Mostly, childhood memories of spending time with our grandparents fill us with longing and nostalgia. Grandmothers spoiled us with their proverbially good meals, grandfathers shared interesting stories or useful tricks, and their homes were a treasure trove of diverse items, inspiring us kids to all sorts of mischievous adventures. While modern grandparents may be a little different from those remembered by today’s young parents with children of their own, something will never change – the wish to take the best possible care of their grandchildren, and to spend as much quality time with them as possible.
Nowadays, high real estate prices force many young couples to search for more accessible alternatives, usually adding an extension or renovating the attic space in their parents’ homes. However, with a little planning effort, what started as a temporary attic alternative can be easily turned into a comfortable permanent home that you will not want to leave.
Attics are often designed to serve as universal storage space for all things unused. If back then, anybody even considered the possibility that the attic will serve as living space, they usually left the job to future inhabitants. Yet, when converting your attic into living space, getting rid of the accumulated clutter will be the least of your problems. Also, you will easily deal with the unfinished and rough attic ceiling. But the most important factor that will determine the quality of life in an attic apartment is the roof system – not just the quality of roofing, but an integration of different elements that make an attic apartment breathe and maintain a pleasant indoor temperature both in hot summer and cold winter.
If you decided for an attic apartment in an older building, you probably have no alternative but to partially renovate or upgrade the sloping roof. Starting from above, you will first need to remove the roofing and the underlying battens. Only then you can start dealing with those elements that guarantee a high quality of living – mostly, this is thermal insulation. Thermal insulation must be sufficiently thick (after 2020, „thick“ is in the area of 40 centimeters), and at the same time made of quality materials that ensure durability and allow for breathing. This is the only way to avoid the accumulation of moisture and condensation which, if not stopped by appropriate insulation, tend to pass from the roof to the apartment walls.
The space between roof rafters is, of course, limited. Therefore, the thermal insulation can not be installed in a single layer only. Usually, it consists of three interconnected layers – solid walkable insulation, woolen thermal insulation to regulate the passage of air humidity using a special membrane, and a layer of ETICS thermal insulation. The latter can normally be finished with plaster and painted with a color that provides the apartment with a chosen personal touch.
If experts are engaged, attic renovation and roof adaptation are much less complicated as it seems. The cost calculation will persuade you that in the long run, careful planning and quality materials are the only correct choice. Are you just building a new home? If you are, this is the right time to consider that children will quickly grow up and you will soon be faced with their need for a comfortable attic apartment. Act future safe now and construct the sloping roof with all the necessary insulating elements needed for a future attic apartment. This will certainly be much easier than upgrading the roof in a decade or two – not to mention that your children and grandchildren will be very grateful for your good deed.