#ProjectAttic: Loft Conversion Update

So it’s been a month since my last attic conversion update, and so much has happened. At the time of the last post work had only really just begun. It felt quite big at that stage, and it was all so exciting. But seriously, we’d only just started on the journey.

I think we are now about two-thirds of the way through the project and things are really starting to take shape.

The work is starting to take its toll on us as a family though, and it’s very hard living in a building site. The mess doesn’t really bother me, although everything is covered in dust, it’s more the disruption to our lives and lack of privacy. I work from home and having people in my house from 8am every morning is quite wearing. Still, it’s a small gripe and it will be worth it in the end.

Plasterboarded en suiteNewly plasterboarded en-suite

What’s Happened in the last month:

When I finished the last post walls and ceilings had been removed and the loft was being cleared. Work has really moved on so here’s a list of all the things the builders have achieved.

  • The stairs went in quite quickly although we decided pretty much straight away that they had to be moved 90mm at some stage to give us  more space in our en-suite.
New stairway
  • We lost the new stud wall into our bedroom so have lived with a dirty builders sheet (above) as a divider ever since.
  • The dormer was constructed which meant there was no roof on the back part of the house. Each night the builders covered it with sheeting but we were pretty much open to the elements for about 10 days.
Floor joists
Part of the roof is removed, and the steels are in with floor joists being laid
Before the flood

Dormer side viewView from the street of the side of the house showing new dormer shape

  • It RAINED. Torrential rain fell for about 6 hours one night and flooded the loft and the house. The sheeting just wasn’t sufficient to hold back the water and it poured from the loft to the bottom of the house. First floor ceilings leaked and the stairs carpet was ruined. Thankfully we are changing it but we’ve had to pull it up and put it in the skip. That’s not a  night I would ever want to repeat. Watching the water pour into your home makes you so helpless and despondent.
Old stairs
  • Roofers turned up eventually and started laying the roof. Several weeks later we are now water tight. Hoorah.
  • The electrician did the first fix of wiring through the loft, landing and house. We need a new consumer unit, that’s still to be done.
  • The plumber did his first fix. Badly. He’s been back to repair it, but it’s still not right. The building contractor has asked him to return.
  • We’ve  bought radiators, bathroom units, a shower door and tray. Sliding door frames, bathroom tiles, flooring, lighting, and more.
  • Walls have been insulated, plaster boarded and now skimmed. We can see the shape of the room finally. The Velux windows have also been installed.
Ceiling Insulation
Velux and plasterboard
Skimmed
  • The stairs were moved yesterday and are in their final position now, the stud wall is back up.
  • The windows have arrived and will be fitted tomorrow.

Decisions:

Never underestimate the number of decisions you need to make. It’s just crazy. Yesterday I bought a sliding door latch and bolt mechanism, decided on the bolt style to hold down the dormer lead and positioned numerous lights and pendants.

Finances:

Our main contractor took a holiday for 3 weeks so we didn’t pay anything until half way through the project. We did pay two-thirds of the bill in one go at that point though. I’m anticipating paying the rest on completion of the work.

New DormerView from the back of the house with our amazing joiner on the roof

What’s next:

I really want it finished now so we’re on the big push to get it ready for the decorator who will come in November.

Tiling happens next week. Cupboards and built-in wardrobes will be constructed and the flooring will go down. Once decorated the glass balustrade and glass wall can be installed. I’ve made a timeline for the next 4 weeks so I have a clear idea of what still need to be done and how long it might take. It has to be finished by the end of November now!

More updates in a few weeks.

 

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7 Comments

  1. October 22, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Oh my, what a huge job! I feel for you with the lack of privacy and all the set backs, that’s terrible, but it looks an amazing space already, will be worth it in the end. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

  2. Bex Kelly
    November 16, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Hi Jen, I’ve only just come across your blog today, and I’m so glad I did, as we are about to undergo a similar attic conversion in our Edwardian house, just looked at your photos and am already dreading the disruption to us and our two young girls!! But it will be worth it!
    All your comments are exactly what I am thinking about in the small hours – lathe and plaster ceiling falling in our daughter, downpours in the middle of the night, squeezing storage into our ensuite, soil waste issues… I will be following your progress, so any tips welcome!!
    Have you sorted lighting out yet? I am thinking amazing pendant in the bedroom rather than spots but what have you decided??
    Bex

    • November 16, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      Hi Bex, thanks for your comment. Things have moved along a little for us but having trouble getting the builders to finish the job. It will get there I hope. We are on the home stretch, and things are starting to come together. The bathroom is in, and tiled and lights went in today. All spotlights in the loft bedroom as it’s not high enough for a pendant, but they look great. I’ve put some pendants outside the door in the large stairwell and again on the landing to satisfy my need for cool lights! I’ll do another post very soon, but keep in touch – I’d love to know how it goes x

      • Bex Kelly
        November 16, 2015 / 7:35 pm

        Thanks Jen, I really didn’t expect a reply so quickly, I don’t know how you find the time… I’ll look forward to your next post re attic
        Kind regards, Bex

  3. February 25, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    That was a big job that was undertaken there! The extra space will be so worth it and best of luck with it also.

  4. March 23, 2016 / 11:15 pm

    Hey Jen, yes you’re right, it can cartainly start to take it’s toll on family life after a while while you’re having a loft conversion done, I can relate to that!
    From the pictures it looks like you have a good company working for you though 🙂
    Your project must be finished now as you said you were aiming for November for the decorator to start?
    Do you have any pictures you can show us of the finished product? 🙂
    Best wishes
    Mike

  5. May 14, 2018 / 9:00 am

    That was a big job and of course it can be difficult living in a property while the building work is undertaken. But the end result looks great.

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