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Thread: Attic remodelation advices.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Portugal, Vagos

    Attic remodelation advices.

    Greeting my name is Alex and i am from portugal, currently i work as assistant carpenter in my county and as all crisis is forcing me to revamp instead of building a new house for the moment and despite having 2 houses (one of which is not for remodelling due to costs and is on market), i kept my parents house. Despite having 200sqm, and a T3 layout my girlfriend moved in and i decided to in phases remodeling and rebuilding the remaining house into modern standards and layouts.

    Currently i have a good size attic with no use and decided to get rid of old junk my sister left behind and numerous items no longer of use. As i mentioned before the times demand for some savings and as i start myself occasionally with some free hands by friends and collegues in rebuilding the old house we both decided to use the attic as living area and make it later a room for visits.

    My problem tends with some problems regarding the lack of experience in old house construction methods (standard is masonry housing here) and nobody seems to be able even, in my county construction department, to speak and advive on wood structures/roofing, as my current house is from circa 1850, and rebuilt and reinforced and altered a lot, keeping most of the original roof frame.

    So if anybody did any attic remodelling i would apreciate some images and i can post some images and dimensions if necessary together with some SU preliminary work.

    Thanks in advance Alex Mariano

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Welcome Alex!

    I think I'd like to see some pictures before making any recommendations as you never know how an older home is assembled.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Welcome Alex !!!

    Like Darren mentioned, pictures of what you are dealing with would be helpful.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    Welcome to the Family, Alex.

    I'm sure you'll get the help you need here.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Portugal, Vagos
    Greetings and sorry for the delay too much work on the job and deadlines comming.
    I attach some images of what i am dealing with, despite the age the structure seems to be in excelent condition, as far as i can see, most of the wood is either Eucaliptus fot the roof and attic boards are oak. can't tell who made it but the house last time it was subjected to any type of repairs and or construction as far as i recall was in 1980. The house is in good shape with old style walls made of adobe (original stucture good material), covered with venetian plaster and both floor and ceilings in oak and pine. I currently live in it and due to restrict construction codes either i am forced to demolish all and build new taking my next three lives to pay it or rebuild and save money.
    The area i am seeking some advices is below standard regarding to the remaining house and as i found out several weeks ago it was not part of the original house but adapted to an attic. Space is not much but i am making the most of what i have and pretend to make it a visit room/studio as i will demolish most of teh main house to rebuild in modern style.

    Data on the attic:
    it raise 3.0m above ground, with a total height of 6.0m above GL
    width :5.0m
    minimum heigth: 0.70m
    maximum heigth: 3.0m

    priority is correcting the messed up work made in the framing and make the roof safe before prior work can be carried out.

    Thanks Alex.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Portugal, Vagos
    Sorry been kinda busy with my fiance checking out the main house and taking some measures. Despite the initial considerations we decided to do a full rebuild and checked the house i inherited from my grandparents. It has been closed and neglected for the past 6 years so much work is needed to make it fully prepared.

    I attach some additional photos os the inside, and notice i found out some problems.
    1, floor was made of pine and rot in the last years, as door and windows which need to be replaced either by decay and or not my intention to keep the old pattern.
    2. roof is surprisingly in excelent condition, seems to be some angola origin wood, probably mahogany (my great grandfather was there)
    3. walls need some reqork in plaster and infiltrations

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Looks like a really nice old house. It'll be a lot of work to make it right again, but it ought to be a really worthwhile project. I'm really interested in seeing pictures of your progress as you bring the old house back to life - and upgrade it into the 21st century.

    BTW, how old is this house? When was it built? Since all the electricals are surface mounted, I'm guessing it was built before electricity was available, and the wiring was retro-fitted.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Portugal, Vagos
    Hi Jim, according to papers, and i assume they registered it some years after it was built indicates 1866, with adenda made to it in 1915/1920 (stopped due to men serving into WW1).

    Electrical is in fact a issue, most of it was installed after electric power arrived and it was kept as such for many years, and since it worked nobody worried to correct the issue, but made minor corrections on the instalation, i have a box of old ceramic lamp beds and switches stored somewhere :P)

    In terms of work i assume a maximum of 5 months to get most of teh work done, leaving furniture adn kitchen for last.
    Masonry work is no big deal, wood is a bit tricky despite i work with it.
    Costs are not apliable for the moment but between concrete slab and repairs to walls i have a budget for 1500 euros, all work made by me (saving in terms of hiring almost 6k...)

    Good thing is as long as i keep front as original i can much do whatever i want inside and with sides...stupid codes but who am i to worry.

    i can count with some labour free on a help me i help you basis for most of work, but work time is for now limited my work is 9 to 17 and not all weekends free, but as spring arrives days are better used.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    i would start with making sure your roof doesnt leak.. is that where the water came in to cause floor problems> or did it come from a window that was left open?.. also before fixing the floor i would make sure your main structure under it is substantial.. dont know your countries terms so that is why i used structure.. keep us in the loop and ask any questions that come up..someone will help
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Portugal, Vagos
    Well larry water damage come from a leaking window and also due to north side wall being a bit unprotected.
    Floor is pine with over 100 years so it was a combination of humidity, age and lack of proper treatment.
    Floor structure is similar to what you use in new world, roof framming with 4x8's space 16", with a clear space under floor of 15 to 20 inches, walls are well secured, and despite the age the type of material as an advantage in regard to masonry and or brick walls most modern houses here use. despite being thick and massive, no house of the type shows serious fissures, may occur soem degradation of the venetian or simple plaster apllied over the walls, but in most cases structure and foundations quite solid and no iron used on it :O.
    But while i would desire to keep and or put new floor in wood fiance is from big city and prefers "modern" flooring so i will have to compare prices and verify insulation and other features before making a decision.

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