Renovating an attic is the most popular choice for people who want to create additional living space in the UK. Attics are traditionally considered to be damp rooms, in which, among other things, old furniture and Christmas decorations are placed. However, the attic will provide you with additional space without an extension, which would occupy any part of your garden.
Before going through simple, detailed instructions for remodeling an attic, be aware that this is a complex business that requires a lot of experience and an “I can do it for me” approach. When you are ready to rebuild the attic, you need to consider certain things before starting work.
Some of the design issues to consider include:
- The height of your ceiling
- The services you want to install
- Lighting problems
- Do you need a building permit?
- Construction drawing showing soil strength and escaping fire.
Most converted lofts do not require a building permit. If your attic design changes the roof space, you need a permit. But you can’t leave things to chance. Therefore, if you need a building permit, contact your local council or designer. See the guidelines for more details on building permits and considerations.
Find out if your loft is suitable for conversion
Some attics cannot be rebuilt. Before planning a redevelopment, do a quick survey to see if your attic is suitable. You should pay attention to the roof structure, height, space, chimney or services, and felting.
Roof construction: Do you have a traditional rafter roof, truss roof, or rafter roof?
Height: Is your attic high enough? The minimum height you need for a traditional roof is between 2.2 and 2.4 meters. The minimum height of a modern half-timbered roof is 2.4 to 2.6 meters.
Space: Is there enough space in the attic to turn it into a usable roof?
Services or chimneys: You must ensure that no services or chimneys pass through the attic and that no movement is required.
Felt: is your roof waterproof or did it feel under the tiles? If your roof did not feel, you will see the back of the shingles. The felt roofs are covered with black bituminous paper under the tiles and battens.
If your attic meets all of the above specifications, the next step is to determine the type of attic remodel you can do.
Types of soil transformations
The type of soil space transformation is determined by three factors. These factors include the type of roof, the intended use of the attic, and your budget. Based on the above factors, you need to consider three types of soil space conversion. These include renovations of interior lofts, renovations of skylights, and renovations that require dismantling and restructuring of the roof.
Additional equipment of the inner attic is the most economical and requires only minimal technical intervention. In the UK, however, refurbished mansard roofs are preferred due to the larger space they take up and the ease of construction. Attic renovations that require complete removal and restructuring are likely to meet all your needs but are the most expensive and require experienced builders.
Internal transformation of the attic
Roof lights: These are the cheapest additions to the attic, as they are built by simply renovating the existing attic space. These types of attic installations require only very small changes to the roof space. Changes made during the construction of skylights include cutting windows on the existing roof pitch, insulating the attic, and reinforcing the floor.
In addition to the skylights, all major changes are made inside, such as strengthening the floor, adding stairs, and insulating the attic. This means that you do not need a building permit when converting an attic to a roof light.
Modifications of the attic in the attic
These types of retrofits require the addition of skylights to increase the roof space for a standing adult. Office calls in the attic are usually added at the back, but you will need a building permit. Dormer windows can also be placed on the facade or the sides of your house.
After the renovation of the attic, the additional space will be large enough to be used, among other things, as another bedroom, home office, or study. If you decide to retrofit the attic, you can choose from five types of retrofitting. These include a simple dormer, a full-width dormer, a side dormer, an L-shaped dormer, and a gable dormer.
Single Ear Canal: These types of dormers are preferred in areas with strict protection guidelines. With two separate skylights, you can add symmetry to your property and add more space.
Full-width skylight: This type of transformation results in additional space and a unique type of attic.
Side roof windows: Side roof windows are suitable for increasing the head height for buildings with hip roofs.
L-shaped dormer: This type of transmission works with certain properties, for example, B. Victorian houses with a rear superstructure.
The transition from hip to shield: When switching to this type, one or more hips must be replaced by a shield wall. The roof is then widened to cover the gables, creating additional space for the adult.
Reconstruction of the attic, where the roof must be removed and rebuilt
Attic conversions: These types of conversions are performed on one or both sloping ceilings and replace both sloping ceilings with new structures with very steep slopes that are almost as vertical as the walls. Steep slopes are covered with an almost flat roof. This type of retrofitting is suitable for houses with roofs that leave little space in the attic. You need a building permit to rebuild the attic.
Prefabricated house: This type of retrofit works well when the vertical space in the roof is limited. The reconstruction of the attic made it possible to replace the existing roof structure with a larger one. You can find more resources in our new article on roof costs.
Change of roof structure and floor support
Most roofs in the attic are equipped with internal load-bearing structures. All roof racks in the attic should be removed and replaced with new ones that do not take up available attic space.
We discussed various types of loft conversions to choose from. However, everyone agrees that the ceiling cannot function as a floor. Rebuilding the ceiling to the floor requires additional support. This is achieved by installing new support next to the old roof supporting structure. The support is slightly raised to prevent contact with the plasterboard ceiling.
In most cases, the column rises 200 mm or 225 mm above the existing ceiling joints that make up the floor structure. Depending on the width of the new beam, it rests either directly on the existing wall panels or the newly installed beams.
For small converted attics, the floor support also supports sloping rafters. This is achieved by building a small lattice wall 1 to 1.5 meters high between the floor support and the sloping rafters. Now that the supporting structure has been created, the inner and folded brackets can be safely removed.
Designing a staircase for an attic renovation project is one of the difficult tasks because the space for stairs is limited. The most common staircase design is a narrow spiral staircase. However, this can be inconvenient because it is difficult to move the furniture to the attic with a narrow staircase.
Besides, the actual staircase costs about ten times more than the price of a regular staircase. You should consider the above factors when planning a stair design for an attic renovation project.
If you are looking for an improved stair design, it is a good idea to ask your building inspector for approval of the stair design before proceeding. Your attic staircase design should lead to your front door or hallway. If you choose an open staircase where the stairs are in one room, you will need to change the plan using a new partition or alternative escape routes.
Build windows and draw in daylight
When you install windows for your attic renovation project, you don’t have to make significant structural changes to fit skylights and skylights if you are new to the attic renovation project. In most cases, the windows are installed on both sides of the roofing foil.
One of the preferred alternatives is skylights, which are also separate constructions because they have walls, a roof, and windows. Skylights are often installed in the back of the house, which means that most dormers do not require a building permit. However, if there are skylights in front of the house, a building permit is required, which is why most people choose skylights or skylights.
Installation of skylights may be necessary if you want to increase the height above the attic and gain usable space. When you build a skylight, your attic is exposed to the weather and it is a good idea to have a temporary protective cover.
Additional attic equipment in terms of fire protection
If you live in a bungalow, it is unlikely that the attic remodeling project will block your fire escape. However, you must make sure that the windows are large enough to be used as an emergency exit. If another story occurs after the attic reconstruction, several problems need to be resolved.
The next floor would require at least 30 minutes of fire protection, which could mean another layer of plaster under the ceiling, and the attic must also be separated by a fire door on the upper or lower staircase. You must also install a large emergency window in each room. Some types of skylights are designed with an evacuation plan in mind.
Automatic door closers are no longer used in households because they endanger children. You can pinch your child’s fingers. The best solution is to replace the existing door in the staircase, ie H. The doors on the first and second floor should be replaced by fire doors. You will need to mention this in your attic conversion project for building management.
It’s a good idea to install mains-powered smoke detectors on each floor of your house and connect them so that all alarms go off when one of them is activated.
Attic conversion insulation
Over the years, the authorities have raised energy efficiency standards, making it more difficult to insulate attics than before. If your retrofit requires shingles to be replaced, you can add insulation between the rafters and the floor. This gives you good airtight insulation.
To replace the roof, it is necessary to insulate the roof pitch between the rafters and the underside of the rafters. The insulation should be as thin as possible, as the plasterboard must be attached to the rafters with insulation on the underside.
When choosing insulation, choose high-performance insulation. For example, a mold or board should be used to cover all areas that need to be insulated. Partitions and skylights must also be insulated with similar materials.
Attic noise insulation
The newly built floor in the attic must be soundproof. This can easily be achieved by placing mineral fibers between the supports. Use heavier and thicker materials for sound insulation than lighter materials for thermal insulation. The internal partition between the bathroom and the bedroom should also be insulated with heavy soundproofing material.
Modified Attic Lighting
Lighting a converted attic requires the inclusion of various light sources, just like any other room in the house. Some of the light sources you will need to include ambient light, which can be used throughout the day, work lights used for reading and working, and accent lights, which enhance the light atmosphere.
Rail and ceiling lights are suitable for sloping ceilings.
For maximum energy efficiency, the roof space should be as narrow as possible. However, the balance between energy efficiency and ventilation requires controlled ventilation to prevent water vapor condensation.
The extension will certainly increase the heating requirements of your house. A quick repair is a boiler upgrade. Other alternatives include the installation of radiators, underfloor heating, or a combination of these methods. However, if another bathroom was added during the reconstruction of the attic, then you definitely need to upgrade the boiler.
Plumbing is essential for a renovation that adds another bathroom. Before starting construction, the location of existing water supply networks must be taken into account. A quick fix is to add plumbing services to the newly renovated attic by separating it from the existing plumbing system. This can be achieved with flexible plastic hoses.
Electrical rework may be required when rebuilding the attic. You can extend an existing scheme based on the status and age of your current system. In some cases, you may need new circuits and control panels. You should seek reliable advice from a certified source.
Recover lost memory
If you turn your loft into a bedroom, bathroom, bar, office or use it for other purposes, you will lose storage space. You can create storage space behind partitions. To turn your loft into a bedroom, you can install built-in wardrobes for extra storage space.
Now you know what types of lofts you can choose and how to redo them. Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions to clarify some related issues.
What does soil conversion cost?
The amount you are likely to spend on remodeling an attic is determined by various factors. These factors include your roof design, available space, and the need for major changes to complete the project. The prices below are approximate costs and are likely to apply depending on the type of transfer you choose.
Turn the attic into a room
- This is the cheapest attic renovation and can cost you £ 15,000. The most important works related to this type of transformation are:
- Floor reinforcement
- Add a few skylights
- Add insulation
- Construction of stairs to the attic
- Installation of electrical appliances such as heating and lighting
- Installation of fire protection measures following building regulations, such as smoke detectors and fire doors.
Dormer attic extension
The construction of an attic extension is similar to the transformation of an attic into a room, except for dormers. Windows increase the area of the room and increase its height. This offers more flexibility when building stairs.
Building an attic can cost around £ 20,000. If you decide to redo a double room, you may have to spend between GBP 35,000 and GBP 45,000.
Retrofit, which involves redesigning the roof, is the most expensive. This type of transfer requires a professional builder and a building permit. You will most likely spend £ 40,000. For more information, see our post on loft conversion prices. The cost of adding a house is another piece of information that we have published.