Friday, July 22, 2011

Attic Progress

The attic work is under way, and it's going well. We pulled out the fitted wardrobe - which took a little longer than expected, because whoever fitted it had some of fetish about using lots and lots of nails. The removed chipboard and plasterboard are going into a skip, which arrived yesterday, and will be filled up tomorrow. The more solid bits of actual timber that were forming the structure, I'm hanging on to; some of them have already become the frame of a miniature greenhouse, and the rest will find uses in the garden.

The next bit was putting down flooring. First, though, it was necessary to raise the level a bit, as there are lots of wires, pipes, and other bits that cross the actual rafters. The optimal height to raise it was exactly 5cm, but annoyingly, this falls short of the floor level in the bedroom, since the bedroom floor is on thicker, deeper rafters. I looked into what I'd need to do to make the floors match in level, but it would have been difficult, and made the overall structure rather weaker than I was happy with. So there are 5cm square beams crossing the rafters at right angles, about 35cm apart, and the high-density particleboard "loft panels" rest on these. There were support beams, wires, and other things to navigate around, and by and large, it has come out very neatly. There are a few more bits to slot in, but that's waiting on the replacement jigsaw blades I bought this morning.

We had a local electrician in to lay cables for the sockets and light fittings, and those have been accommodated as well. The cables will disappear behind panelling of one kind or another when everything is finished. Once everything else is in place, the electrician will come back in to do the final fittings.

Since there's a support beam at ceiling level as well, the old opening for the fitted wardrobe is becoming the opening into the new space - a doorway without a door. This will become a feature, and I plan to put a nice timber step - only a centimetre or two high - in the opening to allow for the difference in floor levels.

We're also putting up a hardboard ceiling - this won't be the final surface; it's just to keep the insulation material at bay for now. It's about two-thirds in place, and is awaiting the jigsaw blades as well before it can be finished.

The next bit will be to put in the storage. There are various details to work around with this, as there were with the flooring; beams and access to the water tank being the main ones. Once I'm done with the floor and ceiling, I can start to measure and calculate how we can get the most storage out of the space that's there. Long drawers and pull-out rails will certainly feature. The spare mattresses, which were such a nuisance to get in and out before, are being disposed of; we got a chair-bed for the study downstairs, and we'll get an air mattress or two in case of extra need. Not having those will free up a lot of storage, and put less constraint on what we can do.

And when all of that is in place, we'll finish it out with tongue-and-groove panelling, as in the bathroom downstairs, and put something a bit nicer on the floor.

No comments: