Almost every summer cottage has a residential building, but most of them are quite small. Today we will solve the problem of free space and guest accommodation, as we decided to make a residential attic in the country and convert it into a really comfortable room!
Residential attic - the dream of many of usbecause it’s nice when the room is only yours, and even so big, with a beautiful view. But the time has come to turn the dream into reality, and therefore we rub our hands, prepare a tool, project, materials, and get down to business.
We want to say right away that such an idea is a serious decision, and therefore think three times before starting work!
Stages of conversion of a country attic
Initially, we need to develop an action plan, because every mistake here is a return to the previous stages, loss of time and money. This is the first time we are engaged in such work, and therefore we will try to use all our knowledge. If you miss something, please comment on this in the comments to the article, where you can also leave your feedback on the material you read, or share new ideas with us.
So, let's make a list that will help to achieve a qualitative result:
- Planning! Without this item, nowhere, and therefore we use imagination, computer programs, the advice of neighbors and relatives, we draw a plan. Here we take into account everything to the smallest detail - where the dormer window will be located, how to use the heating of the house to your advantage, perhaps in what place to install ventilation and air conditioning, whether it is necessary to start an electrician, and so on;
- The second stage is a test of opportunities! Everyone can draw a plan and talk about their high-profile ideas, but you should also evaluate your strengths and, most unpleasantly, the thickness of your wallet. It often happens that an unprofessional calculation of expenses can even be changed by 20-30%, but at times. Therefore, check everything again and think about whether it is worth starting, and whether you will definitely pull this project;
- Stage three - the purchase of materials and missing tools. It all depends on the project, because the attic can be made a living area for the summer, and for this it’s enough to pull a cool hammock inside and install a TV. But you can make it a full-fledged living room, and then materials will have to bring in several cars. You will need a tool, and therefore, treat this item carefully;
- Cleaning. Much depends on it, and most importantly - the usable area. It is necessary to free up maximum space, and preferably all at once, but at the same time do everything carefully so as not to break anything, and also so as not to get hurt and injured, because a lot of dust, nails and other attic “surprises” can play a cruel joke ;
- Dimension checking and additional interior planning. Once again, check your plan, and now compare it with the actual size. It is possible that the usual gable roof limits the space, and you will need to replay the room a bit to get a room to use it to its full height. And maybe that everything coincides the first time ... but checking and reconciling dimensions with the project is only good!
- Work with the roof and floor. It is immediately necessary to inspect for breakdowns, as well as eliminate them. Repair of beams, battens, roofs, floors inside the attic - everything is included in this stage. You can immediately provide for the placement of additional windows;
- Communications. It may seem right away that these are inappropriate there, but heating, light and ventilation are 100% needed. Just after cleaning and before starting the main work, it's time to lay cables, pipes, ventilation ducts and so on in the thickness of the walls;
- Attic insulation. We already know how and what to do, and therefore it will be easier here;
- Interior decoration and exterior decoration;
- Interior design for a residential area!
Perhaps this will stop, because we still have to analyze each of the steps in detail, and possibly add additional ones already in the process.
We have long been accustomed to working independently, and therefore will consider this process a gift of fate, because it is very useful and interesting!
New attic plan
Think about the purpose of the premises and the amount of funds that you are willing to spend on reconstruction. Take a piece of paper and make a draft, then make corrections. You can do this until an accurate action plan has been drawn up. Planning is the main process from which the rest of the actions proceed, and by which the estimate is written.
We will leave this work only to you, since we have thousands of readers, and they have even more desires!
Planning will help you reach a certain amount, and right now it needs to be compared with the budget that you have. It’s good when there is free money for the repair of a country house, but if you are close to finances, you need to “cut” the estimate carefully. Try to remove only pretentiousness and uselessness, all vital aspects, such as insulation, interior decoration, preliminary repair and others, it is advisable to leave!
Check your own abilities as well as you are ready to walk on a high roof to change several sections of slate. Do you agree to do the cleaning in the dusty attic and to smell the chemicals while processing the roof beams. If you are not afraid of expenses and work, you can proceed to the next stage!
Materials can be very diverse, because it all depends on the degree of neglect of the premises, as well as the requirements for modernization.
Start collecting estimates in stages:
- Roofs, roofs in general, and materials for their restoration and repair - beams and slats, slate and skates, slate, roofing material, insulation, etc.
- Floor - insulation material, sheathing and decorative trim;
- New walls - lining, paint, putty, polyurethane foam;
- Decor and arrangement - wood for shelves, cable for new wiring, etc.
Thus, by studying each stage of the work and comparing everything with the dimensions and points of the project, you can go to the list of necessary.
For tools - a similar job, starting from what needs to be done: cutting - a hacksaw and a grinder, fastening - bolts, screws, hammers and a screwdriver, and so on.
The only thing that can be stated is the fact that you will not be able to make a purchase at a time. Even the most experienced professionals have minor errors and lack of materials. Therefore, there will be several trips to the construction market!
Cleaning before repair
Country attic for many - the territory of chaos. It’s good if someone stores vegetables here, as in a pantry, well, or a summer residence tool, but it also happens that all the necessary, unnecessary stuff is taken here. These are items from the category of what it’s hard to carry and it’s a pity to throw it - the same old suitcases, inappropriate outerwear, drawers and buckets, broken furniture, etc. In general, all this must be carefully lowered down and sorted out to the desired one and what, finally, can already be scrapped. Do not spare anything superfluous and make a big bonfire, because now it’s still impossible to store much of what was previously stored in the attic.
Next, you have to carefully sweep the room. It is quite realistic that there is broken glass and rusty nails, and therefore we use all protective equipment - gloves, a respirator, glasses. Cleaning should be done in a quality manner, and therefore we should not be injured and wasted time!
After cleaning, you can climb to the attic of the building with a project, tape measure, laser level, a sheet of paper and a pencil. We will need all this to compare the capabilities, as well as the arrangement of repair parameters inside.
It will be necessary to transfer the dimensions from the project to the plane of the interior, compare the preliminary dimensions, repulse the lines of the walls, ceiling, floor leveling. Immediately you need to take into account the “pies” of insulation, communication, perhaps installing a new window, arranging furniture and reinforcing the floor, stairs to the attic and more.
Try not to rush at this stage. These are just sizes and numbers, lines and markings, but they are very important, because if you distract and do something wrong right now, you can get, for example, a curved ceiling, or uneven walls, other defects.
Roof and floor repair
If even a summer house is only a few years old, repairs may still be needed. Many factors affect building materials and their condition, and therefore we should not leave something in a defective condition under the lining. For example, if the slate burst, water will moisten the insulation and walls from under it during rain. If there are problems with the floor, then it can fail and cracks in the ceiling below, in the main rooms of the building.
Repair and additional equipment must be carried out taking into account the fact that the floor and roof will be insulated, which means that you need to make reinforcement, immediately create an additional crate, grease and blow all the seams.
Also, at this stage, we would recommend thinking about installing a skylight. But now we want to say that the description of the whole process draws on a full-fledged article, which it promises to issue in the near future.
Communications in the attic
Be sure to prepare for laying communications, but only necessarily taking into account security requirements. All ventilation ducts must be installed firmly and have access to the street, cables are laid in corrugations or plastic boxes. You need to talk about heating at a serious engineering level, which necessarily affects the design of the whole house!
If a little more about these works, then we believe that individual masters, each with an individual specialization, must perform them. It is clear that I don’t especially want to spend money on the wages of professionals, but it is here that is necessary. Only after installation by specialists will everything work correctly and safely.
On heating, you can reason a little separately. Not so long ago we talked about home heating and special heaters. So, based on this knowledge, we can draw conclusions that will help optimize the production of heat in the future:
- If you will insulate the roof, then the floor of the attic (or the ceiling in the house) itself should not be insulated. Thus, part of the heat from the main heating of the house will fall into the attic;
- Another positive factor is the chimney, which often goes in the center of the house or somewhere on the side, but through the attic. Heat from it will help to save on heating;
- It is worth considering the additional heating, for example, the installation of oil radiators or infrared heaters.
How to insulate the attic?
We already have an answer to this question, and it’s pretty good, and therefore we won’t arrange repetitions, but simply invite you to return to our article written earlier.
Pay special attention to the insulation of the roof and its isolation from moisture that can get outside. Regarding floor insulation, think carefully about whether it is worth doing, because if the house is constantly residential, then winter heating will be in the attic only for the benefit. You can also borrow some knowledge from articles on the external insulation of a country house, the floor in the garage. A pretty good way is to spray polyurethane foam!
Exterior finish of the attic
By and large, all the exterior decoration occurred at the previous stages, when the roof and roof were being repaired. But here I would like to note one special moment - the stairs to the attic (we talked about country stairs here). We attributed it to the exterior, although it would be worthwhile to pay special attention to this. But again, it is quite difficult to do this, because the staircase can be of several types - wooden or steel, angular, straight, spiral or spiral, capital staircase from the street or a compact attic staircase from the inside.
What else to say about the exterior finish? Perhaps it’s worth thinking about updating all the seams, joints of the roofing material, taking care of drains from the roof, installing additional equipment, such as snow retainers and visors, as well as slopes on the roof windows, if any are planned.
Mansard in the loft style (video)
Interior decoration of the attic
Interior decoration is a very interesting occupation, since the process includes many stages with tools and imagination, which practically do not require a professional approach. Yes, something can be done not quite beautifully, since you are trying it for the first time, but certainly it will not be dangerous. Therefore, let the communication be done by professionals, and you can do the finishing yourself.
In theory, everything has already been included in the project, and therefore we can only pick up the prepared materials in the attic and get to work. Covering the ceiling, walls and floor, laying seams and joints, primer and painting, varnishing and preliminary antiseptic treatment. Yes, all processes really transform the inner attic space and bring it into a residential state. And therefore, it’s worth working very skillfully here, in support of the future style and interior, because you want to live here!
Attic plane (video)
After about a week, when all the building mixtures, varnishes and paints have dried and stop poisoning us with their aromas, you can climb into the attic and arrange and decorate. We will leave all such matters to you personally, we will only advise you not to go too far with the furniture, since it is heavy and takes up a lot of space. For the rest, even the technique of ensuring comfort, you can not be shy. Also, do not leave the interior in strict minimalism, as it is very fashionable now. This style is good with some admixtures of classics or modernity, and therefore a couple of pictures, napkins, curtains or blinds, bright bedspreads and interesting accents in the decor will not interfere.
We set the basic rhythm of transforming the old attic into a living room above the house, but already each of our readers will have to individually think what exactly and how they want to modernize or transform in the attic of their country house. If something is unclear, we will be happy to help you, you just have to write an interesting question under the heading Answers to questions!
An interesting idea of refitting a country loft (video)
Residential attic in the country - interesting and even entertaining, and as a result, it’s practical, because you get another, rather large room in the house.