Attic Conversions

Our goal is to provide you with information as to the best possible way to achieve optimum space at the least cost whilst using the best materials for your attic conversion.

The attice / loft is now considered a viable living space and can be converted into various types of rooms - depending on your requirements.

With growing families needing more space, the solution is to convert their attic space to a part of the home to use as either an extra living room, gamesroom or bedroom. There are many advantages to choosing such an option. In this way, you increase the square footage area of the house without expanding the footprint. If the conversion job is designed professionally and completed to a high standard, the result is a more spacious and comfortable home with an enhanced value. The "carrying out" of an attic conversion is a complicated process, and whilst it may be possible to attempt a �DIY� attic conversion, most people choose to employ the services of a contractor to undertake the task. Of course, attic conversions are not simple matters and not every house lends itself to being converted economically.

Many issues need careful consideration. The first stage of any attic conversion is a close inspection of the attic space to find out its exact dimensions and whether conversion is feasible. On entering the attic one needs to establish if there is adequate room under the ridge of the roof. A measurement of 2.3 metres is required to allow enough headroom and there must be at least 2 metres clearance above the position of the access stairs. The roof should be checked for any signs that rainwater is entering the roof space. The appearance of dark stains on the roof rafters is a strong indication that this problem exists. Repairs to the roof must be carried out before starting on converting the attic. Due to the slope of the roof and the required access headroom, the feasibility of a attic conversion is dependant upon a minimum height of approximately 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in) measured from the joist to the apex. Providing that this requirement is met, most properties will likely possess the potential to have the attic space converted. In any attic conversion project, irrespective of the sub-division of the rooms, quality insulation is a critical factor. Remember, you are turning roof space into living accommodation. In most cases, the house is not designed for that purpose and the roof was not insulated at the outset. Today in rural Ireland, the most popular form of house is the dormer-bungalow, or as it is sometimes referred to, the 1� storey house. This design takes into account roof space from the start and utilizes it to the maximum. Insulation material fitted to the house meets building regulation standards from the start so you are never likely to encounter problems on that score. It is a different matter when you convert an attic in an existing house to living area. Whenever the house was built, the floor of the attic was generally insulated to prevent heat escaping from the floor below. However, no attention was paid to the roof and mostly it is a layer of felt and the exterior slate or tile that are the only defence to the elements. Most roofs on houses over ten years old have bituminous felt fitted.

This type of felt does not breathe so account of this must be taken. It is not good enough though to slap up insulation between the rafters, seal it off and leave it that. You have to allow at least a 50mm ventilation gap in order for the felt to breathe, thus preventing timber from rotting. You will need high performance attic insulation that is condensed so as not to take up too much head height.This may require you to lift the tiles or slates and create that gap. If you are doing a complete transformation, where a new roof is being added, then this issue will not arise as building regulations will ensure that an adequate amount and quality of insulation is fitted. You are advised to use felt such as Tyvek membrane in such situations as it does not require space to breathe. It is important that it is tightly fitted to each rafter; otherwise, you will suffer from an effect known as thermal looping, where hot air gets in behind insulation and reduces the ability of it to hold in heat. On the floor of the attic, the existing insulation will have to improved or replaced. Whilst it may have been sufficient to keep heat escaping from the lower floor in the past, it now had the added task of diminishing sound and noise permeating down to the rooms below.Pack rock wool or mineral wool insulation into the floor joist crevices and then lay at 25mm chipboard flooring to seal it in. Ideally, for sound insulation the room or rooms in the attic should have a quality carpet covering to lower footstep noise. As in any project you embark on around the house, the extra money spent at the start to ensure quality insulation and heat retention, will return in multiple dividends over the years. In 2009, the Government introduced energy rating for all homes. An audit will be carried out of your hose and a rating is then applied. That quality of that rating is likely to effect the value of your home, so if you are doing something to the house before then check with the energy rating agency in the Department of the Environment to establish what you need to do to acquire a high rating. For More information Just Contact Us.