How To Build A Loft Conversion Yourself – OakWoodLofts

How To Build A Loft Conversion Yourself – OakWoodLofts

General design considerations you are likely to encounter and need to decide:

  • Ceiling height
  • Access
  • Services
  • Lighting problems
  • Building permit
  • Building codes and regulations on the strength of floors and escape from fire

All of these points are described in more detail in this article. Despite these design considerations, attic remodeling can be a life-changing and cost-effective solution to a lack of space or moving issues.

CREATE IF YOUR PROPERTY IS SUITABLE FOR LOFT TRANSFORMATION

Not all lofts are suitable for converting lofts. Before you go too far in planning an attic renovation project, we recommend doing a quick survey to verify the following:

  • Is the roof structure a traditional rafter and lath roof or a rafter roof? (See the picture on the left and read the information on the roof structures below).
  • Height – Is there enough height in your attic? Note that the minimum height for a traditional roof is 2.2 to 2.4 meters and the minimum height for a modern lattice roof is 2.4 to 2.6 meters.
  • Space – Is the attic big enough to use?
  • Chimneys or services – don’t go through the attic and there is no need to move them.
  • Felt – your roof felt like brick or was completely sealed. Note that if you can’t feel it, you can see the back of the clapboards and slats they are attached to. If you feel like it, you will most likely see black asphalt paper under the tiles and slats. Most modern homes will feel it.

When you are confident of all of these exams, you have passed the first stage of certification. Your property can be very suitable for attic renovations and you can begin to evaluate what type of attic renovations you could get.

If any of these five points indicate a problem, don’t be discouraged. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing attic remodeling plans out of the window. The answer is always there and we’ll help you find it.

3 Types of loft conversion

Three main factors will influence what type of loft remodeling is best for you:

  • The type of roof you have
  • What you want to use your loft for
  • Your budget

There are three types of attic renovations. These are attic renovations, skylight renovations, and attic renovations that require full disassembly and construction.

Additional equipment for the attic is usually the cheapest and requires minimal construction. However, attics for attic installations are the most common type of attics because they can provide more space for relatively simple construction work. Complete removal and renovation of the attic gives you maximum flexibility, but it is the most complex and expensive.

1. INTERNAL LOFT CONVERSIONS

Ceiling lights

These are the cheapest floor reconstructions as they involve the reconstruction of the existing attic. Very little roof space redesign is required. The accessories include the installation of windows in the existing roof pitch, insulation, and floor reinforcement.

2. DORMER LOFT CONVERSIONS

When retrofitting skylights, skylights are added to increase the volume of the roof space while maintaining the full height of the head. Dormer windows are usually added to the rear, but with planning permission, they can be added to the side or front of your home.

After converting the attic, this additional room can be used as an additional bedroom or two, as a study or study, as a private bathroom or as a kindergarten. Or you can add a bathroom or separate wardrobe attached to the master bedroom.

Single Dormer

They are preferred by planners in nature reserves
. When enabled, two of these can be used to increase storage space and add symmetry.

Full-Width Dormer

This type of loft transformation really maximizes space and creates a completely different feel than any other type of loft.

Side Dormer

In addition to the skylight, it is often used to measure the height of the head in houses with hipped roofs to increase, in which there is at this site access to the attic.

L-Shape Dormer

They are only suitable for certain buildings, e.g. B. Victorian houses with extensions in the background. The L-shaped roof window offers plenty of space.

Hip-to-Gable

One or more sides are replaced by a gable wall (with the roof sloping both from the side and from the front and rear). The roof then extends over these gables and provides more space in full height.

This guide covers everything you need to know about the design aspects of loft remodeling, the cost, the planning, and the building codes. Converting an attic is the perfect way to gain more space. There may be room for an additional bedroom or two, maybe even a bathroom or study.

There is no doubt that expanding is easier than moving. If you have unused space, consider adding it to create the additional space you want. This guide is the first in a series to teach you how to get the most out of your possessions – get up, get off, get on and off.

This article will be useful for anyone renovating lofts across England. Whether you are based in Cambridge, St. Albans, or the neighborhoods of East Anglia and London, we are local architects who can provide concrete and practical help with loft remodeling. Here you can contact us.

CREATE IF YOUR PROPERTY IS SUITABLE FOR LOFT TRANSFORMATION

Not all lofts are suitable for converting lofts. Before you go too far in planning an attic renovation project, we recommend doing a quick survey to verify the following:

  • View in full size
  • Roof constructions for assessing the conversion of the floor space
  • Is the roof structure a traditional rafter and lath roof or a rafter roof? (See the picture on the left and read the information on the roof structures below).

Height – Is there enough height in your attic? Note that the minimum height for a traditional roof is 2.2 to 2.4 meters and the minimum height for a modern lattice roof is 2.4 to 2.6 meters.

Space – Is the attic big enough to use?

Chimneys or services – don’t go through the attic and there is no need to move them.

Felt – your roof felt like brick or was completely sealed. Note that if you can’t feel it, you can see the back of the clapboards and slats they are attached to. If you feel like it, you will most likely see black asphalt paper under the tiles and slats. Most modern homes will feel it.

When you are confident of all of these exams, you have passed the first stage of certification. Your property can be very suitable for attic renovations and you can begin to evaluate what type of attic renovations you could get.

If any of these five points indicate a problem, don’t be discouraged. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing attic remodeling plans out of the window. The answer is always there and we’ll help you find it.

THE BEST LOFT FOR THE LARGEST ROOM

The most popular type of loft renovation is L-shaped modernization among Victorian row home owners and similarly styled homes. It is a construction of two skylights – one above the roof of the main building and the other above the rear extension. In most cases, a second skylight is built over the existing kitchen or bathroom. The two dormers meet to form a rectangular L-shape (that’s what this type of transformation is called).

The advantage of the L-shaped gearbox is that it allows you to practically recreate your first floor in terms of space and design. This gives you the option of building even three or four new rooms, and no other type of attic remodel gives you so much extra space.

CURRENCY CONVERSION COSTS AND BUDGETS

How much you will pay to renovate the attic depends on the type you take. In the current prices (August 2015) we suggest the following guide price per square meter. Without VAT and taxes.

PRICE FOR THE CURRENCY TRANSFERRED TO THE SCALE

Easy roof conversion – 1200 to 1500 pounds.

Dormer retrofit – 1 680 to 2 400 GBP.

PROFESSIONAL FEE FOR TRANSFORMING YOUR MARCH

Architect’s Fees – A typical £ 30,000 to £ 40,000 loft remodel would range from £ 1,200 to £ 2,400 when planning drawings.

Building Code Compliance Fees – Less than 40sqm – £ 385, 40 to 60sqm – £ 460.

Design fees – £ 600 to £ 1,800.

Planning and Legal Development Fees Reference – If you are unable to retrofit your attic in accordance with legal building permits, the homeowner’s planning application will cost £ 172. If you are using your authorized development rights, we recommend obtaining a Legal Development Certificate for £ 86. This certificate eliminates all uncertainties and you can prove it when selling the property.

Building inspection fees range from £ 960 to a maximum of £ 1,200.

Party setup fee – a budget of around £ 850 per neighbor

LOFT CONSTRUCTION WORK

Heating – Radiators are typically £ 30 / m2 and underfloor heating is £ 45 / m2.

Boiler – If a new higher capacity boiler is needed, the cost is typically between £ 1,800 and £ 3,500.

Bathroom – budget from £ 4,500 to £ 11,000.

Surfaces – Set aside £ 77.00 per square meter for stucco or dry tiles and paint.

Floors – Plan from £ 24 per square meter and up

PERMISSION TO PLAN AND CONVERT YOUR LOFT

Within the permitted building rights, you can increase the roof area to 50 m3 (or 40 m3 for terraced houses). This assumes that the surcharge has not yet been withdrawn or issued. This can save you the hassle of getting a building permit, but there are strict restrictions in place.

For example, no additional changes to the existing roof pitch are permitted in the height of the base. You can also just use materials that are similar to an existing house.
Permissible building rights will be removed for loft conversions that exceed the permissible area of ​​40 m3 to 50 m3 in protected areas and other designated areas. You therefore always need the full building permit.

BUILDING RULES, PARTY WALLS AND SECURITY

BUILDING REGULATIONS

A building permit is always required to rebuild the attic (regardless of whether a building permit is required). Before you find a builder, you should use a full plan and approve a detailed overview. An approved project removes a significant portion of the risk from the contract and also means that the contractor has the option of providing you with a firm quote rather than an uncertain estimate.

The construction manager checks the work in different phases. At the final exam, they should issue you with a certificate of completion. Don’t settle your final accounts until you’ve received your certificate.

PARTY WALLS

If your house is semi-detached or terraced, don’t forget to get your neighbors’ attention to your suggestions. This requirement usually falls within the scope of the Walls Act 1996.

SAFETY

Since April 2015, homeowners have been responsible for the safety of their large and small construction projects. A health and safety plan is required for all projects and you must manage that plan.

TECHNICAL ISSUES TO BE AWARE OF WHEN UNDERTAKING A LOFT CONVERSION

ROOF BUILDING

The existing roof of your home is designed to keep rain and snow out and withstand light loads in the attic. After renovating the attic, your roof bears
significantly different costs. A new floor structure is required. It is also likely that structural changes will be required to ensure room circulation and skylights. Roofs can be divided into two types.

Roof trusses – They have been common since the 1970s and are difficult to rebuild. Roof trusses are complex construction structures and cannot be modified without the recommendation of a civil engineer. When rebuilding this type of roof, it is common to install a series of beams that will support the new floor and reinforce the rafters. This allows parts of the mesh reinforcement to be cut to create a clean floor surface.

Traditional roofs – usually consist of a series of rafters and purlins that run between load-bearing walls. These roofs are easier to retrofit than rafters. However, beams are often required to support new floor structures and existing purlins. All but the simplest transformations require a civil engineer design.

TECHNICAL ISSUES TO BE AWARE OF WHEN UNDERTAKING A LOFT CONVERSION

If you want to turn the attic into a living space, you need to install a ladder. Careful design can be critical to the success of an attic remodel. If there is enough light space, it is often best to extend the stairs to the existing stairs. This saves space and gives the house a sense of integrity. Alternatively, part of the room must be separated by a partition to accommodate a new staircase. Wherever ladders are installed, they should be constructed using the following guidelines:

Fire protectionFire protection measures are the main building code. The most dangerous fires usually happen at night, when everyone is asleep. When converting the attic, you must ensure that smoke detectors are connected to the network in the hall and / or in the rooms on each floor.

Rescue windows are windows that are large enough for people to escape or to escape through. It must have an opening area of ​​at least 0.33 m2 and a width of at least 450 mm. The floor of the skylight should not be more than 1100 mm above the floor and should allow people to escape to a place where there is no danger. Emergency windows must have escape hinges so that the window can be fully opened. Some standard curtains on plastic windows do not allow this. It is recommended to inquire about this with the glazing supplier.

Two Story Homes – The Building Regulations Fire Safety Requirements for Two Story Homes are relatively simple. It is widely believed that if you can’t go down the stairs, you can jump or escape from the window on the first floor. When converting an attic to a bungalow, you need to make sure that you have a mains powered smoke alarm system on the first and second floors and that all living rooms on the first floor have an emergency window.

Three-story houses – if you are remodeling the attic of a house and creating a third floor, then building codes require you to take fire safety seriously. A mains operated smoke detector must be installed. Because of the height of your new floor, you can no longer rely on the windows to escape. The only safe exit is to go down the stairs. Therefore, it is necessary to protect the ladder from fire. To protect the stairs, any doors that open to the stairs should be a half-hour fire door, and the stairs should lead to a corridor with the door facing out.Alternatively, the stairs should lead to a room with access to two external doors separated by a fire protection structure and a fire protection door. If a sprinkler system or an alternative escape ladder is not available,

Four Story Homes – If your home is already three stories, rebuilding the attic will be more difficult. Careful planning and planning are required to minimize the risk of fire. You may need to install a sprinkler system or a second escape ladder. This type of project requires a special design.

BATHROOMS IN LOFT CONVERSIONS

You might want to add a bathroom or shower to your loft. The best place for this is right above the existing bathroom. This ensures that you can connect to existing sewer and water networks without the need for excessive plumbing. Every bathroom or shower should also have an exhaust fan to improve ventilation. We recommend that you decide on the location of the bathrooms during the planning phase.

If you’re looking to customize a bathroom in a converted loft, follow these tips:

  • Place the shower where the headroom is full
  • Ideally, the toilet and sink should have full headroom.
  • The bathtub can be tucked under the edge
  • A wet room can be a compact choice, but it does require a full charge
  • Use wall cavities with gutter for concealed showers and faucets.
  • Concealed tanks in metal frames for rack mounting are ideal
  • Good lighting and large wall-to-wall mirrors create the illusion of spaciousness.
  • The wall installation makes the small bathroom more spacious
  • Use of a macerator

If you want to add a toilet to your new attic, but there isn’t a suitable space for your existing attic fireplace, you’ll need to add a new one. If this is inconvenient or expensive, consider installing a pump macerator system.

The macerator is a small box that is located behind the toilet. It can be hidden behind the wall even if you need access to it. The basic concept of the macerator is that it uses rotating knives that chew and reduce waste so that it can be easily passed through conventional pipes. The macerator can also be used to drain water from a shower or sink.

While a macerator is a great way to solve difficult installation problems, it has some drawbacks:

You should stick to the “basics” and avoid flushing out complicated things like sanitary ware.

It can be loud and lasts about 30 seconds after flushing.

There have been reports of clogs and odors from the unit.

However, it is recommended to use a macerator to minimize the risk of these drawbacks.

THERMAL INSULATION

CO2 emissions are a huge concern in today’s environment and you need to ensure a high level of insulation on the roof as part of the attic remodel.

The most common way to achieve this is to put a heavy duty insulation board between and under the rafters. If your roof doesn’t feel breathable, you need to leave the insulation over the insulation and ensure effective roof ventilation to prevent condensation from building up.

SOUND INSULATION

To reduce unwanted noise, the walls and floors around the bedroom should be insulated to reduce sound transmission. This is usually achieved by placing a 100mm sound absorbing patchwork blanket on the empty floor and in the partitions around the bedrooms. When converting an attic to a semi-detached house or decking system, you need to make sure that the acoustic impedance of the side wall is increased to reduce sound transmission to your neighbors.

HEATING

To make the room as comfortable as possible, you should probably install a heater. In most cases, it is most efficient to expand your existing central heating system. You will need to consult your plumber or heating contractor to ensure that your existing boiler has sufficient capacity to service additional radiators. New radiators should be equipped with thermostatic valves to regulate the room temperature. If it is not possible to expand the existing system, or if you prefer an alternative heating method (such as a panel heater), consider carefully how these can be operated to ensure efficient operation.

ELECTRICAL

As part of the attic reconstruction, you will likely need some electrical modifications. Depending on
the age and condition of your existing electrical system, it is sometimes possible to add to existing circuitry. Sometimes new circuitry and even a new electrical panel are needed. It is a good idea to seek advice from a qualified electrician in good time. When appointing an electrician, make sure they can issue you with BS7671 test certificates after installation. This will be needed before a conclusion – certificate can be issued and when no test certificates to be made available, You can find additional costs .

WINDOW AND VENTILATION

Every new living room needs to be ventilated. This is usually achieved by opening a window or ceiling light that is 1/20 the floor area, with a tall dome. All new windows must be equipped with high-performance glass units. An exhaust fan must be installed in bathrooms or showers. In rooms without a window opening, exhaust fans are required, which are started by a light switch with a delay timer. This will keep the fan on even after the lights go out.

LIGHTING

A good indoor lighting scheme should combine different light sources. Light sources include:

Ambient lighting – daylight substitute

Work lighting – for reading and working

Accent lighting – to create an atmosphere

Good lighting options for sloping ceilings (that you have in the converted attic) include downlights and street lights. The part of the flat ceiling under the ridge or in the skylight is an ideal surface for downlights. If the ridge is higher, you can hang trailers or use a track lighting system. Ambient lighting can be achieved with floor and table lamps as long as they are included in the circuit so that they can be controlled with the main switches on the wall and ideally dimmed.

CONCLUSIONS ABOUT BUILDING A LOFT CONVERSION

A successful renovation of the attic is a definite plus for your home. This can provide additional useful space
and add value to your property. However, a poorly remodeled attic can decrease the value of your property and, in some cases, compromise your safety and the structural integrity of your home.

As you can see, there are many elements to consider when planning an attic renovation. You can use this guide and manage the attic remodeling yourself. However, if you want to make sure everything is done correctly, it is usually a good idea to hire a professional architect to provide a quality attic that will stand the test of time and add value to your property.

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