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Loft Conversions: Everything you’ll ever Need to Know about Joists

You’re converting your loft. Does this mean that you can just lay down a few sheets of boarding and the job’s done? Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. 

Lofts weren’t really built as load bearing rooms – or certainly not built strong enough to inhabit – so if you’re looking to house anything heavier than a few bags of old clothes and seasonal items, you’ll need to strengthen your loft.

So what needs to be done to strengthen your new loft conversion? Essex residents, here’s your guide to the simple but brilliant joist:

What is a Joist?

A joist is a length of timber or steel which acts as a support for a floor or ceiling. Typically they are arranged in a parallel fashion to offer the most support.

Strengthening your Joists: Overslinging

There are two methods of strengthening your joists, the first of which is called overslinging. Provided there is enough headroom, this is the simpler of the two options, as it simply involves laying new joists across the existing joists within the loft.

Strengthening your Joists: Sideslinging

The second method, sideslinging, is used in loft conversions where there isn’t enough head height available to lay new joists on top of the old ones.With sideslinging, the new joists are installed side by side with the old ones.

They are run along one side of the existing joists using a holder beneath the new steel beams which are then installed across the old joists. They will usually be connected to each other using screws and bolts.

Things to Consider

When converting your loft, your local Building Regulations department will be on hand and involved with all aspects of the build to make sure that your work complies with health and safety regulations.

As such, there are certain aspects of the joists that your loft conversion company will need to consider. These include the likes of making sure there is still enough head height available once the new joists are in place (if a lack of headroom will be a problem, then the sideslinging option outlined above will be employed).

Similarly, the thickness of the joists will be strictly monitored by Building Control to ensure that your new loft room is properly supported, and there are also rules and regulations surrounding insulation, such as where it is positioned and how much is placed between the joists and the new floor.

It may sound like a lot of information that you need to consider, but if you’re employing a specialist loft conversion company for the work, they will take care of all of this and more for you. If you’re unsure of how you need to proceed with a loft conversion, contact Bespoke Lofts for a free, no obligation quote.

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