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A lot of people think we shouldn't convert our loft. Their reasons:

 

  • the head height is 2.35m in the pitch
  • you'd lose a bedroom on the 1st floor to create the staircase
  • the house is a 1918 build where the loft sits on the roof rafters, not the walls below

 

However I take a different view because:

 

  • I'm in the south-east where sq m is clearly astonishingly expensive
  • The views of open countryside that would be unlocked by the loft would be amazing
  • the space, while not vertically large, would deliver c. 55m2 of extra floor space

 

Supporting the roof should be fine, the floor up there is trickier. Due to the 2.35m existing pitch, going up on top of existing floor is tough. The structural engineer just told me that to take all the bedroom ceilings down, and reinforce the whole thing is a 4 week minimum job.

 

With the bill to match. The bill is less of a factor than the 4 weeks of absolute carnage as ceilings come down, mid COVID.

 

I'm assuming there are just no other options here, but if there are, would absolutely love to hear them....any kind of technological innovation which massively reduces the referred impact of movement?

 

(ps. stating the obvious that this is not a weight thing - there's a 400kg water tank up there now, it's a movement issue which will result in ceilings cracking below...)

IMAG1367.jpg

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Search for TeleBeam

 

Have any of your neighbours got rear dormers..? Can do some really nice things if you go full width or peaked down to wall plate

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@PeterW thanks Peter, just called them. Think they're better suited to modern builds (ours is a 1918 property).

 

Looks like a cool solution though...

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Why has your SE stated all the existing ceilings need to be removed?
 

In your normal loft conversion, the existing ceilings are retained and new floor joists are positioned between and fixed to the sides of the existing but maintaining a gap between the bottom of the new joists and existing ceiling. There may be some minor disruption and localised re-decorating but that’s generally the extent of the disruption.

 

If you have a height of 2350mm from the top of the floor boards/deck to the underside of the apex, then you should have room to achieve a complaint conversion by the time you’ve upgraded the floor joists and rafters. If you said this dimension was 2200mm, then I’d suggest to not bother, unless of course there was scope to replace and re-pitch the roof.

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I recall some years ago there was a system that uses aluminium (?) sister joists. I can't remember if they were only to help convert trussed roofs or if they wern't as deep as timber joists making them useful in situations like yours.

 

Google found one system called Telegram..

https://www.telebeam.co.uk/

 

 

Edited by Temp
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I have done several loft conversions and never removed bedroom ceilings, I always added flooring joists between the ceiling joists raised above the plaster a little. I don’t sister existing ceiling joists as this gives rise to more noise transference. This gives maximum height within the loft conversion by keeping the floor as low as possible.

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Cheers guys, sorry I'm a little late in responding. I'm not being notified of any replies, which is weird...

 

@DevilDamo I don't fully understand the situation but the SE's point is that the loft is sitting on the roof/skeilings, and isn't fundamentally supported by the ceiling below. To my understanding over the c. 12.5m x 4m floor area of the whole loft there are only 3 support points: 1) one external wall 2) the original massive chimney we have just taken down to loft floor level and 3) the far external wall. Some support may be available in the form of the original load bearing walls on the ground floor, and at a push the 2nd/remaining chimney breast, but that's it.

 

@joe90 a builder visited on saturday and basically placed 2 bricks one on top of the other to illustrate the space we'd lose by NOT taking down the ceilings below. This rendered the space right on the edge of not worth converting. (Probably still worth it, but you know what I mean)

 

Put frankly, we can't really entertain the idea of pulling down all the ceilings, with all that BS that entails.

 

So I need a different plan. Pic attached of the space as it is now...

 

All help v much appreciated

20200519_122507.jpg

20200515_171416.jpg

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I’m still a little confused. Do your first floor rooms have skeilings along their external walls?

 

Ceiling joists would normally connect at the rafter feet and therefore stopping the roof from spreading. Are you saying the ceiling joists do not connect and are actually positioned lower than rafter feet?

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@DevilDamo I believe they do have skeilings along the first floor, yes. That appears to be both the SE's point, and the builder who visited over the weekend.

 

You can see the 1st floor bedroom windows in the image below...

 

Any ideas? Like I said, from my POV there are potentially 4 support points presently in play:

 

  1. Rear ext wall
  2. front ext wall
  3. Old chimney now capped off*
  4. Current chimney still present

But there's 12.5m to length to span...😬

 

20200401_155223.jpg

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Ok it makes a little more sense. The roof over the large window may have the skeilings but the front projecting part with the smaller window doesn’t have a skeiling does it?

 

Are you only looking to convert the main roof or the front part as well?

 

There may be an option in adopting cranked steels and supporting your new floor off that. But that also comes with its practical and cost implications.

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@DevilDamo one day we might get to the extension/front part (1952), right now it's all about the main roof (1918).

 

Tbh I'm up for anything which doesn't a) involve the 1st floor ceilings coming down and b) saves space in the loft.

 

What do the cranked steels actually sit on? Can they be installed from above rather than below?

 

Basically it's the ripping out of the ceilings that is the no-go....my other half just won't go for it at all!

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It could be an option but would have to review it in more detail to see if that would be a suitable alternative. There’d obviously be no point going down the cranked steel route if the ceilings have to come down. It’s probably more for an engineer to look into in conjunction with a builder. Perhaps you could mention it to your contacts?

 

Are you actually in Surrey or was that the first ‘cranked frame’ link you found?

Edited by DevilDamo
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@DevilDamo nope I'm in Surrey, so if you have any recommendations for either engineers or builders I'd v interested to hear them.

 

We've had one engineer look at it, but he is on the conservative side (are they all?) and I feel like somewhere out there there's a way of having our cake and eating it.

 

If pushed though I guess I'd have to just lose some space rather than have the ceilings come down, that would be mess on a whole different level as I believe the plaster is that old woven horsehair stuff!

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Ok. I have an office in Surrey and have contacts for both engineers and contractors but of which would work with me. I’d normally initiate the process and get them onboard as and when required.

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