We remake the attic in inhabited penthouses

We remake the attic in inhabited penthouses

That the first penthouses have appeared at the beginning of the 18th century very few people know. The “King Sun” of Louis XIV ruling at that time cared for that historical part of Paris did not change, and forbade to reconstruct buildings and to do superstructures. And then the architect of François Mansart designing before locks and magnificent shato (who has presented to penthouses the name) has also thought up to place housing for guests or servants directly under roofs, having adapted for it the attics which were empty before. Since then the premises under the broken pitched roof have also received the name penthouse. Later mansard floors have been chosen by creative people: poets, artists, writers and photographers, therefore in perception of the majority life under the roof is represented spiritualized, sublime and romantic.

In the real estate market these rooms have appeared relatively recently, but have managed to win great popularity among city dwellers. The modern penthouse is the comfortable, very comfortable and original stylish housing allowing even to admire in the center of the megalopolis dawn and declines, to be alone with the nature, to see clouds and stars. Besides they have and functional purpose and considerably increase the area. Use of the attic as inhabited space brings essential economic benefit. And, above all – it is possible to equip penthouse rather qualitatively in the shortest possible time.

Design of the mansard floor has to be based on the analysis of the scheme of design of the building basis and conform to all existing regulatory requirements. At the same time the big part is assigned determined by roof geometry lines and to forms. It is important that there was interrelation with communication structures, engineering networks, both projectible, and already existing, ensuring collaboration of these elements. In cases when such functions of networks of the main building and penthouse do not match, development of technical special solutions is necessary.

One more important point in design — the choice of the translucent barrier which is based on dimensions and form of the built room. It can be the inclined or vertical windows interconnected with forming of architecture of penthouse and creation of interior. Material of such designs and their constructive scheme are defined proceeding from architectural forms and structure of the building basis. The main requirement – use of easy products, parts and designs.

The penthouse located under abrupt roof imposes special requirements to providing waterproofing, sealing, heat-shielding and the choice of roofing material. Besides, if the penthouse is under construction without resettlement of residents of the house, there is need for application of special methods which ensure the maximum safety of works, constructions of additional elements of safety and protection, and restriction of weight of parts of design.

Materials for construction of penthouse

Works on construction of penthouse in residential building of the built-up part of the city include the organization of safety and the choice of certain architectural and construction system.

It is recommended to choose for mansard floors materials and designs with small weight as it, first, facilitates their transportation on upper floors, and, secondly, the curb weight of the finished design has to be minimum to render as it is possible smaller load of the existing building.

In general preference is usually given to materials from thin-walled metal section or wood. It is not recommended to use concrete or stone during creation of load-carrying structures of penthouse. And it belongs not only to already constructed, changed, to buildings, but also to again under construction.

The same requirements are imposed to roofing coverings exactly. They have to be made of metal tile, thin metal sheets and to that similar materials. Use of heavy covering like natural tile is inadmissible.

Warming of penthouses

It is necessary to consider that mansard floors in much more degree, than any other floors, are subject to heat waste. First of all, it is caused by the fact that “the thermal pillow” over them does not exist and therefore that at penthouse the big general surface interacting with the external environment. Reasons of economy and comfort demand to carry out effective heat insulation with special care.

In turn it imposes also more strict requirements to execution of thermal consolidation and the used materials. For heat insulation effective heaters, for example, of plate from basalt fiber are used. The basic rule – around all room it is necessary to create continuous heat-insulating contour.

The outer side of heater surely becomes covered by waterproofing layer, and external — vapor barrier. It is not less important that the waterproofing course did not adjoin to roof. Between them the sufficient ventilating space promoting removal of flow of the warm humid air arriving through heat-insulation layer, vapor barrier and waterproofing has to be left.

The roofing covering over the mansard floor except usual protection against atmospheric precipitation, also has to interfere with loss of heat. Warm air it will be obligatory to rise up, and it will lead to the fact that under ceiling temperature is about two degrees higher, than on the room generally. Therefore even if heat-insulating qualities of roof and wall are identical, heat through roof will leave more because of bigger, than at walls, temperature drop between inside and outer surface of penthouse. Besides warm air contains bigger amount of moisture therefore on ceiling condensate will be quicker formed. As a result the heat-shielding of roofing covering has to meet more strict requirements, than heat-shielding of walls.

Except comfort of accommodation qualitatively executed heat insulation brings also considerable economic effect as reduces costs of heating of the room and reduces the necessary power of heating services.

One more result of heat insulation of roof of penthouse which is rather important for city dwellers — lack of icicles. Heat passing through bad heat insulation kindles the snow lying on roof, as a result and icicles are formed. Will not be able to happen to well warmed roof of it.

We remake the attic in inhabited penthouses

The covering of penthouse represents the system of rafters which are established with step to 600-1000 millimeters. The space between them is filled with thermal insulation material. It is recommended to use plates from fiber glass or basalt mineral wool. Such plates can keep within both one, and several layers. Their general thickness will depend on the coefficient of thermal conductivity specified in the certificate of conformity.

If height of section of the existing rafters does not allow to lay the warming layer with necessary thickness, to feet of a rafter wooden antiseptic bars fasten. And then the first layer of heater is distributed between rafters, and the second – between the bars located horizontally.

When mortgaging heat-insulation layer of special attention places in which plates of heater adjoin rafter beams deserve. Here emergence of slots is possible. To avoid it, places of adjunctions have to be condensed carefully. Also this problem is solved by application of thermal insulation materials with the springing edges. The parties of such plates contract easily and inserted into framework then are independently straightened and densely adjoin to guides. Besides such material does not demand exact cutting on distance between rafters. As a result, except bigger effect, process of warming accelerates and becomes simpler.

The following item of warming concerns end walls. In spite of the fact that through walls the smaller amount of heat leaves, they also need warming. Therefore it is desirable to cover house pediment at opportunity with heat-insulating material.

Usually walls of penthouse are arranged at small distance from external wall therefore it occupies not the full space of overlappings of the floor. The site of overlapping from penthouse wall to eaves is not included into the volume of the heated room therefore it shall be warmed too. For this purpose on boards of overlapping the vapor barrier, on it – heater, and then — vapor-permeable wind-shelter material keeps within the foiled party down. As well as in cases with feet of a rafter, places of adjunction to wall should not form slots.

Quite often over time it becomes clear that the existing warming does not provide to penthouse of necessary level of heat insulation. The raised expenses on heating, the icicles which are formed in the winter or too audible noise of rain drops in the summer can demonstrate to it not only the lowered temperature on the floor, but also. All this says that mounting of additional warming is necessary (which at the same time performs also sound protection functions). The additional layer of warming can be located over laid earlier with observance of normal rules. Such option of warming keeps the existing height of mansard ceiling (that is sometimes rather important) and room space. However he will demand dismantling of roof with furring and also constructions of load-bearing framework on which the new roofing covering will keep.

It is possible to arrange the additional warming layer under the existing heat insulation. In that case on covering inside the framework in which heat insulation material plates are located is carried out from wooden bars. Bars have to have thickness equal to thickness of the warming plates. Then from the room to framework vapor barrier material fastens. From within the framework is sheathed by plywood, lining, gypsum plasterboards or other finishing material. This way does not demand dismantling of roof, warming can be carried out at all seasons of the year, however some volume of the room is lost and its height decreases.

Sometimes the combined method at which sloping surfaces are warmed from within, and ceiling surface – over the existing heat insulation, outside becomes the best option.

Vapor barrier and waterproofing

The size of already mentioned gap necessary between roof and heater, will depend on covering material profile. When using of the pro-thinned-out sheets (galvanized steel, metal tile, etc.) or any of other wavy material, the air layer should not be less than 25 millimeters (to the lower part of wave). If the roof consists of flat material, then this distance increases to 50 millimeters. Ventilation is made through openings in the fad and eaves.

Thermoinsulating material from air layer is protected by wind-shelter and hydroprotective vapor-permeable membrane. It is impossible to use for this purpose vapor-tight materials like polyethylene film or roofing material. The best indicators at rolled materials. Such membranes perfectly pass water vapors, but at the same time become barrier before water in the form of liquid. As a result heater cannot become wet because of hit of the condensate concentrating on roofing covering over air layer. Also it allows to do without creation of gap between heater and layer of waterproofing.

Wind-shelter material keeps within from above feet of a rafter and fastens to them. Windscreen purpose – obstacle of hit of atmospheric precipitation through leaky fixed covering or as a result of ilny wind.

The internal (lower) party of heat insulation is protected from water vapor by the foiled vapor barrier materials. It is fixed by adhesive tape with overlap of sheets in 100 millimeters. The adhesive tape has to provide absolute tightness of seams. Such film is attached to bars or rafters by thin wooden rails. Material keeps within towards the room foil. It is desirable to keep small gap between it and internal covering, then the thermal radiation arriving from the living room will be reflected from brilliant surface and to come back, thereby still reducing the size of heatlosses.


Windows in penthouse can be established in two ways — in the roof directly (dormer-windows) and in the boxes acting over slopes (windows vertical).

It is only better to use the second option when the special structure of “nesting box” is already provided. If it is absent, then dormer-windows become the optimum choice – it is more reliably and quicker. At the same time mounting of dormer-windows takes less time, and the questions connected with waterproofing and heat insulation are solved more effectively and more economically. Besides the window located in the roof plane will pass light and heat (during the summer period) is 30-40% more, than vertical.

The dormer-window is on sale in view, ready to installation, with all necessary for fast and reliable mounting. It is possible to get packages in which elements of protection against noise, slopes, blinds or blinds, marquisette or rolling shutters are included from some producers. In this case time (and it is frequent also means) on search and selection of suitable components is saved. But it is worth remembering that life cycle and reliability will depend in many respects on quality of mounting. Therefore it is necessary to approach the choice of the company of the fitter seriously.


At finishing work the same materials which are applied also in any other internal rooms are used. The only difference consists in form and the device of ceiling.

The interior finish begins with the fact that rafters are sewn up from below with material which will act as basis of the interior decision. Rafters can remain open, in this case the covering is located over them. Ithaca the design approach can create very interesting interior. Except the wood which is not demanding further processing apply chipboard, fibreboard, gypsum-fiber or gypsum plasterboards.

The low cost and simplicity of processing and mounting does gypsum cardboard by the most popular material of covering. Sheets are screwed on rafter design or specially collected framework in one or two layers.

For painting aqueous emulsion special ink which has no smell can be used, quickly dries and does not burn out. It can be washed practically with any means.

Some features distinguish bonding of wall-paper by penthouse walls as their part makes at the same time and ceiling. Supplementary angles with slanted walls create some problems with selection of the drawing therefore it is desirable to choose wall-paper monophonic. When pasting ceiling it is necessary to begin with horizontal sites, after them to pass to inclined planes, and to finish triangular. It is better to use glue on latex basis, grabbing within 30 minutes. Pasting of the penthouse executed as deepening happens separately from other room.


Dressing – one of the most interesting moments connected with penthouse. Taking into account and knowledge of some cunnings, the penthouse will take the finished beautiful view of all for couple of days.

Slanted ceiling – the main feature of such room. It imposes certain restrictions in the choice of suitable furniture. So at inclined wall beds, bedside tables, tables, low racks and lockers can be placed. The fitted cupboards can be mounted with height from one and a half meters.

You should not overload interior with parts – such room demands free space. Especially you should not hold the things which are not relating to interior here it is better to make separate closet here.

Availability of sloping vertical surfaces demands the non-standard or made under the order furniture. In too time it is possible to find pieces of furniture which will be ideal for difficult geometry of penthouse. For example, there are racks with variable height, they are conveniently configured at the request of the owner and perfectly are established at inclined walls. Also objects on castors are suitable for penthouse, they well approach places of joining of the horizontal and inclined planes.

Modern construction technologies allow to receive qualitatively and quickly from the uninhabited attic the equipped penthouse. And the correct planning will not take away a lot of time for creation of the cozy, original and comfortable room under roof: warming, glazing, waterproofing and internal covering will take only several days.

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