Advice please - access currently sealed off extension attic

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Hi,

I currently need access to the attic above the extension built on my property for 2 reasons:

1) we can hear scuttling and so either have rats or a bird may have got in
2) the room has spotlights which I tried to modernise by using LEDs but the wiring is stapled to the joists and so I cannot pull the wiring down to replace

The main issue is the rats as my wife wants this sorting ASAP.

The house has a large attic above the original building and so I don't really need access to create more storage - just to resolve the 2 above issues.

I think I have 2 options:

1) Knock through the wall in the original attic to gain access but I have no idea if structural this is possible. There is a layer of breeze block and then the original outside wall. Currently there is a small hole that has been knocked through which I believe was to give the building inspector access - See pics below. Can I just extend this hole until it is big enough for me to squeeze through? The blurry picture is the best pic from the inside of the inaccessible attic that I have been able to take.

2) Fit a loft hatch - I am not really interested in the extra storage opportunity and the hatch would be in our master bedroom which is far from ideal.

Do I have any other options that you can think of?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and if anyone knows how to get rid of rats with limited access then please also let me know otherwise I will be straight on the phone to a pest control company on Monday.

http://www.diynot.com/network/demontec/albums/21095/78798

http://www.diynot.com/network/demontec/albums/21095/78799

http://www.diynot.com/network/demontec/albums/21095/78800
 
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You could take a couple of blocks out for access, though you chance dropping a brick through your ceiling on the other side when you enlarge the hole in the outer leaf, it would probably be OK, what's the existing wormanship like? Worst case scenario is a half a dozen or so bricks/blocks fall out at 3am and straight through the ceilings and onto your head.
 
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You don't say what the roof construction is on the "other"side. The wall in you photograph, is supporting the purlins at a low level, the upper level if it were a standard gable end would just be supporting the ladder that carries the slates over hanging it.
Do not be too enthusiastic when knocking the bricks and blocks out, you have a 8' high single skin outer leaf balanced on the bricks under it. I would drill holes in the bricks that need to be cut, so as to weaken them.
Frank
 
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Thanks for the replies.

I am not entirely sure what the roof structure is or what the workmanship is like on the other side. If it is based on the rest of the extension then it will be propped up with twiglets and be of the standard my 3 year old could better.

As I am unsure, I think I will go about fitting a small loft hatch. I am not a small guy and so the size the hole between the attics would need to be for me to squeeze through would need to be quite large and hence I am nervous about the structural integrity of the roof.

Looking at costs, if I fit a loft hatch, it would be about £150 ish. If I got a builder in to make the hole bigger and support it (can a lintel be fitted) then what sort of cost do you think it would be?
 
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If you allowed for a builder for a day to fit a some lintels and some materials costs you are probably looking at about £200-250 max. Or a handyman would probably be OK who may be a bit cheaper.
 
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If you allowed for a builder for a day to fit a some lintels and some materials costs you are probably looking at about £200-250 max. Or a handyman would probably be OK who may be a bit cheaper.

Ok so that may be a better solution. Any idea on what the end result would be? Would it end up being a usable door almost or would it be a squeeze through job?
 

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