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Raising a roof

Many home owner look at doing a loft conversion but some properties are less suited to a loft conversion than others. This can often be the case with some bungalows either the pitch is simply to shallow or the ridge of the roof is too low. Even if you can stand up in your loft and the head height is a little tight with the addition of loft insulation bringing the ceilings down and an increase in the thickness of the floor joists it can still be unachievable to convert the loft. However it can still be the best value project for that property so what is the answer? You need to raise the roof this can be done by simply taking the roof off and replacing it with a roof with a stepper pitch and an increased ridge height and therefore more standing room. Or staying with the same pitch and increasing the wall heights to move the whole structure up and give more height or a combination of the two. This usually gives rise to the need for structural steels in the ridge to give the roof more strength and allow for the removal of trusses or other supporting timbers or masonry columns. It will also be likely that you will require steels in to support the new floor structure. This has the advantage of reducing the spans that the floor joists have to make meaning that their depth can be reduced and this again helps with head height. It also makes it easier to get workable stairs and there are various building regulations relating to the depths of the stair risers and the length of stair treads. It is also important to maintain the stairwell ceiling height which is made easier to achieve when these works have been included in the conversion. This does mean more materials and extra work and labour charges but can be well worth while in certain properties particularly those that are set in areas that has high re-sale prices. If you can turn a standard small three bedroom bungalow into a two story house the value of the property can increases dramatically. With all the space down stairs now being able to be utilised as living space you get the added bonus of a large property down stairs. Although this type of building project is too ambitious for most home owners done by the right building contractor they create some amazing houses that command a premium price.

Adding a home extension with a glass roof

Many home owners are looking to extend their homes but fear that the much needed extra living space could make their existing rooms darker. There are a couple of options to make sure that you maximise the amount of light that you can enjoy in your new home extension. The first and simplest is to add roof lights to the new home extension. This is often done by carrying the ceiling height up to follow the rafters often called a warm roof construction detail. This not only gives a feeling of space and luxury but also allows the roof windows to let in the maximum amount of natural light. The other but more costly option is to add a glass roof to part or all of the home extension. If it is added to one side of a pitched roof design it not only adds a great amount of natural light it also give a real design statement that can separate your home extension from an average home extension. The most preferred and aesthetically pleasing are glass roofs that are either completely finished in coloured aluminium or a mixture of aluminium and smooth hardwood timbers. Although it is now possible to get engineered glass roof structural components, these are usually used as either rafters or purlins.

Period property renovation specialists

Those who own and love period property often marvel at that most distinctive and unique of external finishes Stucco render. Originally used as a cheaper alternative to stone frontage often on period terraces and grand country houses it is as highly skilled to apply as its finish is impressive. Its basic components are sand and lime often with plant and animal fibres these were added to give more strength to the finished render. Good stucco render can look very close to the stone facades it was designed to mimic. The best examples are usually found in London, Bath and Birkenhead. The lime based plaster used internally allows the solid masonry walls that these techniques cover to breath. In fact when these original building techniques are repaired or covered with more modern building materials. It often leads to issues as the walls are no longer allowed to breathe the moisture builds up between the layers and starts to either push off the render, plaster or leads to salting and contaminated plaster. Other products are also used like lecca floor insulation that allow floors to breath rather than a single or multiple layer damp proof system that are not always the best solutions to repairing or replacing period property floors. Many of these floors were never designed to be completely free of damp they were designed to breath and as long as the properties gutters, drains and pointing were well maintained and not covered in non breathable coverings they were fine for hundreds of years. Often modern techniques like cement based repointing or covering these floors in vinyl floorings or carpets where the cause of damp issues rather than them being defective.