When you are looking at doing a loft conversion there are several things you need to keep in mind. These considerations are vital in ensuring that your loft conversion is a success. In this article, we will be taking a look at the top six things you need to remember and take into consideration before undertaking a loft conversion. Jim Bridle, south London loft experts, offers these pointers when considering a new extension.
In most cases, the building regulation for loft stairs is fundamentally the same as any other flight of stairs. In an ideal scenario, you would be running tour access from an existing stairwell. You can easily achieve this through a dormer if there is not enough headroom available in the attic. If you are not able to do this type of stair installation, then you will need to make use of another area of the floor below the stairs.
Strengthening the floors
If your home was built with suitably sized attic trusses, then you will not need to worry about re-enforcing the floor. If however, you do not have the required sizable trusses, then you will need to look at adding in a little extra support. There are a number of ways in which you can do this but the most common method is to insert new joists. In some cases, these need to be much thicker than those which are currently in place, and this will raise the height of the floor. You need to keep in mind that any work which will affect the structural integrity of your roof should never be undertaken without the oversight of a professional.
Insulation and ventilation
If you are planning to make use of the loft area, you will need to ensure that the area has enough insulation and that it has adequate ventilation. This will mean that you will need to upgrade your roof insulation at rafter level. In a basic retrofit scenario, this is usually done by packing rigid insulation between and under the rafters, with a 50mm void left between this and the underside of the existing roof to allow for ventilation (which will prevent condensation). The downside of this is that even high-performance products will encroach on headroom.
When considering soundproofing of your loft you will need to take two fundamental aspects into consideration. Firstly you will need to block out sounds from outside and secondly, you will need to look at blocking out sound from the inside. Tackling each of these comes down to the materials which you choose to use more specifically, the materials which you use in your roof and ceiling. When you are looking at material to buy for your loft conversion you should consider buying acoustic plasterboard for ceilings.
You will also need to take into consideration that you will need to make space for a fire escape on your property. This can also be done with fire-resistant partitioning.
Plumbing and electrics
Many people easily overlook this aspect of converting their loft. We recommend that you hire professionals to install all plumbing and electric wiring. You may also have to replace all old wiring the in the area. This will ensure that your new addition passes various health and safety regulations.