Loft conversions – Is it bats in your belfry or animals in your attic?

According to one popular children’s song, if you go down to the woods tonight you’re sure of a big surprise. Well forget the woods, if you go up to the attic tonight, you might get an even bigger surprise.

On some shocking occasions, homeowners considering a loft conversion have ventured up into the attic only to discover that they’re sharing their home with a few uninvited guests of the animal variety.

To save you having such a nasty shock in the run up to your attic conversion, here are a few common and not-so-common species to keep an eye out for when you’re clearing out your loft.

Unsurprisingly, first on the list of likely housemates in the highest room of your house are the flying kind. Many British birds choose to make use of the warmth and comfort of our lofts and roofs, away from the sharp claws of predators. Doves and pigeons commonly like to inhabit the attic itself, while Jackdaws have a tendancy to nest in chimneys and Starlings prefer settling down in the eaves of your roof.

Make sure you check each of these places if your loft converion might disturb these creatures, and check with an expert if you do find any unwanted tenants.

The birds and the bees are often put together in life, and when it comes to the realm of attic conversions, the story is no different. Many people have been known to discover gigantic wasps’ nests or beehives in the course of a loft conversion, which can cause large delays in the building process. To avoid this, call in the insect experts before the start of your build if you do find any six-legged friends in the attic.

Of course you don’t need a pair of wings to live in an attic, and there are also several species of British mammals known to call a loft their home. Critters like doormice may cause a bit of a racket and make little messes around the place, but the real ones to worry about are squirrels and foxes.

Foxes may sound like the more dangerous of the two, but actually squirrels can be just as bad, as they can be incredibly destructive, chewing through wiring and beams alike, which is definitely not something you want when you’re planning a loft conversion.

Bats are yet another possible attic-mate, though these are much less common. Despite their bad reputation, bats can live in your loft perfectly happily without causing any problems. Unfortunately, however, they can put a halt to attic conversion plans, as many species are protected by conservation efforts, meaning their chosen habitat must be conserved. If you think you might have bats in the belfry, it’s vital to ask an animal expert to check before you go ahead with your loft conversion.

We have just one final example left of animals found in the attic, and this one is the most surprising of all. A family in Nottingham were incredibly shocked to discover two rare bearded dragons in the loft when they moved into their new house! Sadly, these particular lizards had been left behind by the previous homeowner, which thankfully means you shouldn’t have to worry about finding any in your own attic.

The moral of this story? If you’re planning on converting your own loft anytime soon, you better get up their soon to check whether it’s haunted first, and we don’t mean by ghosts!

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