージがあるかもしれませんが、それほど高くない位置にロフトスペースを設けることを考えてみましょう。天井高1.4m以下という建築基準を守ることを考えても、2.4mのマンションであれば、1mぐらいの位置にロフトを設けることが出来るので、安全性も高まり、はしごを上る大変さや暑さも軽減できます。低めのロフトであれば、ロフトスペースの高さも確保出来るので、ベッドルームに使ったり、本棚を設けて読書スペースにしたり、座卓スタイルの書斎としてコロナ禍のワークスペースを確保しておられる方も増えています。

さらに、低めのロフト下は、収納としても使えますが、ペットのゲージを置くなどペットの居場所を作ってあげるなら、ロフトも下部も有効活用できます。特に、犬は安心できる穴ぐらのような場所を好む傾向があるので、ロフト下は絶好の場所になります。反対に、高いところが好きな猫のためには、ロフト部分の高さを低めにとり、ロフト下を高くとることで、ロフトスペースを猫の居場所として活用できるかもしれません。
ただロフトを設けるのではなく、用途に合わせて高さを具体的に考えることで、使い勝手の良い空間になります。

ウォークインクローゼットにプラス大容量収納を!

ロフト単体や、ロフトを設ける場所をまず考えるだけでなく、部屋の上部に収納のためのスペースがないかを考えるのも良い方法です。例えば、トイレの上に棚を置いて収納を設ける場合がありますが、天井を低めにして、廊下から使えるロフトにすることで、トイレの上をまるごと収納場所として使うことが可能かもしれません。はしごというロフトの特性を生かして、使いたい場所にはしごを移動させて使えるように、はしご用のレールを設けることで、どこからでもロフトに上がることも出来ます。

さらに、ウォークインクローゼットのような大容量収納を設ける場合、クローゼット内で天井まで収納にすると、通路分は使えませんが、クローゼットの上をロフトにすることで、ウォークインクローゼットの床面積と同じ量の収納スペースをとることが可能になります。天袋収納にすると扉が必要になりますが、オープンなロフトであれば、建具代を節約することや、換気の良い空間にすることが出来ます。また、上下ともに収納にすることで、ロフトに持ち上げられない重い物は下に、比較的軽い物はロフトに収納するなど、分けて使うことも出来ます。

ロフト兼採風スペースにする!

ロフトは天井に近く暑くなるというデメリットがありますが、上手に活用することで、ロフトだけでなく、他の部屋の風通しを良くする役割を果たすこともあります。
例えば、続きの子ども部屋の間にロフトを設け、ロフト部分にエアコンをつけることで、エアコンひとつで2部屋を冷やすことが出来ます。既にあるロフトの壁の一部を撤去することで採風が出来るかもしれません。

また、窓の無い部屋に書斎を設けた場合などは、室内窓を設ける代わりにロフトを作ることで、ロフトを通して風を通り抜けさせることが出来ます。書斎であれば、イスに座っている時間が多いので、ロフトがあっても目線や天井高さが気にならず、むしろ休憩スペースや気分転換のための趣味スペースとしても使えます。

3. まとめ

おしゃれで床面積が広がるイメージのあるロフトですが、よく考えて設けなければ使わない空間になってしまうかもしれません。建築基準法内で、用途に合わせた高さのロフトを設けましょう。ロフトスペースだけでなく、ロフト下の活用方法も具体的に考えることで、スペースを有効活用できます。また、ロフトを家の換気を良くする手段として室内窓のような役割で使うことも可能です。

ロフトのデメリットを把握したうえで、メリットを最大限にいかした間取りにすれば、使い勝手の良いロフト、家にすることが出来るはずです。

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