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Some advice on loft boarding

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by lozcozard, 9 Dec 2017.

  1. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    Hi. I would like to have a decent floor in my attic, at the moment its a load of random wood and old doors loosely put down by the previous owner (where there is boards). See the pics of my messy attic.

    We use it a lot actually, as its all Easter, Halloween, Christmas decorations. Christmas presents. Travel suitcases. I am sick of walking around on the loose wood and doors, and on the beams, I want a decent floor.

    But I am not sure how to proceed as I read mixed recommendations on the internet as follows:-

    1) Loft boards (the right down on current beams) - easiest, I can do that
    2) Raised legs, and loft boards on those - 2nd easiest, I could probably do that
    3) Battens across the current beams, loft boards on those - 3rd easiest, getting harder now but could still do it.
    4) New 8" x 2" or whatever it should be beams and boards on that (sounds like the proper way for attic conversion) - sounds like a huge job, needs roof opening up with scaffolding etc? Do beams go into the house side walls? Beyond my DIY expertise.

    For 1 and 2 above other websites say this is only good for storage, but what confused is me is you'll obviously be walking around on it to access the storage. So does that mean it is actually suitable for storage AND walking around, or am I still going to be concerned about walking around on them. If I can walk around on them, then I assume its Ok for me to be up there a few hours, why not have a train or skeletrix set... at what point do activities up there not come under "suitable for storage" considering you have to walk around to access the storage.

    I dont know if 3 is considered suitable for storage only or considered safe to walk around.

    I would think 4 is the only one which will pass building regs if we wanted a proper attic conversion as a living space? I would like to do this, but the investment is probably too much now, hence going for something lower cost that will allow us to walk around in safely until we do invest in a proper conversion.

    Current beams at 100mm high, approx. 1" wide (forgot to measure that), and are 14" to 16" apart. I do have these two other beams like battens running across them that dont seem to be supporting anything.

    I am not bothered about having the recommended insulation, my house seems fine in terms of insulation so I am OK to keep the current 100mm insulation unless it really is worth it having more (so assume the option 2 legs approach would be good for this, but then we'll have less height in the attic).

    Does anyone have any advice as to which one would be suitable?

    Thanks

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2017
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    option 3 is good. Screwing down the counterbattens to the existing timbers adds rigidity and spreads the load somewhat, reducing risk of ceiling cracking. It does not increase the total load-bearing capacity, though. You can lay additional insulation between your counterbattens.

    I've found that Decking board timbers are widely available at modest prices.

    Ply is stronger than chipboard, and does not lose strength and crack or dip so badly in use. 18mm WBP ply is also more resistant to damp (chipboard behaves badly if not dry)

    If you have a local supplier who will cut ply sheets to size, it will probably work out cheaper than the chipboard panels, which IMO are rather overpriced.
     
  4. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I ran strips of ply about 8" high across my joists, calculated so that pre cut loft boards matched up.
    I added 2x1 onto the edges of the ply to give more meat to screw into

    This is just for storage but once the floor is screwed down and joints staggered it firms up
    As my ceiling joists were quite slim it allows a lot more insulation to be added while retaining storage
     
  5. Your joists will be 2" wide, so your easiest method would be to glue and screw 4x2s between the 2 cross members either side of the loft. Then add 170mm of rockwool, and squash it down as you're board out. Use P5 chipboard across the joists, scewed down for stability, and you'll be fine. It will give storage space, and be stable enough to walk on.

    It looks as though you've got felt under the tiles, so make sure that the current insulation is slightly away from the eaves so that there's airflow up into the roof space.
     
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  7. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Long term I would love a proper loft conversion. I am wondering if I should get a proper floor done to the standards it needs be for a proper conversion, the rest of the conversion in the attic can wait, and then that way I dont have to rip up the floor if its not to standards when I do come to have a proper conversion. So its like a part proper attic conversion now, so part investment.

    Does anyone have any advice on that? I guess it would still be expensive if the wall or roof needs to be opened up to put new beams in?

    Thanks
     
  8. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I have a feeling that the biggest percentage of the conversion cost of a loft is the access and floor strengthening.
    By the time you get steels in there to give a decent floor, you're more than half way there and scaf/crane hire also adds up
     
  9. If you post some pictures, then we can give a more considered opinion. Is there a central wall under the loft, as that can make things easier.
     
  10. JohnD

    JohnD

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    if you want a proper floor, suitable for a loft conversion, you'd have to do it conforming to Building Regulations, and have your plans and work approved and inspected. Otherwise you will be obliged to rip it up and start again, or at least take up the floor for inspection. It will be quite costly. I think I'd leave it until/unless you take that path.

    It's possible to start work on approved plans and take a very long time to finish; I don't know the rules.

    I did know some people who self-built, and had the roof designed ready for conversion, so it was included in the original plans and signoff; and did the fitting-out later when they could afford it.
     
  11. DIYnot Local

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