Archive for July, 2012

Electrical Access in the Loft

electrics loft conversionRegardless of the type of room you are creating with a loft conversion, there will be a need for electrical access. This will ensure you have power points for plugs and lighting. Even if you are not converting in the loft into a habitable space, electricity always comes in useful.

The wires

Installing electricity into a loft should be done in the early stages of a loft conversion; the good thing about the wires is that they are thin and extremely flexible; this means that they can be easily manipulated and placed into position. This makes the job much easier than plumbing which often involves the use of hard plastic and copper pipes. Feeding wires into the loft from floors below should not pose too many problems, other than the possibility of drilling through floorboards, which is often more messy than it is difficult. The biggest task will be hiding the multitude of differently coloured wires needed for different purposes – this can be done during a first fix.

Hiding the wires

The only signs of electricity in a completed loft conversion will be the sockets, light switch and light fitting, all of the wires will be well hidden behind the plasterboard and insulation on the walls and ceiling. Hiding the wires is done during the first fix.

First fixing is carried out prior to any insulating and plasterboarding being carried out. Wires will need to be well protected, this will involve tacking them along the inside of wall and roof joists and as tightly as possible to brick walls.

It will be important for the builders carrying out the plasterboard work to know that wires need to be brought through the plasterboard, and where they need to be pulled through. This will be very important for ensuring light fittings and sockets are in the correct place.

Once the plasterboard and plastering is complete, all wires will be hidden will be away from view. After this a second fix can be carried out, fixing the light fittings, switches and plug sockets in the correct places.

Using an electrician

When compared with the building work and plumbing that goes into a loft conversion, fitting an electricity supply is a fairly easy job. That being said, it should not be attempted by anyone that is inexperienced in the field. It is recommended that you use a professional electrician for any electrical work that needs doing. This will ensure that a job is done efficiently and correctly.

Loft Conversion: Practical Considerations

Loft Conversion Advice

Realising the potential of your loft

If you are looking for some extra space in the home, why not consider a loft conversion? It is much more cost effective and less stressful than moving home, is cheaper and better for space than building a ground extension and, best of all, it can add significant value to your home – up to 25% on the original value. When planning a loft, there are some practical considerations that you should take into account.

Space

The space that you have available will go a long way to determining the type of loft conversion you can have. If you loft has vast amounts of space, then you may be able to choose a Velux conversion, this will involve no changes to the roof and is by far the cheapest of any loft job. If however there is a lack of space, you are going to need to create some. This will probably mean a dormer conversion is needed. This will give you the required space but will be a much more expensive job to complete.

A general rule of thumb with lofts is that if the space from floor to the tallest part of the ceiling measures 230cm, you will have the required height needed for a conversion.

Access

Access will also be important. If the loft is being turned into a “habitable room”, for example, a bedroom, bathroom or playroom, it must have a permanent staircase. You will need to think about the space you are going to be losing below when installing a staircase; therefore it can be wise to use stairs that are less wide than those on lower floors. A staircase must also provide 210cm of headroom.

Safety

Safety is of paramount importance for obvious reasons. Fire regulations should be at the top of the list in any plans; this will mean purchasing materials that comply with building regulations in terms of fire resistance. Smoke alarms, escape access and sprinkler systems will also be required. Existing doors in a two storey home will also need to be replaced for fire resistant alternatives.