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Extending the loft into the living world: how it works
Extending the loft into the living world: how it works

Video: Extending the loft into the living world: how it works

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Video: How a loft conversion works 2023, January
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More storage space, more living space, more quality of life - good reasons for converting an attic. However, if you want to extend your pointed floor, you have to plan carefully and take some things into account.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Converting pointed loft into living space: The most important tips

  • Extending the loft into the living space?
  • When is a pointed floor expansion worthwhile?
  • Requirements for the removal of a pointed floor
  • 1. First check the roof construction, then remove the pointed floor
  • 2. Insulation for attics
  • 3. Windows, heating and electrics when removing loft
  • Remove pointed floor with impact sound insulation
  • Which stairs are suitable for loft extensions?
  • 1. Foldable attic stairs
  • 2. Space-saving staircase for pointed floors
  • 3rd spiral staircase
  • What you need to know about windows in loft removal
  • Expand loft and implement creative ideas

Table of Contents Table of Contents Converting pointed loft into living space: The most important tips

  • Extending the loft into the living space?
  • When is a pointed floor expansion worthwhile?
  • Requirements for the removal of a pointed floor
  • 1. First check the roof construction, then remove the pointed floor
  • 2. Insulation for attics
  • 3. Windows, heating and electrics when removing loft
  • Remove pointed floor with impact sound insulation
  • Which stairs are suitable for loft extensions?
  • 1. Foldable attic stairs
  • 2. Space-saving staircase for pointed floors
  • 3rd spiral staircase
  • What you need to know about windows in loft removal
  • Expand loft and implement creative ideas

You can't do much with a pointed floor anyway? You bet! Of course, you can use it as a classic storage space. But the space directly under the roof also comes into its own as a playroom or oasis of calm. A pointed floor extension needs to be well planned. Because here you don't just have to comply with building regulations. Windows, stairs and insulation play a special role. Above all, you should ask yourself what you want to use the newly created space for in the long term. This saves you work and additional costs.

Extending the loft into the living space?

The bad news in advance: If you are planning to convert your loft into a nursery, you may have to rethink. Because a classic pointed floor with a usual height of maximum 1.80 meters does not meet the requirements for a permanent lounge, as required by law. A room height of approximately 2.30 meters is provided for this. In addition, a fully fledged living space must meet the following guidelines:

  • At least eight square meters of floor space
  • Two escape routes, usually the stairwell and an escape window
  • Fire-resistant or fire-retardant walls, supports and pillars

Lounges are subject to very specific provisions - for example in relation to window surfaces and the type of stairs. It is best to ask for this directly at the local building authority, where you can also get your building permit. Depending on the house type and region, there can be differences.

When is a pointed floor expansion worthwhile?

The good news: even if you have a conventional pointed floor, it is often worth upgrading. You can then not only use the attic, but also as an adjoining room for various purposes. If the pointed floor is less than 1.50 meters, you often do not even need a building permit. In any case, you should inquire about this with the responsible authority.

Requirements for the removal of a pointed floor

First of all, get an overview of the current condition of your roof. Check the roof structure, insulation and chimney. The roof pitch should be at least 20 degrees. Inclinations between 35 and 50 degrees are even better. Ideally, the user of the new room should be able to walk upright in the attic. The legal requirements with regard to thermal insulation and fire protection, for example escape routes, escape windows and escape routes, are also important.

Spitzbodenausbau
Spitzbodenausbau

The expansion of the pointed floor is almost always worthwhile. Ideally, however, the user should be able to walk upright in it.

Photo: iStock / artursfoto

1. First check the roof construction, then remove the pointed floor

The most important question at the beginning of your planning: Is your pointed floor fit for expansion? The load-bearing capacity of the roof structure must be guaranteed and appropriate. So have the floor's statics checked. The wood of the roof structure must be dry, free of pests and rot. The roof covering should also be flawless. Check the roof for gaps and damage and correct them before taking further steps. This applies not only to the roof tiles, but also to the masonry and the chimney. The experts are in demand when there are cracks, wet edges or moisture damage. It may be necessary to renovate the roof here before starting to remove the pointed floor.

2. Insulation for attics

A pointed floor is more exposed to wind and weather than other rooms in the house. It can get particularly hot in summer. In winter it is important to avoid cooling down. For this reason, insulation is particularly important when installing pointed floors. Here the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) regulates the exact insulation values. Single-family houses differ from apartment buildings, living spaces from storage spaces. Basically, a vapor barrier is usually advantageous. It counteracts mold, protects against moisture and drafts.

3. Windows, heating and electrics when removing loft

Another prerequisite for expanding the attic is well-sealed windows, which should also comply with the guidelines for energy values ​​and fire protection. A radiator, on the other hand, is not absolutely necessary. Smaller rooms can do without them. You should definitely leave the power connections to a specialist. If empty conduits and lines were not installed in the house construction, radiators and electricity can become a real cost factor. It is important to weigh up the long-term benefits of this.

Remove pointed floor with impact sound insulation

If you are not extremely insensitive to noise, it is advisable to include impact sound insulation when removing the attic. Otherwise, every single step can be heard in the rooms under the attic. And that can be annoying in the long run. Which flooring you choose is a matter of taste. However, keep in mind that the thicker the insulation, the higher the floor will be. This means that you have to accept compromises in room height. The flooring also depends on the use. If children are to roam wildly on the pointed floor in the future, the floor should be robust and insensitive.

Which stairs are suitable for loft extensions?

Typically, three types of stairs are used for pointed floors: folding attic stairs, space-saving stairs and spiral stairs. No matter which staircase you choose: plan a little more space. If you use the attic stairs regularly, you should not underestimate easy access. Moving the attic hole can be structurally difficult. So try to work with what you have. Despite sloping ceilings, always check the possibility of a railing and child locks.

1. Foldable attic stairs

If you have very little space and if the loft is primarily intended to serve as additional storage space, a foldable attic staircase is ideal. Since you are unlikely to use them as often, you can also cut back on convenience for a lower cost. Collapsible attic stairs should also be airtight so that the floor below does not lose too much energy. Also plan a parapet railing when removing the pointed floor. So you can be sure that no bad accidents will happen here.

2. Space-saving staircase for pointed floors

The space-saving staircase for access to the attic is also popular. It is space-saving, but not as safe as regular stairs. If you remove your pointed floor, however, it is permissible and has either narrower or alternating steps. The latter are also known as butterfly or samba steps and are broadly tapering at one point. For space-saving stairs, you have to plan a stair width of 50 to 80 centimeters.

3rd spiral staircase

On a spiral staircase, the steps are attached to a post in the middle and run upwards in a spiral. The railing on the side provides a secure hold. Allow a diameter of one meter here. In comparison, a spiral staircase takes up a lot more space and is therefore usually not an option for pointed floors.

Spindeltreppe
Spindeltreppe

In addition to folding attic stairs and space-saving stairs, spiral stairs are also suitable for loft extensions.

Photo: epr / Kenngott

What you need to know about windows in loft removal

Windows provide daylight and adequate ventilation. However, keep in mind that a low window may need a railing. Basically, windows should be installed so that you can look outside while sitting and standing. Large windows in particular may require rafters to be cut. Additional stabilization is then due here. However, several smaller windows achieve the same effect and you save yourself the additional work. Fire protection regulations sometimes require the installation of a gable window in some construction projects. Usually, however, this is only mandatory if the attic is used as a regular living space. If the roof windows are to be childproof, then swing windows with locking bolts or swing windows that are opened at the top are recommended. There are also lockable windows for attics. Also consider the benefits of solar control glass. Such a pointed floor can get really hot in summer.

What does it take to remove a pointed floor?

There is no general calculation here. This depends very much on the current condition of the roof. Items to be scheduled are, for example:

  • Thermal insulation: approx. 80 euros per square meter (material and craftsmen)
  • Impact sound insulation: 10 to 40 euros (laminate)
  • Stairs: from 100 euros
  • Windows: 150 to 300 euros, large ones can also cost up to 3, 000 euros

There are also costs for light switches and sockets, plasterboard and wallpaper, paint, furniture, decoration. Certain tasks, such as electrical work, should be undertaken by a specialist. The installation of windows requires a bit of manual skill. The floor is usually easy to lay yourself. Depending on the project, the expansion of the pointed floor costs around 500 euros per square meter. Always plan a buffer of ten percent for cost estimates.

Expand loft and implement creative ideas

Small doesn't necessarily mean boring. You also have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to removing your pointed floor. The attic is not only suitable as a playroom or storage room. Also consider the following options:

  • Dressing room
  • Library
  • Meditation room
  • Yoga room
  • Fitness room
  • Hobby and craft room

If you use bright colors, the room appears larger. Individual areas can be clearly separated with different colors. You create holiday flair with bamboo or tatami. Beanbags are great for lounging around. A pillow corner or a hammock offer optimal opportunities for relaxation. You create atmosphere with LED strips or fairy lights. Knee rack shelves for sloping ceilings offer plenty of storage space. You can buy them or build them yourself. In this way you can also expand the loft into a creative living space.

Anja Schmidt

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