Creating an attic – a popular type of room – with your own hands today is not difficult. Let’s look at all the stages of construction, as well as the pros and cons of this design..
Home is a place where we would like to surround ourselves with comfort, have the opportunity to relax with our family and work. Sometimes this becomes impossible due to the lack of square meters. How to make your home spacious and comfortable? Construction technologies have stepped far forward – resources have appeared that allow you to expand the occupied areas with your own hands through extensions. But if there is not enough land, then the attic will be the most successful option.!
Currently it is a fashionable design for private houses. Back in the 17th century, the attic was conceived as a way to expand housing for the poor. And thanks to the French architect Mansard, converting roofs into residential apartments has become very popular among the wealthy. From here, by the way, the name went – attic.
Many people ask themselves the question: “Attic or additional floor?” It is worth clarifying right away that these are two different things.. Before choosing this or that option, weigh all the pros and cons, the pros and cons, take into account the purpose of your home (summer residence or permanent place of residence), your marital status, as well as budget. It will be much more economical to build an attic than a full-fledged second floor.
In this article, we will show you how to significantly transform usable area with minimal investment. And you can cope with the implementation of all the necessary activities on your own..
Installation and arrangement of an attic, the facade of which is fully or partially formed by the surface of a sloping roof, is a vast scope for imagination and creativity. So much space shouldn’t be wasted! An excellent studio, study or storage space for unnecessary things will come out here.. But isn’t it too wasteful to turn precious square meters into a warehouse??
Usually attic spaces are provided for children who like to be placed on high levels, and in addition, low beams for adults often cause some inconvenience. This is the last floor, and the higher, the better the view, no doubt. The presence of pipes, the neighborhood with the roof, a remote balcony, a sloping ceiling – all this will become a stylish tool for creating an architectural design.
An objective assessment of the specifics and knowledge of the constructive qualities of this type of superstructure give a chance that everything will turn out as well as possible, the load-bearing walls and foundation of the house will not be damaged, and the dwelling will last a long time. Believe me, the attic is a very useful thing.!
The most successful solution is a frame attic. Before you start developing the superstructure plan, you must make sure that the lower floor can handle the additional load. After all, every person who comes across a building knows that the main building is located on a supporting structure, which is calculated based on the entire mass of the structure. Therefore, at the beginning of construction, it is necessary to make the necessary calculations, as well as check the foundation, whether there are any cracks or any destruction on it. If necessary, the base will need to be strengthened. At this stage, it is best to turn to professionals..
Based on how the roof is arranged, the appearance of the attic may vary.. As a rule, the attic occupies the entire upper floor, although sometimes there are options located on one side of the longitudinal axis of the building. It is rare to see attics extending beyond the lower structures..
Most often, the roof is gable or broken. A more complex type of gable configuration is popular: the roof consists, as it were, of two planes. But we will discuss each of them in more detail a little later. Windows, large or small, located on the ceiling let in many times more light than ordinary windows in rooms on the lower floors.
When choosing a roofing, observe harmony so as not to disturb the combination of the shape of the attic floor and the roof.
You can also immediately insulate the room with SIP panels. As a result, you will have a lightweight structure, which consists of more than 50% of lightweight polystyrene foam, therefore, does not create a load on walls and floors..
There are several design considerations that cannot be ignored..
- take seriously the insulation, which should be strengthened, because it is the roof that often “suffers” from frequent and sometimes strong temperature changes;
- it is important to make waterproofing conscientiously so that over time the insulation does not get wet;
- proper ventilation must be provided between the insulating layer and the roof.
The parameters of the rafter structure must be determined by the further construction of thermal insulation, which is placed between the timber rafters and has a thickness of at least 20 cm.The rafters must be at least 25 by 25 cm.
The main indicators of wood that are important for the construction of the system are resistance in bending and compression, the required density and moisture.
Wooden rafters, in turn, require treatment with antiseptics or fire-retardant structures and must have fire resistance limits.
Designers advise leaving the attic space intact. Nevertheless, if it becomes necessary to separate rooms, then it is better to erect partitions using drywall.
Consider also the disadvantages of this type of adjustment:
- due to the sloping roof, in contrast to the usual floor, the size of the attic area will be smaller;
- the height must be optimal, otherwise there will be problems with closing / opening the doors;
- psychological factor: sometimes it seems to people that they do not have enough air, every time they want to bend down, a person may feel discomfort;
- regardless of the type of roof covering and even the correct installation of sound insulation, the sounds from the rain will penetrate the room;
- it is important to correctly think over the heating system;
- the stairs to the attic may be too steep and therefore unsafe.
Design options and materials
Using the advice of experts, carefully develop the future project of the attic space. After that, prepare the design of the attic, since this is not just a certain number of square meters, but the individuality of the facade is the pride of the building. The appearance and interior depends on the methods of covering and materials for the roof..
There are several types of roofing.
The simplest option, which is a sloping area, fixed on load-bearing walls. Advantages: simplicity of calculations and installation work, due to its low weight, is suitable for buildings on simplified foundations. Disadvantages: not the most attractive appearance, sensitivity to stress (snow).
One of the most common options. Such a structure consists of two opposite slopes, lying on the supporting walls of the building and connected at the top with a ridge. Material investments in a gable roof are quite small, while it looks aesthetically attractive. The device of a gable roof includes: rafters, lathing, inclined planes, mauerlat, horizontal ribs, ridge, valleys, overhangs.
The sloped roof structure is a subspecies of a gable roof, but with a more complex configuration. Because of the shape and the presence of broken lines, this name came about. Such a roof gives the house solidity and solidity..
Four-slope or hip
One of the strongest and most resistant to strong winds and leaks during precipitation of roofing systems, where instead of gables, two triangular slopes are installed. Complex installation is a minus of this design: it requires accuracy in calculating the rafter system and installing the frame. For this reason, design is usually trusted by professionals..
Among all the structures, the most complex, but at the same time the most interesting is the multi-gable one. It is characterized by the presence of several gables (3 or more). A big plus is the ability to cover several rooms with one level. But in general, this type of attic works mainly for the architectural style and design..
At the same time, the attic part is divided into two types. She may be:
- single-level – a fairly practical version in execution, which does not require complex development and serious calculations;
- two-level – this is a complex building in construction, the project of which is created immediately together with the house.
Current building technologies allow you to make different types of balconies in the attic. To select the desired structure, you should consider the design features of the lower floor. And it doesn’t matter if the balcony was previously included in the plan, it can be done at the end of all stages of construction.
The most successful location is from the end side. In this case, the balcony will resemble a loggia. It is erected together with the attic, which allows you to use part of the roof as a canopy, and the floor overlap as a floor.
Another type of construction is an option when the balcony is located in the roof part. At the stage of roof overlap, part of the building is left uncovered so that a balcony can be equipped there..
Drawings and calculation
The main parameter when planning an attic floor is the level of the ceiling, the optimal height of which should be at least 2.5 m. Make a drawing before the actual construction, evaluate everything and indicate the exact calculations so that everything can be built accurately. The most ideal option is a sloping gable roof, but then as many bearing supports should be installed as possible for sufficient reliability, since this type of roof increases the pressure on the walls.
Do not forget to include the ventilation system in the calculations, as well as windows and stove heating pipes, if any..
The height of the superstructure itself has no limit, but the lower ends must be at least 90 cm.
The plan should contain all information about the features of the shape, geometric dimensions and slope angles of the slopes..
After the exact calculation of the roof truss system has been completed, all the necessary materials should be purchased and the roof prepared. Only after that you can start building.
Stages of making an attic with your own hands
It is very important to choose the design and style of the interior at the initial stage, as well as to decide on the materials for finishing. You should listen to the opinion of professional designers who advise using only high-quality raw materials. We will tell you step by step about all stages of construction.
So, the first stage is the development of a project for a new future roof in the old room. It does not matter whether it is single-pitched, gable or broken, without a doubt, the appearance of the result will directly depend on the structural properties of the roof, as well as the raw materials used. Make a diagram in different perspectives to better understand how to place the elements of the rafter system. It is most important to accurately calculate the height of the roof ridge, because it is on it that the size of the area under it depends..
Next, we build a strong and stable frame. This step is the most time-consuming, which is unlikely to be completed alone – you will need an assistant.
We take the height of the ridge approximately 3.5 m – with an independent construction of the frame, which allows you to straighten up to full height.
It is important to remember that in order to build a frame with your own hands, you must know about the existence of two types of rafter systems: inclined and hanging. They differ in the method of attaching nodes to the walls..
In houses where there is no load-bearing wall, the mechanism of hanging rafters will be used, which will only hold on the walls of the house and will be connected with nails or screws with the help of corner overlays. In this case, the width of a single-span building, where this type of rafters is supposed to be, cannot exceed 6 m.If the parameters of the house are greater, for example, when the width of the span exceeds 9 m, then you have to make a larger number of struts.
In two-span houses, where there is only a middle retaining wall, layered rafters are made. In this case, three points of the base (two on the outer walls of the house and one on the inner one) depend on the width of the building: more than 10 m – one support, and with a width of about 15 m, two supports are needed. The rafters are attached to each other using corner plates. The lathing itself is made from slats or boards..
Steam and thermal insulation are key steps in creating an attic. A membrane-type film is laid on top of the crate, which protects against moisture penetration, and glass wool is laid on the inside for insulation.
The next stage is the installation of the roof, interior processing and design of walls and partitions, as well as the installation of windows.
As we have already said above, the most successful will be the use of metal tiles or corrugated board as a material for the roof..
First, take care of sound and thermal insulation from the floor below. This task can be accomplished in several ways: backfilling expanded clay or laying slabs of mineral wool. Both methods involve protection from moisture with hydraulic films. Also pay attention to the wood flooring. Here, the insulation is carried out with the bandaging of the seams of the insulation and the beams..
Choose a floor covering according to your taste. It can be ceramics, parquet or laminate..
Loft windows are a tedious process, but worth it, so consider if you can do it alone. In fact, they do not particularly differ from the front ones, but there is one serious difference – a special type of opening. In addition, during installation, you will have to disassemble the metal tile, while trying to maintain the waterproofing. But this is not scary, because it is thanks to the windows that the room becomes much brighter and more spacious.!
It is very important to know that with irregular clearing of snow and ice, the window can be exposed to temperature changes, therefore it is important to select models in accordance with the climate in which you live..
For a comfortable stay and use of the room, you also need to take care of heating the attic. It should not only maintain and retain heat inside, but also be safe and economical..
All details need to be taken into account at the initial design stages.. We bring to your attention several methods of heating the attic floor.
- Fireplace. An effective, cozy and completely safe way.
- If your home already has a ground floor heating system, then you only need to install additional pipes and batteries.
- Installation of an independent heating system only for the attic – the most correct solution. It is possible to install absolutely any heating boilers, while observing the necessary safety measures. But more convenient – turbocharged gas boilers that do not require a separate room. They are wall-mounted and very easy to use..
- “Warm floor”. To create a comfortable indoor climate, you can install heated floors. This can be done both with your own hands and with the help of specialists. In any case, this is a fairly economical option..
An important point is the competent arrangement of ventilation. Only in this way will attic heating work well..
Insulation and ventilation
Since the attic has the largest contact area with the street, compared to the lower floors, its insulation should be taken very carefully. Today the market offers a variety of insulation materials. However, when solving this problem regarding full-fledged thermal insulation and vapor barrier for the house, do not forget about the main conditions, and then this will reduce not only heat loss and heating costs of the house, but also protect the ceiling and walls from dampness, rot and phlegm, ice formation on the roof … The choice of materials for the “roofing pie” must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of SNiP.
When choosing a finish in a store, focus primarily on the characteristics of your home.. For example, where it is hot in summer and frosty in winter, the insulation must be resistant to external circumstances. Therefore, one of the main conditions will be thickness. The colder, the denser it should be, and, conversely, if you live in the south, where the temperature practically does not drop below zero in winter, you can choose a material that is thinner..
The most versatile and the most budgetary one is based on mineral wool; expanded polystyrene is less commonly used. Sometimes it is possible to use an insulating layer consisting of modern filling agents or materials in the form of a liquid sprayed onto the walls and solidified into a solid form. In all these cases, the roof will come out no less stable..
With the correct assembly of the “roofing pie”, the construction of which consists of metal or corrugated board, lathing, waterproofing membrane, rafter system, properly equipped ventilation of the under-roof space, it is imperative to extend the days of your roof’s life. Never play the lottery “will blow – will not blow”, but “shake your head” expert advice.
To create a beautiful and cozy living space, you can use, as a finishing material from the inside, wood, various types of composite panels, HPL panels (or in Russian HPL – high pressure laminate). No less popular is the attic, decorated with your own hands using drywall sheets (GKL).
The roof covering should be made of lightweight materials: corrugated board, metal tiles and similar materials, capable of lightening the weight of the mechanism, taking into account the load that will be transferred to an existing building.
First, before remodeling the attic, you need to make drawings and make an estimate. This way you will see in advance what difficulties you will have to face..
It is not easy to develop a mansard roof plan alone: certain knowledge and skills in designing and carrying out specific calculations are important here. You cannot make mistakes: then the structure of the building will be unreliable, and besides, it can damage the general building. Although if the idea is not too complicated, then you can do it yourself.
Everything must be included in the estimate: from the beginning of construction to the decoration of the premises.
One of the simplest tasks, which you can definitely cope with with your own hands, is the device of interior partitions. Usually, drywall and metal profiles are used for these purposes.. Everything is done quickly enough and at minimal cost.
The design is simple: a frame, and plasterboard boards are attached to it. At the end, the sheathing of the partition is made. To do this, you can use lining, block house, imitation of timber or even plywood with wallpaper – a matter of taste..
After insulating the attic, you should think about finishing. Of course, it all depends on how you will use this room. The peculiar geometry gives excellent perspectives for creative design solutions. Immediately, we note that the finishing process is a complex of tasks, each of which has its own function.. Let’s take a closer look at the materials for finishing.
- The most popular material is plastic lining. Advantages: uniqueness, budget, environmental friendliness. The installation of the board can be different: diagonally or in a circle, horizontal or vertical. Of the minuses, it is worth noting the fragility and, perhaps, weak resistance to negative factors.
- Not the most expensive material – plywood sheet. Covering walls is easy enough for them. It also has excellent sound and heat insulation properties, no preliminary leveling of the surface is required before installation..
- Finishing the attic with plasterboard will allow you to embody the most original design solutions: it can be used to create suspended ceilings, arches and even columns. Moreover, this material easily absorbs moisture, which is its negative side. But if you choose a special type that is resistant to moisture, then such a finish will serve you for a very long time..
Tips & Tricks
So, let’s summarize and summarize the above.
To design a beautiful and high-quality attic you will need:
- careful design of the future extension;
- strengthening load-bearing walls and foundations;
- removal of the roof;
- erection of a frame (it will be quite easy for you to assemble it with your own hands);
- roof insulation, waterproofing;
- installation of windows;
- interior decoration and insulation.
With excessive savings, as practice shows, the house can end up being of poor quality and unattractive. Therefore, choose materials wisely, take into account the recommendations of experts, consult with relatives and friends, as well as with those who already have a similar experience..
It’s not so easy to design an attic with your own hands, but if you get down to business seriously, without haste and fuss, carefully study all the pros and cons, while taking note of all our tips, then you will get a wonderful warm room that will significantly increase useful square meters in your home and will delight you for many years.
For the construction of the attic, see the following video.