Evaluate your Home for an
Attic Conversion

An Attic Conversion is a wonderful way of taking advantage of an often under utilised space that many homeowner are lucky to own.

So for that all important first look, lets get out the ladder, open the hatch and see if your attic is ripe for conversion.

Before we talk over what you need to look for in assessing your attic space for conversion lets have a reminder of the care and safety that is required to move about inside an undeveloped attic space.

Always make sure that you step carefully on solid joists so that your foot doesn't go through the floor and also that you watch out for all overhead rafters so that you don't bang your head.

A quick solution and an innovative way to move more safely around your attic space is the easy installation of Attic Platforms which fit over the exposed floor joists to give you wider, safer walking space and a great platform for storing boxes, trunks etc.

You should always protect your head, use eye goggles, wear a disposible dust respirator and protect your skin and hands - especially when installing attic installation.


Back to your attic assessment - These following factors are so important that it is something everyone should take into consideration even before buying a home.


FIRST: How the Roof was Built:-

Looking towards the sides of your roof: (not the gable walls)

  • do you see strong frequent rafters going without interuption upto the roof! - it sounds like you have typical rafter framing which is GOOD for attic conversions.

    OR

  • do you see smaller rafters with a V shaped support going from the floor joists and connecting upto the rafters, if you do then your roof was built with trusses.

Attic Picture of rafters and trusses

Attic Converstion Rafters & Trusses


Unless sheer determination means you plan to literally raise the roof, you just will NOT be able to work with a roof build with the TRUSSES method of internal support, however, it's still worthwhile talking over possibilities with your trusted local architect.


NEXT: The Attic Roof Height:-

  • At least half of the available height in your attic must be about 2.30 metres (7 1/2ft), and that's not the height now when it's bare, when it's pre-conversion - but after the job is done with extra floor joist supports, the new floor ontop and right upto the collar ties and new ceiling frame in place (installing dormer windows will help add more liveable floor space).


Foundation & Supporting Walls:-

  • Have a Profession check both the foundations and supporting walls of your home to make sure that they have the strength to carry the additional weight involved when you use your attic or loft as viable living space.

  • Have the floor of your attic checked to make sure that the floor joists are strong enough to support the new use of this floor. Often with newer builds the attic floor has been built as a roof for the room below and NOT as a supporting floor for the room itself.


Attic Stairs:-

There are rules and regulations for access to converted attic spaces, these are especially strict if the area is to be used as a bedroom and very valid in emergency situations.

The best solution whenever possible for your attic conversion permits, for ease of use, esthetic value and saleability - is to continue up in the same size and style of your original stairs.

You will also have to take into consideration the installation of a fire escape facility - often via a dormer or velux attic window.

Usually a small box room or cupboard can be sacrificed to make way for the installation of a stairwell built to code.

**********

If you are ticking boxes all the way so far with these basic fundamental requirements for an attic conversion you should now be in a great position to call in the professionals and work out a plan for your particular home.

Other important considerations when planning the project and finances for your attic conversion are:-

  • Fire Doors
  • Fire escape
  • Alarm
  • Dormer windows
  • skylight
  • Increase water pressure
  • Upgrade for attic Wiring
  • attic Lighting
  • attic Insulation
  • Heating / cooling
  • Air Flow / attic ventilation
  • Solar Heating Fan / attic fan
  • Door Bell

All of these are important to the successful outcome of your attic conversion, not only for your attic conversion permit acceptance but also for the quality of life as you use of your new attic space -

There is a lot to think about in the all important details but careful planning will result an ideal attic conversion which you can enjoy and which will successfully increase the value of your home.


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