A standard attic conversion takes approximately 2 weeks.
An en-suite can extend this by a further few days. On each Attic Conversion we carry out, it is to both your interest and our’s to complete the Attic project in the shortest time, as this means less time in your house, and as we purposely only work on one project at a time, it make commercial sense for us. We endeavour to complete each job as quickly as we can, whilst, of course, maintaining the quality of our workmanship.
Placement:Ideally, the new stairs fits above the existing stairs running along the house wall. This minimises the loss of floor space in the attic.
Width: Most attic stairs are slightly narrower than normal, namely, 28″ wide. The average existing house stairs is usually 30″-32″ wide. The available space on your landing usually dictates what width stairs you can use.
Matching hardwoods: We endeavour to match the new stairs in with your existing staircase. The majority of modern houses have pine or teak handrails – spindles, which can be matched quite inexpensively.
Generally we use recessed down lighters, but other options are available.
Double sockets can be fitted, according to the client’s requirements; TV and telephone points, and also a smoke alarm, are fitted to standard.
All work is carried out by RECI registered electrician, and routed back to the main fuse board.
Water tanks are typically relocated under the eaves area, with access provided by a hatch. If you have an old metal tank, then it is an ideal time to change it into a plastic one. If you want to know why you should change your metal tank, have a look inside it and it will become clear.
A plumbed radiator is the ideal, as there are no additional operation costs. However, plumbed radiators don’t always work well in attics. This can be due to the height of the radiator in comparison to the water system.
Often times, if you are going to get an airlock in any radiator, it will end up in the attic. The older the system, or the more radiators you have, the less chance you have a successfully extending the system to the attic.
If you have a pressurized closed system, then a plumbed in radiator has a better chance of working.
We can convert an open-heating system to a closed system, thus greatly enhancing the chances of the radiator working 100%.
If you have any doubts of your system performance, consider an electric radiator. In some cases, there is no option but to install a wall mounted electric timer-controlled radiator.
Thermal insulation is still the most important and most cost-effective way of saving energy, and for virtually all homes will have the single largest impact on reducing fuel costs year after year. The amount of heat that can escape through a badly insulated roof can be up to 30%. Therefore, in converting your attic you have a great opportunity of improving the energy efficiency of your existing bedrooms, and making the attic room the warmest room in the house.
How to achieve this, is by using a high performance insulation called Xtratherm. A lot of our competitor use cheaper alternatives such as aero-board and fibreglass which simply do not give anything like the same performance or meet the latest building regulations.
We use red deal T&G secret nailed flooring, which requires a light sanding and varnish. We will happily quote for hardwood flooring, if your budget stretches accordingly.
The space behind the support stud walls (which form the shape of the room and sit on the RSJ) is called the eaves area. We include flooring the eaves area with T&G chipboard to provide adequate storage space. We also include access hatches and switch lights in these side areas.
Depending on the size and shape of your attic space, it may be possible to design a walk-in wardrobe.
For most standard size attics, we recommend two SO6 1140 x 1180mm windows, which provide plenty of light in the main room, and one FO6 660 x 1180mm over the stairwell and landing.
A lot of our competitors only install Centre Pivot GGL VELUX windows in their attics, basically because they are cheaper to but and easier to install.
We also recommend installing Top Hung GHL VELUX windows, mainly for the reason that when they open they do not impinge into the attic space, but rather pivot outwards from the top.
There are a few clear advantages to this. Firstly, you get a better, more comfortable view with them; secondly, they have a dual function, so they can switch to centre pivot action for cleaning purposes; and finally, while strolling around your attic, you do not have to worry about banging your head on the side of the open window.
The size of an attic depend on a number of things, including roof shape, pitch, length of house from side wall to side wall, and overall width of the house from front to back.
Multiply the length by the width and have your answer. This will give a rough estimate of the area of usable floor space.
Please bear in mind that the new stairs will cut away a small amount of floor space and a closed attic with bedroom door and landing hallway will reduce the actual room size.
A suspended floor is one that is not resting on the ceiling. It has its own separate set of flooring joists. Its function is to support the weight of the attic floor, so it is completely independent from the existing ceiling, and it is suspended from the RSJs.
Reinforced steel joist. These are large steel beams that are installed and anchored into your gable walls in the attic.
Vertical props are then inserted between the rafters and the new beam. These steel beams also carry the new floor joist for the attic, which run perpendicular to the beams. This means that they carry the weight applied to the attic floor and not the original ceiling joist, which would leave to cracks in the plaster board ceiling in bedrooms below.
Altering existing beam structure is the most difficult part of the attic conversion. To summarize, the new steel beams have two main functions:
- Provide support for the roof rafters in lieu of the original purlins and/or trusses
- They allow suspended floor to be hung from them.
RSJs are conspicuous by the absence in the handyman / cowboy conversions: sagging roofs are the result. We pay a lot for our RSJs as they are fabricated into three interlocking pieces. This design, although costly, provides better structural support than RSJs in two pieces.
Most attic conversions are exempt from planning permission, because the ceilings are not high enough to qualify as “habitable accommodation”.
This does not take away from the fact that people routinely use them as bedrooms, studies, playrooms, offices, etc.
You do need planning permission to put VELUX windows on the front of your house, but not at the back.
Trussed roofs were introduced in the late sixties. They are simply a cheaper way of building roofs.
Builders buy a set of prefabricated triangular frames, with a “W” insert. These are lifted onto the new house and the roof is built in a few hours, instead in a few days, as had been the case.
You can recognise a trussed roof by the “W” framework and by the square metal plates at each join of the timbers.
There is no problem converting a trussed roof provided you have two concrete block walls opposite each other in the attic, i.e., an apex or gable roof.
Hipped trussed roofs can be converted but not as easily.
Some shapes and form of the roof lend themselves more readily to conversion than others. The key factors to assess are the shape, its internal height and width.
Assessing the roof shape: The overall form and profile of the roof will have major bearing on whether the roof is suitable for conversion to usable space.
Gable roofs: Ridge roof with gable end walls are generally easier to modify in order to accommodate space in the roof than hipped roofs. Party or gabled end walls can usually support any new steel beams which may be required.
Hipped roofs: The conversion of hipped roofs can be complicated, unless internal load bearing cross walls are available, or extra steel beams are inserted at an angle off the wall plate to connect to the party wall.
The typical cost you would expect would be €16,500 including VAT.