MEZZANINES have long been popular in church and chapel conversions, but they can also work in more conventional homes - as long as you’ve got high ceilings
1. High ceilings are a fantastic feature and can enable you to create an extra room by adding a mezzanine level, something that can be useful day-to-day and add value to your home. A mezzanine is an internal balcony or platform overlooking the space below, and can be put to all sorts of uses.
2. They’re typically used as a den, home office, studio, spare room, bed platform or play area in a child’s room - bed platforms are also popular in high-ceilinged studio apartments. However, there are lots of practical considerations. So that you can stand up comfortably in both the mezzanine and the space underneath it, the room should have a ceiling height of around 4.2m (13ft 9in) or more, unless it’s a small child’s room.
3. Whatever you use the mezzanine for, you’ll need something to enclose it. A balustrade or half-height wall are popular choices because you still get a feeling of spaciousness, although you lose privacy. You’ll also need a staircase up to the mezzanine. Ladder-style ones are usually fine for kids, but not ideal for adults, while spiral staircases save space. If there’s room for a conventional staircase, you may be able to incorporate more than just storage under it, such as a built-in home office, or a toilet or wet room.
4. One thing you don’t want to do without is good soundproofing, as this could affect your enjoyment of both the mezzanine level and the room below. And don’t forget clever lighting. Depending on where and how tall the room’s windows are, the mezzanine could lack daylight, so you may want bright artificial lights that can be operated from both levels of the room.
5. Using an architect to design the mezzanine is a good idea, because they should know how to make the most of the space and may come up with ideas you haven’t thought of. The architect should also be able to advise you on whether you need the services of a structural engineer. For smaller projects, a builder may be happy to design and construct the mezzanine for you, or build it to a design you’ve made yourself. Costs for a mezzanine level vary hugely depending on what’s involved, but compared to most types of building work, a mezzanine is a quick and inexpensive way to add a room.