If you’re embarking on the real estate hunt for a new home and you’re looking into the condo market, you may have encountered the term, “loft” aboard the term “condo”. Oftentimes these two terms appear interchangeable. They both refer to a single unit within a multi-unit residential building. The same rules and regulations that apply to condo strata’s and associations apply to the loft complexes as well. The key difference between a condo and a loft, is the layout. This being said, you should understand the construct behind the layout before deciding which is the better option for you.
The original type of loft unit is also known as the “hard loft”. Typically these spaces originated as an cheap alternative to the condo. They were old warehouses and factories reborn into living spaces. Their popularity arose during the 60′s when artists in NYC’s SoHo district took to inhabiting and converting warehouse spaces. High ceilings, open spaces, open brick and an teemingness of natural light made them the perfect creative spaces for starvation artists looking for an affordable place to make their art.
These days, lofts are not necessarily the cheap alternative, although many architectural elements that divine the artist’s of the 60′s create the framework for today’s loft concept. Many lofts, that ar actual warehouse conversions tend to replicate or refurbish handsome warehouse features such as uncovered wooden beams and brick. Other staple features that generally define a loft and separate it from a traditional condominium design ar high ceilings and open spaces ( many lofts do non have an enclosed bedroom).
Some lofts ar constructed with a strict adherence to the original industrial look. Such lofts power include exposed plumbing, ducts and heavy timber beams, concrete flooring, masonry and/or corrugated steel walls. Many lofts built these days may not appear so raw in design. New construction constitutes much of the current loft market, and many building codes won’t always allow for such creative license in design. Nonetheless, these new lofts designs still reflect the spirit of openness and creativeness that are integral to loft living.
There are some common terms associated with lofts that you should be aware of. The “hard loft”, is closest to the original loft conception with high ceilings, commercial windows, open columns or ductwork and no interior partitions except for the bathroom.The “raw loft” is an unfinished space, that doesn’t always include a bathroom or a sink. These ar more typically sold as work/art spaces. The “soft loft”, has walls that are intentional to not quite reach the height of the ceilings. Soft lofts, often have an enclosed bedroom as well as the standard enclosed bathroom. With a “moderate loft”, moderate refers to the mid priced kitchen and bathroom finishes. An “upscale loft” boasts high end kitchen and bathroom fixtures and finishes.
If you’re someone who works from home and requires an additional studio space, a loft may suit you well. Loft complexes generally have less units than many high-rise condo options. This can be a nice feature if you’re looking for a more intimate, lower density place to live. If you’re looking for the true original loft concept, you may want to find a hard loft unit. The most recent loft developments are able to offer more conventional condo-like feel, mixed in with the best elements in loft form and function. Whether or not your attracted to the key elements of openness and versatility in loft design will help you decide if a loft is the perfect choice for you, or not.