An unheated and rarely used attic - boring and ugly! An excellent replacement for it is an elegant attic. But to build it, you need to carefully design the entire house and think over the smallest details.
Features of the
The construction of houses with an attic, for all its attractiveness, is more difficult than simple structures. It is required to carefully consider the layout and how the passage to the top will be organized. A very important point is taking into account the load created by additional rooms. The roof should initially be designed in such a way as to insure the room against unpleasant phenomena. Converting an ordinary roof into an attic is quite difficult, and the cost of such repairs will be high.
More space can be placed under two slopes than under one, but this option has its weaknesses. To always keep warm inside, you will need to design the heating system and ventilation as carefully as possible, and install a boiler of sufficient power. Typical designs sometimes do not take into account the need to build a staircase to the upper room. Therefore, the owners need to decide for themselves how they will go up and down. It is worth thinking about how the windows and the facade will look from the outside.
Advantages and disadvantages
But before you begin to design and think over the details, collect information and prepare drawings, it is worth figuring out whether the construction of the attic is in principle justified or not. In the past, attic spaces were the lot of people who did not have the opportunity to settle on a full floor. Now such housing is often chosen by creative and romantic natures, they find a special charm in it. But the traditional motive - saving money for a full-fledged residential tier - has not disappeared.
Unlike the residents of the first and even the second floor of the house, the inhabitants of the attic can:
- enjoy attractive views;
- walk on the roof;
- to receive many other simple pleasures from their location.
But there are also bad sides. Designers prepare a drawing of a house with an attic longer than a simple one, and require more money for it. It will be more difficult to prove the accuracy of the project documentation when communicating with the housing supervision authorities. The attic and attic are more difficult to heat, and the additional warm tier increases operating costs.
You will need to thoroughly work with other communications and infrastructure. Raising water upstairs in buckets and going to eat in a cafe, as the artists of Montmartre did in the 19th century, nowadays few people will like it.
First, you need to figure out the suitable materials, and they are quite diverse. Application aerated concrete allows you to achieve approximately the same thermal protection as when using wood, and the strength of the structure will be noticeably higher. The environmental properties of this material are beyond doubt, and it is also pleasing that it is non-flammable. But in order for the level of thermal insulation (without additional layers) to be comfortable, blocks with a thickness of at least 600 mm will have to be used.
The cells that form the aerated concrete block inevitably make it vapor-permeable. Therefore, you will have to create a high-quality ventilated facade according to all the rules. The intense absorption of moisture makes wet finishing work very difficult. Only a special primer helps to solve this problem.
Using logs when building a house with an attic, it allows you to achieve record environmental qualities.
The aesthetic characteristics of wood, even without additional finishing, are admirable. But the positive properties of this material are achieved only with strict adherence to technological standards developed over many centuries. It is imperative to use a coniferous forest, selected extremely tough, including by safety standards. It is possible to harvest the tree only after the project has been drawn up, because the dimensions must be strictly observed. The felling must meet technological requirements, and the tree itself must be impregnated with antiseptics and fire retardants.
The construction of a frame house with an attic has the advantage that it is equipped immediately. There is no need to wait for long months for a full-fledged draft, which inevitably occurs when building from wood. American and Scandinavian frame types are considered quality standards. In these regions of the world, this technology has been used for many decades, so it is ideally developed, its strengths and weaknesses are thoroughly known. "American" stands out for ease of assembly and significant strength reserves.
Such housing is made strictly from dry lumber, no timber is used in principle. Jibs are not used if cladding is made from oriented strand board. The Scandinavian framework format is less standardized and leaves more room for the free search for optimal solutions. The strapping of the top of the wall is made single, the racks along the entire length of the wall are pierced with a power crossbar. In the window and door openings, single racks are necessarily mounted.
An alternative to frame and timber construction can be considered the use of gas silicate blocks. They are slightly more expensive than bricks, but noticeably lighter than bricks and reduce the pressure on the foundation. The porous substance has excellent thermal insulation and excellent resistance to compression. But the tensile strength of this environmentally friendly material is less.
The construction of houses above two floors is impossible without the formation of reinforcing belts.
As for the Finnish type of houses, this is a kind of frame structures. It is not difficult to recognize such buildings: there is one floor below, and the spacious attic is covered with a gable roof made of wood. But this is just an impeccably traditional solution. The most modern approaches sometimes involve the construction of two floors. Sometimes a semi-basement is even prepared for garages, workshops and the accumulation of old things.
The types of houses can be different, but regardless of this, they are formed in the form of one structure or another. A house with a mansard roof and a bay window immediately pretends to become a true decoration of the site. Graceful protrusions in the form of a circle or rectangle on the outer sides are highly appreciated by designers. They found that this antique motif can be very appealing even in the most modern setting.
Bay windows in many cases become the most romantic place in the home, where it is easy to retire and break away from the constant presence of other people. It is advisable to put not only a small sofa in a round element, but also a coffee table, complemented by several comfortable armchairs. Regardless of whether there will be a bay window or not, you need to decide how to acquire an attic-type floor.
Thinking over this, it is useful to take into account that, according to sanitary requirements, there should be a minimum of 2500 mm between the ceiling and the floor of the living room.
This norm significantly limits the idea of equipping a two-story attic building. Correctly erecting it will be too expensive and will be technically difficult.
For your information: the reduced cost of attic floors (per unit area) is often exaggerated.Savings are achieved by combining roof rafters with the walls and covering the roof itself. Therefore, a head-on comparison with the tiers of a house made of simple wall materials is simply incorrect.
Ventilation and water supply, heating and electricity supply, sewer pipes all add to the hassle and increase the cost of construction. Therefore, if the goal is simply to decorate the house, a non-residential attic is much better than a permanent place of residence. Subject to the availability of sufficient funds, this objection is immaterial. And in any case, many people want to complement their attic houses with a basement or balcony.
Both elements must be taken into account at the design stage, because they directly affect the created structure. So, basements imply a deeper laying of the foundation and its special structure. When constructing balconies and loggias, they take into account how they will be reflected on the wall, whether its bearing capacity is enough. This is mandatory even for balcony-type windows that open outward. After all, external differences from a balcony of the usual form do not reduce the load at all.
Almost always, a gable roof is used for the attic living space. It not only leaves more space under the roof, but also improves the downward flow of rainfall. Therefore, the danger is reduced that they will flood the prepared room. It is a little more difficult to build a gable roof than a structure with a single slope, and in material terms it is beneficial.
It is recommended for any type of roof to minimize the number of joints - it is through them that precious heat escapes and rain, wind, snow can penetrate.
As attractive as the upper room is, sometimes you want to be downstairs too. For romantic and friendly conversations, for quiet tea drinking and contemplation of nature, the ground floors are often equipped with a veranda. It differs from the terrace in that it is completely built into the house and, as a rule, is heated. The shape and finishing materials, external color of the veranda depend almost exclusively on the personal preferences of the homeowners. As for the addition of a tower to the attic house, there are a number of widely demanded options:
- imitation of turrets of a knight's castle;
- stylization under the old Russian towers;
- the semblance of Gothic buildings;
- openwork upward-looking designs.
The layout of a country house with an attic can be very different. But the decisive factor when choosing a composition is the available area. After all, it depends on her whether it will be possible to translate a certain decision into reality or not. Practical and modern people prefer 6x6 or 6x4 m house projects, such buildings are distinguished by their functionality and are relatively inexpensive. Dimensions of 7 by 8, 6x7 or 7x7 m allow you to build a dwelling even in the middle of a dense urban development and not violate urban planning standards.
In the suburbs, it is advisable to choose such projects of small attic houses, which include the placement of attached garage sheds. The ideal layout implies at the same time a simple shape, well-chosen proportions and attractive details. It is important to immediately think about which rooms will be used mainly during the day, and where the sleeping area will be located. When evaluating a project, you should also pay attention to:
- roof slope;
- useful area (it is always less than the total);
- foundation preparation technology;
- type of walls;
- the quality of thermal insulation;
- energy characteristics.
In small buildings, you should not give a large share of the space for corridors, otherwise chaos and many planning problems will inevitably appear. In houses 6 by 9, including corner ones, when building one floor, supplemented by an attic, there are fewer difficulties than when building a full-fledged two-story cottage. It is very important that the design materials are developed for a specific area and take into account the properties of the soil.… For private houses, the size of 8x8 m turns out to be the maximum in a two-story version: having made the dwelling even larger, you will have to spend too much effort and resources.
Choosing a one-storey 8x8 house with an attic, inevitably you need to come to terms with a simplified design. But this is to some extent even an advantage, because the speed of construction increases, and operating costs will be lower. In addition, the foundation can be made relatively light and the need for earthworks can be reduced. The placement of a sanitary unit is possible both on the first and second floors.
The choice depends solely on personal priorities; a family of three can comfortably sit on two floors.
Projects 10x10, 10x12 allow you to organize a slightly larger space than in the 7x8 version. But such buildings are for the most part made one-story. If you build them in two tiers, the cost overruns of materials and money will become simply phenomenal. The house plan 10 by 12 allows you to get almost square dimensions and make the most efficient use of the available space.
But for L-shaped buildings 5 by 11 m in size, the "tram" or "compartment" type is a big problem, which should be discussed separately.
The options for a narrow attic can be quite different, but in any case, you need to overcome the feeling of being in the carriage. You need to solve this problem in the same way as in any other narrow rooms. The correct choice of color plays an important role. It will turn out to make the attic more square in appearance by finishing the oblong walls in light colors, and the shortened ones in dark ones. Thanks to the contrast, the room becomes more dynamic, so you should not neglect the bright blotches.
The original step is the use of niches. Contrary to popular belief, they do not absorb space, but increase it outwardly. It is helpful to use large mirrors by hanging them on long walls. The most vivid photo wallpaper will also be attractive, and when finishing the floor with a laminate or parquet, it is worth placing their parts parallel to the narrowed edges. It is recommended to organize separate areas with paths and rugs.
A common mistake is to save space by placing furniture against a long wall. It is for this reason that the feeling of an elongated space only intensifies. Corner furniture products turn out to be the most rational solution. The corners of the room themselves are recommended to be smoothed and visually softened. In this case, the layout should be such that you can freely pass to both ends of the attic, without maneuvering between various objects.
It is not always necessary to wage a stubborn struggle with the external imperfections of the interior. But the decorative merits of the premises must be fully ensured in any case. Any attic wins if it is filled with air and light. On flat walls, simple windows can be used for this purpose; beveled surfaces are best equipped with special openings. By increasing the size of the windows, you can add spaciousness to the room and get rid of visual pressure.
The chalet style, which is extremely popular in recent years, categorically prohibits sheathing wooden beams with finishing materials. Moreover, they turn into an original design element, the most chic outward move is recognized visually aged dark stripes on a light background. A very important element that influences the perception of any interior will be competent lighting of the space. In the attic, where they intend to relax, it is worth choosing the most creative solutions:
- extraordinary combinations of materials;
- bright and rich colors, the choice of which is almost unlimited;
- variations of textures;
- catchy decorative items.
Niches and built-in wardrobes help to get around the difficulties with the selection of furniture for sloped walls. Modular products or open shelves that can be adjusted to the height of the wall work well. In the lowest places, desks, beds and couches are usually located.
Important: zoning with drywall partitions disturbs the balance of the room, it begins to seem divided into small nooks. It is much more correct to use original design moves for this purpose.
A wardrobe or rack, in addition to its main function, becomes an excellent organizer of space in the attic. Separation of areas for work or leisure can be achieved by placing a pair of chairs in opposite corners. Then the two can go about their own business without interfering with each other. Non-standard design is achieved within the high-tech style. Only it allows you to combine a lot of chrome and glass surfaces, illuminated elements, simple geometric shapes and designs.
All components of the interior in an ultra-modern attic must be functional and painted in uniform colors. It is better to refuse wallpaper when finishing, where paint and plaster correspond to the canons of style much better. Upholstery of upholstered furniture made of fabric or leather will in no way violate the design concept. If you have funds, you can safely put furniture designed according to an individual project in the attic. To continue the composition and give it completeness will help:
- abstract or surreal painting;
- emphatically avant-garde lamps;
- partitions made of glass and mirrors;
- tropical plants in pots.
Such a style as minimalism gained considerable popularity in the design of attics. It is suitable for those who really want to get the maximum degrees of freedom. With hi-tech, he has such a common feature as the obligatory functional load of every thing. But the lighting devices should be as natural as possible, without pretentious technological solutions. Chasing bright colors is not worth it, most designers recommend taking two colors as dominant, and making one more accent.
The slightest stripes and patterns on the walls are categorically unacceptable. If they get off with wallpaper, then only painted. Monotonous flooring is also recommended as the best. Minimalism is sharply hostile to any carpets, even the most luxurious and traditional ones. Color accents are best set with furniture rather than surface finishes. Cluttering windows with curtains is unacceptable; instead, discreet blinds should be installed.
Popular solutions for organizing an attic have been tested by a large number of people. But in order to avoid mistakes and get the best result, you need to act carefully and follow the general recommendations. The first step should always be the correct calculation of the usable area. Since there is very little space near the walls, you will have to use it as efficiently as possible. On deaf roofs, skylights are placed at your own discretion.
When they are already mounted, you cannot ignore this moment. If the rafters actually split the room into separate zones, it is pointless to fight them - it is better to try to beat. So, it is possible to use these details to form mezzanines or for full-fledged zoning. If there is a shower or a bathroom in the attic, you need to take care of installing moisture-resistant windows and enhanced ventilation.
For the full organization of any room, it is required to select furniture and accessories in it with great care.
When the slope is low, it is advisable to install built-in wardrobes. The sofas and beds embedded in the walls allow you to achieve a very attractive external effect and make the room more functional. In addition, such items increase the efficiency of using the free space.
In small attics, mainly bedrooms or children's rooms with a small amount of furniture are placed, and even living rooms are easily organized in large ones. Most often, the space under the roof is given specifically for the bedrooms, and then it is painted in light colors; the poorer the natural light, the lighter the finish should be.
When equipping a nursery at the top, you should immediately make a choice between two concepts: a simple playroom or a full-fledged space for all the needs of children. If you are planning to prepare a living room or a corner for your leisure, it is advisable to put sofas. And ideally, if there is enough free space, you can provide additional seating furniture and a coffee table. In the attic there are all the possibilities for organizing a full-fledged gym.
But you should not dwell on these options, because with due diligence you can place there:
Houses with lofts invariably look more elegant and beautiful than ordinary ones. Here is a clear confirmation of this: the bizarre shape of the sloping roof attracts the eye and literally enchants. Additional charm to the building is provided by the contrast between the reddish ground floor, the white attic and the graceful dark roof.
And this photo clearly confirms that an aerated concrete house with an attic can be outwardly attractive. The white walls are perfectly combined with the tiled roof, the stylistic unity of the floors is supported by the colors and shape of the windows.
For a typical project of a house with an attic and a garage, see the following video.