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Living through a loft conversion

(12 Posts)
PenguinsAreAce Sat 06-Jun-15 07:48:05

We live in a fairly standard 3 bed semi. We are planning a loft conversion. The builders say it will be around 10 weeks of work, knocking through the ceiling at about week 4 after starting externally. Has anyone lived through similar? Can you tell me about it please? I want to know what to expect in terms of coping living effectively in a building site. Also, any tips?

mashpot Sat 06-Jun-15 08:00:14

Yes, I am almost at the end. Probably worse situation than you as we're in a flat so didn't have a downstairs to escape to! I am totally fed up of it now but it was possible to live through.

The worst thing is the house being really messy and dusty. The carpets are ruined despite the floor protector stuff they put down. Not the end of the world as we need new carpet running up to the loft anyway but we had some unforeseen expenses so don't know when we'll be able to afford it.

I think what made it all bearable was that we got on well with our builder. We picked the one that we knew would be doing the majority of the work rather than the other one we liked but who would have had lots of different subcontractors in. Good luck!

JassyRadlett Sat 06-Jun-15 08:10:14

Watching with interest as we're about to start too - and by the time they finish will probably have a newborn in the house.

PenguinsAreAce Sat 06-Jun-15 08:13:02

Thanks Mash and glad to hear you have survived!

The dust does sound awful, and the builder has been very honest about what that might be like, which I think is positive.

I am concerned about how we will use the upstairs in the evenings (eg kids bedrooms), or will we simply have to camp in the living room?! Our youngest will be three, so things like waking up in the night and walking along landing may be a worry?

Chimchar Sat 06-Jun-15 09:59:34

watching with interest....we're planning on doing ours soon.

We built a big extension on the back of our house a few years back. It was ok to start, but as the months went on, it became almost unbearable (horrendous personal circumstances at the time). Now though, the benefits of the extension have paid off, and the mess, the dust, the dirt, the people etc are all forgotten!

Good luck everyone!

newstart15 Sat 06-Jun-15 11:03:12

Where will go the stairs go? In a bedroom then you can assume that will be out of bounds. The joists will need reinforcing and that is very noisy, I found that the hardest.

For the first few weeks you should be largely fine as most work can be fone from outside except for builder interrupts for tea and use of the loo!

There is usually a period where your patience wears out but then you see the process and you feel positive.The stairs going in is a milestone.

I can recall one evening trying to clean a floor of the dust and it just felt never ending but the end result is worth it..A bit like labour!

PenguinsAreAce Sat 06-Jun-15 13:04:13

Thanks. The stairs will be off the landing. I think maybe we may have to camp downstairs for a period.

PenguinsAreAce Sat 06-Jun-15 13:05:21

Ok, idiot question. Do builders need supervising continuously? DH and I both work.

RandomMess Sat 06-Jun-15 13:06:17

We got ours to put up scaffolding and they did nearly everything that way and only broke through and did the stairs near the end.

Mind you the whole thing didn't take as long as 10 weeks tbf...

Mutley77 Sat 06-Jun-15 14:19:34

We had a similar loft conversion (with two children - one a toddler) and living on a busy road and it was fine. Not always 100% ideal but fine!

The first few weeks were totally non intrusive as they were working from outside only - no supervision or access to the house needed (other than a power lead running through the loft hatch to a socket on the first floor landing). There was a complication with heavy downpour which resulted in rain pouring into the first floor - but they came out during the night to fix that.

There was a "big day" where they knocked through and that was intrusive - luckily everyone was at work/school/childcare (and probably did need to be out of the house as each door was sealed to prevent the dust through the house). After that it was a bit mixed for a few weeks. Until the stair case went in it was fine, but after that there were builders in and out traipsing up and down the stairs. I had to keep reminding them to keep the front door shut to keep the toddler escaping - on days when I was at home. I also had some concern that the house was unattended when they disappeared up to the loft to work with the front door wide open and tools /radio blaring - on days when I was working.

What are you worried about in terms of using the first floor? I don't remember that being an issue.

PenguinsAreAce Sat 06-Jun-15 21:53:41

Thanks both. That sounds reassuring.

I guess my concerns around upstairs centre on what hazards there might be on the landing. I can't imagine what it will be like really when it is all in progress. Maybe from what you say not as bad as I fear.

Other threads on here have freaked me out about workmen (thefts and more disgusting incidents). We might consider putting locks on the bedroom doors if we will need to leave labourers in the house when we are out, and then we can put stuff out of their way in there. I am not so afraid of mess and dust. DH and I have lived in a house that we were renovating pre-DC, and the way our downstairs is laid out it should be possible to minimise spread from the stairs. We are planning to re carpet after the job is finished.

mashpot Sun 07-Jun-15 07:08:50

I have a 3.5 yo and a nearly 1 year old. They have both loved the stream of people through the house! My builders aren't amazing at cleaning up so there is lots of little bits of rubble in the hallway at the end of the day so we instigated an always wear slippers/shoes rule. They don't leave any dangerous tools around though.

I've been on mat leave so around quite a lot although I got out the house as much as possible but the builder would give me advance warning of when really messy stuff was happening so I could be out - like plastering the hallway.

I was away for a few days and asked if they could rejig the schedule to cut through for the staircase while I was away as I know that's the dustiest bit.

I couldn't have coped with putting locks on doors or anything, I think you just have to try and find a builder you trust.

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