Tuesday, 20 January 2015 4:24:56 PM Australia/Sydney
How to create roof space for living & storage
Almost every house has roof space that can be used as an extra storage or even living area. But take care - you can damage your roof space if done incorrectly.
Begin with expert advice
Creating a safe and functional roof space is different for every house, so talk to someone with experience like a carpenter, builder, building designer or architect. They'll quickly be able to tell you what's possible with your roof space.
Create an access point
If your roof space has an access hole you'll know that using this for regular access to your roof space isn't going to work! Depending on the available space there are two options. If you have ample space, consider installing a permanent stairway up to your roof space. If space is an issue, then attic ladders that sit flush with the ceiling when closed are ideal.
Introduce light and ventilation
If you're going to be using your roof space regularly then installing a skylight or two is a great idea. Installing a skylight that opens to let in fresh air solves the problem of ventilation, too!
Your electrician can easily provide temporary power to your roof space for use during the construction phase, but save time and money by having it permanently installed if you know where you will want it once the job is done. Also, let your electrician know what you will want to power in your roof space, from lighting and heating to appliances. They will then be able to allow for it all from the beginning, saving time and money later.
Framing the roof space
This process begins with installing the floor, and is generally a straightforward process, although there are a few key considerations. How will you get long lengths of timber (if required) into your roof space? How will you fasten the floor to the existing ceiling frame without causing damage? And how will the new floor be kept level? Ask your contractor to answer all these questions before they begin to avoid any surprises later!
Given the heat that builds up in a roof space, it's essential to insulate. Make sure this happens before the wall and ceiling lining for your roof space goes in, as it cannot be retrofitted without pulling the linings down again.
Lining the roof space
There are plenty of choices for lining your roof space - plasterboard, timber lining, pre-finished panelling, plywood and hardboard are all commonly used. Again, check the sizing of any lining materials to ensure it will fit the access point to your roof space.
Now you can enjoy your roof space, and finish your job with paint or trim and a floor covering and furniture if it's a living space. Carpet or other soft coverings are a great choice for reducing traffic noise to those below. Visit your nearest Mitre 10 store for further information on creating roof space for storage and living.