A loft conversion can be a solution to your storage problems; however, the first thing you need to do is find out if it’s feasible. This depends largely on the roof structure, and how it was constructed.
Determine your roof structure.
Pre 1960 build:
Roof structure and it’s construction is one of the most important factors when you’re looking at converting your loft. In homes built before 1960, builders made the roof on site from a framework of rafters to support the roof covering. Purlins will tie the rafters together, and struts brace the purlins against the loft floor joists and any internal load-bearing walls. The existing loft space may look awkward and cluttered, but the structure can generally be adapted to make space for a new room. Relocating struts and other supports is the best way to create a clear floor area. Dormer windows can be inserted if there’s not enough full-height headroom over this floor area. You MUST employ an architect, surveyor or structural engineer to plan this work, so that the alterations don’t weaken the roof structure.
Post 1960 build:
Homes built after 1960 will usually have a roof constructed with prefabricated roof trusses. Builders used triangular frames that span the walls of the house. Triangular frames eliminated the need for internal load bearing walls. Historically, because of the assembly of the roof and trusses, you couldn’t remove any of their components without dangerously weakening the roof structure. The good news is that times have changed, and there is a way to safely convert these type of lofts, but it is not commonly known. Again, you MUST employ an architect, surveyor or structural engineer to plan this work.
If you have a modern house built with a loft conversion in mind, you’re lucky. These houses use “attic trusses” instead of conventional ones with their W-shaped bracing. Attic trusses are thicker, wider timber components, so they can carry floor loads as well as the weight of the roof covering. They can be adapted readily to allow for the insertion of roof or dormer windows.
Any questions? Contact us via our website, we’re more than happy to help. Ready to book an appointment? Give us a call on 01943 884899.