Loft conversions are a versatile way to add space and value to your home, but converting a loft can be a complicated and expensive process. Make sure you know these five key things before you start work, to ensure your conversion is as stress-free as possible. The type of loft conversion you choose will make a big difference to the price. The cheapest type is a simple conversion that uses the current space in your loft without building out from the roof. At the other end of the scale, the most expensive is a Mansard conversion, which runs the whole length of the house and will change your roof to make it almost vertical. Companies like www.sussexandsouthcoast.co.uk can help.
- If your home’s loft is more useful to you as living space than storage, converting it is the obvious thing to do. A loft conversion should make your home more valuable and sellable, and if you can fit a bathroom or shower room up there, as well as a bedroom and built-in storage, you have the perfect master or guest suite.
- Loft conversions cost from around £20,000, but are often a lot more, depending on the size, spec and type of conversion. The cheapest and easiest loft conversions are ones with only skylights, as the line of the roof is unchanged. However, this isn’t ideal if the loft has limited space and head height.
- Building out the roof to create more useable space inside will give you a much more satisfactory conversion. As long as there are no planning restrictions, building a full-width dormer window across the roof at the back and changing the side of the roof so it’s ‘straight’ (viewed from the front or back) instead of sloping (this isn’t possible with mid-terraced houses) will maximise the space internally.
- For a loft to be suitable for conversion, the main space should be at least 2.3m high – generally, the steeper the pitch of the roof, the better it will be for conversion. Standing up in the loft and walking around (if safe to do so) will give you an idea of how much useable space there is. If there isn’t enough head height, even by building out the roof, you may be able to lower the ceilings in the rooms below, but this will be expensive and disruptive and isn’t practical if they’re already quite low. Another option may be to rebuild the roof to make it higher, which is also a big, expensive job.
- You’ll need space for a staircase up to the loft on the floor below and if this means losing a bedroom, you may not be much better off by converting the loft. Spiral staircases can be a good space-saving solution, as can narrow (and straight) ‘space-saver’ staircases, although they aren’t necessarily practical for everyday use and are unlikely to comply with building regulations.
You may have already seen the timber and logs for sale in http://www.kilnservices.co.uk. However, you don’t have any idea how they were able to create a completely smooth wood, since there are times when you get timber and log, there are cracks everywhere when you have them for a very long time. When your furniture made of wood tends to get cracks as the years pass by, it only tells you that whoever built the furniture failed to acquire logs or timbers that have been completely dried out through kiln drying. The slabs of wood, timber and logs that you see in the aforementioned site have all gone through the kiln drying process, which is to remove the moisture content that is still present in the wood. This is very important even if you are working with a dead tree.
Why it is important for woods to go through kiln drying
The timber coming from living and dead trees contains a huge amount of water. This is not visible to the eye at all. When wood is utilized for construction, the material releases or absorbs moisture until it has reached its equilibrium with the environment it is surrounded with. The process of equilibration results in uneven shrinkage of wood, thus causing damage to the wood if the process gets hurried or happens too rapidly. The equilibration process must be controlled for the purpose of preventing wood damage. There are 2 ways of controlling this process: kiln drying and air drying.
Kiln drying can also be equated to controlled air drying. Modern ways of creating the kiln drying process allow very tight air flow control, including control over humidity and temperature. This way, all the timber present within the area dries evenly and up to its precise content of moisture needed. Kiln drying is sometimes seen as a more uniform product and its problems are sometimes linked with air dried timber that has been poorly air dried is totally avoided. Timber that has gone through kiln drying can be manufactured to a highly superior finish compared to air dried timber. This way, problems like raised grain are eliminated. They can be installed with its minimal acclimitization on the site and is even suitable for immediately finishing with stain or paint. This means that the wood can be protected but must be done without delay.
What about air drying?
Air drying is literally drying wood naturally exposing it to the air. Timber and logs are stacked on boards and have spacing in between them. They are separated by sticks on foundations that are raised within a dry and cool place. The drying rate totally depends on the conditions of the climate including the exposure of the wood to the wind. In order to achieve success with air drying, a uniform and continuous flow throughout the whole stacks of wood must be arranged properly.
Oftentimes some households combine air drying and kiln drying because they believe it gives a more even result with the wood. Some of the timber and log available at http://www.kilnservices.co.uk are done this way as well.
If you use bleach to clean damp and mould on a wall, it will CREATE MORE DAMP because the water in the bleach will be sucked into the wall, giving the damp the water it needs to start growing again. Rent or buy a Dehumidifier. This is a short term solution for getting rid of the moisture and damp in the air, inside the house. Once again, it should only be used when you have had work done to stop the cause of the ingress. I’m sorry to tell you that if your home has been suffering from the kind of things we are talking about here then it’s likely that your carpets, bedding and soft furnishings have inherited a horrid smell.
There are various cleaning companies who can at least try and rescue beds and sofas etc., but in many cases, the damp eats away at the fibres in the fabric and its often best to throw it all away and buy new. You will never get the smell out so don’t waste your time and effort, and of course do this AFTER you have had the damp problem addressed. Mould growing in bathrooms, wet rooms, kitchens and utility rooms is a very common occurrence of the nasty stuff, often because showering, or during clothes etc, produces moisture, after all that’s what happens when you dry a wet towel, the radiator will make the water in the towel evaporate into the air but sometimes that water settles on a cold wall and that’s when the mould appears. To prevent this happening on your home, spray the walls with a dedicated antimicrobial treatment and then seal the grouting lines around the tiles with two coats of grout sealer, available from B and Q.
If you take the tips above, and the advice on getting a damp proofing company like jhgarlickltd.com in to fix the issue, you should not have any further problems with damp. If your home suffers from damp and mould, I have to be honest with you, THERE IS NO CHEAP, QUICK FIX to the problem. If the damp mould or wet patches on the walls are higher than 5 feet, or even wet walls upstairs, this indicates that the outside walls have lost their weatherproofing qualities and are now letting water into the wall, which is coming into the house and causing problems. A quick examination of the walls outside will often show cracks or hollow rendering with flaking paint or even green mould or mildew, indicating there is a problem with the walls of the house and that is why you have wetness inside.
If you cannot see the damp or diffused moisture, then it is best to investigate by looking behind furniture, at the back or wardrobes, and anywhere the walls inside feel damp or wet, or maybe where the paintwork inside is flaking away or becoming powdery.