Living in an attic apartment can be the best – or the worst

Steps to a modern and functional facade
Steps to a modern and functional facade

A great way of increasing residential space for a growing family, turning an attic into residential space can also be a good opportunity to reduce your heating costs once and for all.

If you already live in an attic apartment or in a family home with an utilized attic, you will agree that attic apartments are by far the most beautiful residential space. Unfortunately, much too often they may also be the most unpleasant. Especially if they are not sufficiently and properly insulated.
The low comfort level is quickly felt and never enjoyed. In winter, it is impossible to adequately heat it. In summer, the temperature below the roof is significantly higher than on lower floors. On top of it, in windy weather the air temperature fluctuates rather rapidly. Without monitoring our fuel consumption, we notice that a large part of heat is wasted.

“Did you know that because of inadequate roof thermal insulation, you will waste as much as 30% of generated heat? This means that your heating costs will be considerably higher”

What is the reason why? The answer is simple. Pitched roofs are, due to their large surface area, in greater contact with the outside temperature. As pitched roofs are usually multilayered prefabricated – that is, composed of different layers and materials -, this may easily lead to problems. If the composition is inappropriate, if not all necessary layers with appropriate properties are installed, or, finally, due to poor execution, attics will overheat in summer and, in winter, cool faster than other rooms.

Thermal insulation and its role in achieving a high comfort level of your attic apartment
If you are considering turning your unutilized attic into new residential space, or even just looking for ways to renovate your attic, you are be well advised to observe a simple suggestion: in a construction job, never underestimate the crucial role of accuracy and prudence.
In early summer, you are probably not keen on having to use air conditioning to cool the overheated premises? Nor do you want to turn the thermostat to maximum in winter because you cannot heat your apartment to adequate temperature levels?
Pitched roofs require an appropriate layer of thermal protection, illustrated with a warm blanket.
If placed on our skin, the blanket will provide warmth. But when lifted from our body, cold air seeps between the blanket and our skin, causing us to feel cold. We have a similar experience falling asleep in the windy outdoors. We feel the cold at the slightest breeze, regretting that, instead of the blanket, we did not choose a windstopping material or a sleeping bag.

Buildings behave in similar ways. If the roof is not adequately protected, heat will rapidly flow in both ways, and the space below will overheat or turn cold much faster than expected.

Simple steps to renovate your attic and turn it into a cosy apartment
A roof repair can be carried out in a number of different methods. In order to pick the appropriate one, we should, before we start, carefully check the following:

  • Did we include all the necessary protective layers?
  • What is their respective thickness?
  • Is their sequence correct?
  • Is the material adequate, the method appropriate and the execution properly planned?

The necessary measures are carried out depending on the state of the roof. If a complete overhaul is called for, rules applying to new construction should be observed. However, if the roofing is not worn out and still offers protection from environmental influences, choosing the appropriate materials we may decide to insulate the interior space, and having no major construction work.
As the thermal insulation panels are fixed onto existing interior walls, we are left with the option of gradual, step by step, renovation, which comes handy if the work is performed in a room that we currently live in. Also, as the job is performed within the premises, we are not limited by weather conditions.
Internal wall insulation is a good solution. At our own convenience and at low cost, we may significantly improve the comfort level of living in the attic. In this way, the attic can be turned into a residential space of equal energy-efficiency as the space of thermally insulated lower floors. This will not only show in lower heating cost, but will, finally, bring us closer to our dream of a cosy attic space.

FIBRAN solutions

To increase the indoor comfort in our home, FIBRANgyps drywall systems are suitable for the construction of partitions and linings in order to improve the characteristics of acoustic insulation, thermal insulation and fire resistance or simply for the surface finishing of an existing partition.
In the case of renovation and redevelopment of existing buildings, the AGeo lining – consisting of a standard plasterboard FIBRANgyps A13 NF and a biosoluble stonewool panel FIBRANgeo – is a valid solution in terms of environmental comfort and for the containment of winter and summer energy consumption.
For an adequate outdoor thermal insulation of the roof, or attic, the stonewool panels FIBRANgeo BP (unfced or BIT) – are the ideal solution for a roof insulation that prevents the passage of heat from the inside to the outside during the winter season and vice versa in the summer, limiting the temperature changes that occur during the day, saving energy and thus reducing CO2 emissions in the environment.