I have been given the opportunity to buy the house I’ve lived in for 5 years which is currently owned by the mother in-law. We are at the early stages of getting the mortgage as I have only just submitted the accounts for my company to satisfy the affordability checks etc.
Circumstances on the in-laws side are meaning we get the house sold asap and her some money to find another place. On top of this we have a baby due in July hence me feeling the pinch of time constraints.
So the loft part……. Basically I have a man cave in the box room on the first floor with some DJ gear in it, which needs to be vacated to make room for new baby. In the house is also a half cocked attic conversion/posh loft that looks like it’s from the 60s. It has a good-sized velux window, boarded out with fiberboard stuff with thin Rockwool between the rafters. The floor has been beefed up with 200m joists sistered over the load-baring wall and also has some cupboards built into the eaves. It has a few plug sockets and weirdly a small hand basin. it is accessed via pull down ladder making it no more than a loft with a window. Its actually a very nice space with good potential so would make a great storage room and somewhere I could escape to to play a few tunes and escape the house downstairs as well as much needed storage. first two pics so you get the idea of the space: image1.JPG 29.36K 3 downloads image3.JPG 31.99K 3 downloads
My first thought was to go down the full loft conversion route all signed off to create an extra bedroom for the house, with the view of any money I put into it as an investment. I had planned to use the old airing cupboard in the first floor hallway put a space saver stair case in, causing minimal disruption to the rest of the house. Anyway I had a local designer/surveyor round who is very familiar with local building regs to run my ideas past him. He said that the velux was too high to be considered an escape window and I would need a landing at the bottom of the spacesaver that was not the hallway, basically taking up most of the cupboard and then some of the bedroom behind it. He said he would ask building control about it but didn’t seem confident in my ideas. His various “workarounds” started to take up more money and time than I could afford so I have now started to think about using the loft in the same capacity as it currently is, as a 'posh loft' accessed by a pull down ladder to not confuse its use as a habitable room. The surveyor did say the floor should be fine for any uses as it is, obviously not considering the fact there are no calcs etc. But he did say its stood fine for the past 50 years or so with no signs of any issues on the roof or ceiling below.
So what I would like to do is basically tart up what’s already up there, firstly by re-insulating the rafters and plaster boarding. As the room has potential for full conversion at some point I would like to insulate to current spec to make sure it wouldn't need to be done again in a few years if we do go down that route and/or cause issues if and when we come to sell on.
I have been doing my head in looking at these u value calculators that always seem to suggest the most expensive products in the suppliers range. So my first question would be can anyone tell me what thickness of insulation I would need for 100mm rafters at 400 centers with an old felt bitumen sarking? I understand ill have to leave a 50mm air gap between the tiles and have a layer inbetween as well as underneath the rafters to get enough celotex or similar to comply. I want to minimise costs as much as possible and will be looking at buying it through seconds companies such as seconds and co. Can any of you kind people able to make a suggestion on spec to achieve correct u value? Also can I re-use the rockwool that is in the rafters to place in the floor joists for added noise reduction between rooms or am I better of chucking and buying new? Also any suggestions for good value acoustic insulation for floors?
Will re-insulationg the property have to involve a building control/regs sign off? Also is it likely to cause problems when the mortgage company come round to look at the property for their survey/valuation if it has recently been re-done or worse is in the middle of being done? The last survey that was done when the mother in-law bought the place did briefly mention the loft space, simply stating there was a window, the fact it was boarded out and the floor being beefed up giving an opinion it appears to be suitable for storage. It also commented on the fact the structure of the room, perlins etc were hidden from view. Since then I have done some exploring and removed a few panels to see what I am working with. Perling and supports can be seen in places, is that likely to be a good thin gor is it better hidden? I've added a pic of the perlin and hole in the wall as it is. image5.JPG 22.82K 5 downloads
I would also like some advice on the repositioning of the attic hatch from the hallway ceiling where it currently is, into the cupboard to make it less disruptive. This would of course involve cutting one of the joists out and bracing it. When I took up some floor I noticed that the hatch I use in the hall way currently wasn’t the first one that was installed. There was another smaller hatch fitted along the same joist as the current one. Hopefully you can see where the current two and proposed new one sit. A few of my friends are chippys and have said its fine, they would just double up 2x8s the bracing on the new hatch and said if we wanted to be extra cautious use 2x8 to infill some supports in the direction of the joists in the exiting hatches but both said that this wasn’t really necessary. Do you think I should get some calcs done on this to be sure, add new timbers as the caustious option or just add the new hatch as the chippys had suggested? i have attached a photo with the floor up to see where the two current hatches are, and the cupboard of where the new one will be. image4.JPG 40.2K 6 downloads
Sorry for the huge thread, I hope you managed to stay awake while reading it. Thanks in advance for any help and feel free to add in anything I may need to know and have not mentioned.