Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Loft Has Started!

There is a hatch in our bathroom ceiling and if you open it and climb a ladder you come to our undeveloped loft space. It has been used as a dumping ground by the last owner. Although he cleared out all his boxes, there are piles of wood left up there alongside odds and ends like old water tanks. We look around for treasures all the while envisioning a giant wood pile when I cut up all the wood stored up there. We find a few fun things like this old wooden scooter and keep it. There are little ways to expand your living space when living in small terrace house with small gardens. Your two options are a back extension (pictured above which you previously saw us add an extra 5 feet and put our kitchen in) and a loft extention. The above plans show how you can dormer the back wall out so you have more headspace, while the front must remain in keeping with surrounding houses on the block. From the front the only way to tell if someone has a loft conversion are from the skylights (velux's) on the front roof. There are two types of loft conversions. Dormer: which just builds straight up without character and shingles the whole thing. You can sort of see one in the picture above behind the tree. The other type is a Mansard Loft. This kind builds the brick party wall up between the two owners and has a slight slope of back wall with the windows or Juliet balcony built out straight from that (as in the pictures above). This is the type we are having put in as it is more in keeping with the old Victorian/Edwardian style. We will have slate tiles put on (which last over 100 years). Interestingly, the owners building the wall up pay for it but the adjoining owners pay back half of it when they build their loft. Above are the proposed back plans. We have opted for windows instead of the Juliet balcony. Two windows will be in the room and one will be in the shower room. The floor space will be developed into one large room and a bathroom (click on the drawing to enlarge). The drawing in red is an extra space we are having added with an extra sky light. It used to be mandatory as a fire escape out the front as it is a low roof window. Now regulation either requires fire doors throughout the house (goodbye character doors) or a whole fire alarm wired up in every room and hooked up to your electric panel. This is what we are having done. There will be a door put into the eaves in the front so that we actually have some storage. Otherwise there is no storage in these terraced houses.

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