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DIY loft conversion aside the electrician.

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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:48 am Reply with quote

I will try and get this up to date fast but its now about half way through. The previous post by rustyjames (loft conversion project) got me thinking I should do a similiar post so here goes.

My plan was/is to build a simple loft conversion of one room by my own means. This being from drawings through to having it passed by Building control. I soon found some aspects were a tad more tricky than I first thought so I did a set of rough drawings and emailed them to some on line building techs for pricing for a set of drawings. 350 quid was the lowest but I paid 450 to a local guy for this reason. He dropped his price 100 after I showed him the other quotes but that was his limit. This price was for BC approval and any amendments required by them (not me though). A further 250 went to building control and 350 to an engineer for technical calcs.

Now this was 1050 quid in total and I didnt even raise a hammer but it was going to be the biggest expense by far. The BC was put in February
and it was going to be a long wait.

A break down of what was involved is this :

Remove whole chimney down to loft floor.
Remove living room chimney down to living room floor and make sound.
Support 8 no roof trusses in living room and cut them!
Knock out lathe an plaster ceiling and cut the trusses.
Fit concrete pad stones and lift in steel U beam.
Drill an fix + attach timbers and joist hangers and fire proof.
New concrete lintel in hall way for new floor above.
New collars, new joists, hangers all will 4no 4" nail connections!
Roof vents + soffit vents
Duo velux window installation and rectify existing velux windows
New floor
Insulation
Finishes

Almost forgot the stair is pre built in two sections and comes through the living room window once removed.

One thing I couldnt understand was the engineer changing bolt connections in my drawings to 4" nails. Everything from double up floor joists to hangers etc were now 4" nails! To add to this my ceilings are lathe and plaster. icon_rolleyes.gif
My stair was at right angles to my roof trusses so 8 roof trusses would need cutting. As the beam would be in the stair well wall I had the beam over the joists and joist hangers side slung. He changed it the joist and steel at the same level meaning I would have to support the trusses before cutting. Scarey icon_eek.gif

I had the previous summer removed the chimney into the loft space due to it leaking and in a poor state. I had also replaced the leaking cast iron roof windows with rooflite windows but these would need to be altered for the loft conversion. (They were thrown in to solve the dampness more than anything else)

By the start of May nothing was through so I started doing the roof ventilation. (That would be ok surely) We got a scare at this point as my 2 year old son met me on the roof ridge. Not only did he climb up the ladder but he had managed to get the keys to open the back door. The neighbours were horrified, he thought it great and waved to everyone. I also removed the loft floor and made a shed out of it and put the loft things into it. Clever eh icon_wink.gif



Chimney down into loft space + floor now my garden shed.
[/b]


What we found under the floor was a bit of a worry. Bearing onto the middle support wall was very little in places.


The rafters sat cantilevered 500mm out from the external walls on the roof joists. These were loading the external wall!


By the end of May I was getting a bit fed up why BC were taking months for a single bedroom simple loft conversion. I sent an email ( to archectertural tech bloke or agent) asking if it was safe to at least buy materials when we got the go ahead to build away.
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nrwilliams

from United Kingdom

Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 83
Location: Sussex,
United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:46 am Reply with quote

More updates please! This is almost exactly the same as my roof space! Looking for inspiration
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:56 pm Reply with quote

Difficult doing this as um trying to do a loft conversion at the mo icon_lol.gif

Anyway built a poly tent in the living room, moved everyone into last years project (the extension). Cut a hole in the lathe n plaster ceiling and dropped the chimney down to the living room floor. Dirty job but went over one day chucking the rubble out the living room window. It will form the hardcore and fill for my new garage/office next summer being built.

We pointed up the brick work and fitted 4 acro props for cutting the 8 roof joists. This is for the stair by the way if you havent already guessed.

Chimney now gone, props in ready for the heart stopper cutting the 8 roof joists.



I had previously cut and installed concrete pad stones by form a polythene bubble over the area we could still use the living room even while I was knocking a hole through. No dust at all, worked well.
A couple of mates turned up and we lifted the 203x133uc 5m into place not without a struggle though. Beam cost 135 quid but I had to drill it my self which wasnt as bad as I thought it might be. acros were 35quid hire and the pad stones were off cuts from the concrete lintel I had to put in the hall way. Lintel was 25 notes roughly.




Joists cut and wall strapped for plasterboard.


Beam in place. The new collar are above. 4x2 c16 timber, lucky if 20 quid + 100 odd nails to batter in
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:17 pm Reply with quote

The week I took off work to get into this was going well and while fire boarding the steel I did wonder when building control would be visiting. I emailed the agent who returned by saying he would notify I had started!
Started! The chimney was gone and the steel in and now the stair. I phoned up BC and asked the guy when he would like to visit and he said after the chimney was gone. I explained the situation and said the chimney was behind plasterboard now but I had photographs and he was happy to make a visit now and find where we were at.

We got the living room window out and lifted through the new stair (stairbox.com) fixed in place with 9 chemical anchors into the back wall it went pretty easy for my first stair fit.

Stair sitting in place





I fire boarded the steel to allow the stud wall above to be formed. I wanted to finish the stair well to allow us back into the living room soon but we have got used to the extension at the moment so staying put for now.

The hole for the kitchen chimney(right of stair) was a facination to my 2 year old but I lost a hammer, drill bits,etc due to it.


One thing though was I could not achieve the minimium head height on the stairs at the top falling short by 30mm. Talking to building control he said I had plenty. I said I dont but will use high performance insulation to gain the 30mm back. He said he wasnt bothered about 30mm so that was that icon_biggrin.gif
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:46 pm Reply with quote

Building controls visit turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting. I explained the situation why I thought they had been notified when I assumed the agent had done this. I also offered to remove the plasterboard in the living room to let him see the chimney but he didnt want anything dismantled so happy with that.

I have an additional duo velux to put in that will be in line with the existing one. He did think my lower escape window would be too low but a check with a plumb n level laser showed it within the min 800mm max 1100mm from floor level phew! I managed to purchase the top MO4 velux off ebay new for 117 quid and by chance today I got the MO6 escape window for 149 quid today off ebay. result! icon_biggrin.gif The combined duo flashing had to be bought from a building merchants obviously coming in at 167 quid. All in all its worked out well for the windows and these will be installed this weekend.

kingspan/celotex Insulation I have gathered since February sometimes buying one sheet even off ebay. (100mm stuff for a tenner) I got 70m2 0f 25mm kingspan but this could be doubled up etc. 70mm kingspan x7 sheets for 140 quid and some 120mm celotex, 80mm stuff Im not sure of but all in all the insulation costs have been below half the cost I would of paid. Just took a bit of time.

BC was happy enough with quality of work etc and asked me just to keep a photograph log and call him when im ready to plasterboard. He did ask why I had gone to the bother battering in the nails when I could of nail gunned them. They dont do the size I replied but you could of got the engineer to specify a number that would cover the same. I hadnt thought of this and it would of saved me a lot of hard work pounding away in the loft this summer. Boy I sweated buckets!

Insulate the walls of the stair for plasteboarding
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:15 pm Reply with quote

Roof ventilation :

I did the eaves soffits and facia with upvc last summer. If I had the foresight I would of had them with soffit vents. I bought those cheap circular ones that you drill and bang in and put one in every rafter space.
High level ventilation was from 6 no plastic roof vents shown in the picture below. I picked these up from work where a building was being stripped. They cleaned up well and had only been on the roof for a few years.
I drilled two core holes through the roof and reslated. Dont have the tools for slating but I did my cuts with a grinder and drilled out nail holes. Turned out nice and neat. Bit chuffed about them apart from the fact they are ugly things. The velux (duo combination) windows will be this weekend. They will sit below the far away roof vent in the picture.


High level roof vents
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:22 pm Reply with quote

The stair well being plasterboarded and painted (stair handrail left off) I could get on with loft space itself.
The collars and hangers were all nailed in place without to much stress and in place before I started to cut out the stairwell joists. I felt a bit better with this extra support tying everything up.

I now started to bring in the 8”x2” joists that were required doubled up with the existing 5”x2” ceiling joists. These due to their 4.8m length were lifted onto out extension flat roof then through a roof window into the loft space. I used a Hilti laser to set my level and suffered the excruciating trip out to the eaves to clear old insulation, set packers and worst of all pound 4” nails in along its length.
I found using a garden rake to move the insulation then leaving it to settle was the way to go, worked out well. Horrible stuff! I dwanged them at the centre load bearing wall and at the edge of the loft room space (hangers/stud wall) I maybe should dwang them at the eaves but the propect doesn’t bear thinking about. See what BC says.
I floored the loft space with 22mm moisture resistant flooring as I went to give me an increasing work space area. Glued and screwed each board. Couldnt put to much glue on. The flooring came up the stairs easily enough. Filled the joist gap with 200mm glass wool.








Last edited by fmck on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:10 pm Reply with quote

The floor in and insulation installation an ongoing miserable job. I got a couple of days off this week and Monday/Tuesday being dry I set about installing the duo velux. We decided to install two of these now but this was the first. Hopefully the other will be this weekend if it stays dry.


Space uninsulated where double velux is going


Lumber jack moment, chopping away


Frames in



Trimmers



Tyveck breather membrane


Done for the day: Water tight
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kuytd

from United Kingdom

Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 43
Location: Bristol,
United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:27 pm Reply with quote

Your project looks fantastic, hope it all works out. I was wondering what building experience you have? As I want to do something similar, but only have the enthusiastic DIYer experience.
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silverandfire

from United Kingdom

Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Middlesex,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:33 pm Reply with quote

Looking great! Maybe one day I will do the same with mine.
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:33 am Reply with quote

Thanks. Its getting there slowly as its a struggle by myself + 6 month old baby and a two year old in the house. Getting home a 7pm makes for little time for hammering. Needless to say its a bit frantic when I get in. icon_biggrin.gif

I work as a construction engineer(civil) so I get to watch lots of trades and have experts at hand for asking advice. Suppose im lucky that way never thought about that way.

I will up date some pictures tomorrow but mainly its been boring old stuffing insulation board into everything. Hate the job.

The additional velux has been on hold due to roofing superstore taking two weeks to deliver my flashing kit! Missed two weekends of dry weather b*****r.

I will do a run down of the insulation as there is a lot of doubled up kingspan but the costs were well below half due to long term buying off ebay and gumtree.
Started buying in February and ended up only having to buy two sheets at the end out of b&q.
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:27 am Reply with quote

Got the additional velux in on Saturday to make a match with the other duo (escape window). The top window is in fact a rooflite window but the flashing kit works with these windows. Found this out before with a bit of research. I cut the slate with a grinder and drilled holes for the nails. When cuts got small I used a larger slate although it was only spanish slate I could get bigger. Its more blue than scottish purple but hopefully not to noticable. time will tell.





Spanish slate amongest the scottish. (The blue ones)



Onwards with insulation.



Time to get the spark in now before I end up having to take things down.
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Bahco

from United Kingdom

Joined: 08 Feb 2004
Posts: 7982
Location: Wolverhampton,
United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:09 am Reply with quote

A cracking job.
I had my bungalow converted into a dorma but wished I had done it like yours now as the flat roof will need maintenance soon. icon_sad.gif
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fmck

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 246
Location: Ayrshire,
United Kingdom
Thanked: 18 times

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:28 pm Reply with quote

A dormer was the way we had thought of doing it but it was going to make things difficult in a structural sense and obviously expense side to it. We really wanted to add another bedroom for the family but keep costs down. I had already rebuilt the garden wall in March + roughcasted it also roughcasted the front of the house. Dug up the lawn and put a driveway in. Built an extension last summer that still has to be roughcasted before the winter (hopefully). On top off all this the original timber garage is being held up by all the kingspan in it thats slowly now moving into the loft so we have rebuild this also.

Although I might be doing it cheap its still not had corners cut just takes time though. When you think of a contractor every penny he spends on your loft conversion is a penny less in his pocket so its in his interest to cut corners. Better doing it yourself icon_biggrin.gif
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Mattb1234

from United Kingdom

Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:14 pm Reply with quote

Nice project looks awsome!

I have a question, im converting my attic into a bedroom..
at the moment there is fibre glass insulation up there when i lay down the floorbored up there is it safe to have the fiber glass underneath the boreds?

i recently went up there and was itching and coughing up blood because of the fibreglass, so i obviously dont want to be sleeping in there with the fibre glass under the floor if it is not safe.
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