If you’re running out of space, you and your family may prefer to move up rather than moving out. Moving home costs thousands of pounds, whereas loft conversions are a much more affordable and convenient solution. In addition to adding a wonderful light-filled space to your home, your property could gain to 15% in value, according to the Federation of Master Builders.
Where many homeowners only use their loft for storage, there is enormous potential in this generally unused space. Furthermore, estate agents say an additional bedroom is the single most valuable feature a family home can have, and converting an attic or loft is usually much simpler than building an extension.
For an optimal conversion, your ceiling height should be no less than 2.3 metres, to give enough headroom for proper planning. Furthermore, the steeper the slope (or pitch) of the roof, the better. As well as re-fitting the new room, our experienced team understand that the staircase leading up to your loft should feel like part of the original house, rather than an add-on. This should provide a seamless transition from “old” to “new”.
All loft conversions involve complex construction work, including new beams in the roof and floor, to take the floor weight and strengthen the roof after we remove the existing rafters. All work must meet Building Regulations and, where a shared wall is involved, may also require a party wall agreement with your neighbour. Specialising in all aspects of planning, Charles Jeffrey Ltd are here to take the hassle out of your loft conversion.
After your loft conversion is completed, your newly plastered walls and ceilings require sealing before you hang wallpaper. You can seal a surface for papering by using size, a gelatinous solution which is mixed with water and applied straight onto the wall. Please note that it may be tricky to hang paper properly while the surface is still wet and slippery.
Alternatively, diluted wallpaper paste may be used as a type of size. Most pastes will include a sizing solution on the packet, but a rough guide is to use 25% more water than paste for the best possible results.
If you intend to apply vinyl paper, we recommend sizing with a dilution of a paste containing fungicide. Vinyl papers are air-proof and the fungicide will prevent any trapped dampness turning into mould. Always apply size with a large emulsion brush
Once plastered, all walls and ceilings will dry out at different speeds. With a normal, centrally heated property, you may usually be sure of safely painting after 4 to 6 weeks. Alternatively, with extra heat in the room, it may be dry in just 3 weeks.
If you don’t wait until the wall is completely dry, you’ll find that most paints simply form an airtight skin over the wall. Any trapped moisture behind that skin will then have nowhere to go, causing it to either absorb into the wall and breed growths of mould or react with salts to become efflorescent white stains; neither problem is easy to solve.
For a top-quality gloss finish, wait for the first coat to dry completely, then use 600-grade wet and dry paper with water over the surface. Then wipe off the excess with a kitchen towel and paint a third coat for the smoothest possible finish.