At SkyLofts we know that there are many various terms related to loft conversions that you may not be familiar with. We’ve pulled all these together to form a loft conversion glossary of the common terms with an easy to understand explanation that will make you feel more comfortable when speaking with your loft conversion builder.

1. Loft Conversion

A Loft Conversion involves building an additional room/s such as a bedroom and a bathroom in the loft space of your home. If you are looking to increase the living space in your home without eating into your garden with an extension then a loft conversion is a cost-effective way to achieve this.

2. Dormer

If space and headroom within your loft are limited, it may make sense to opt for a dormer style conversion. A dormer is where the roof is extended to give more internal room to the conversion, you can read all about dormers here.

3. Mansard

A mansard conversion where the roof is converted to have two pitches on each side, you can read all about mansard loft conversions here.

4. Hip to Gable

A hip to gable loft is where you change the sloping side of your property (the hip side) to a flat gable end to create a much larger loft space, you can read all about hip to gable loft conversions here.

5. RSJ

RSJ stands for Rolled Steel Joist, which is an ‘I’ beam made of rolled steel. They are typically used to support the floor of the loft conversion and the ridge of the roof.

6. First Fix Loft Conversion

A first fix loft conversion is a part build loft, where SkyLofts will undertake all of the technical and difficult work associated with converting your loft such as installing steels, stairs, and structural work. For more information on first fix loft conversions, click here.

7. Second Fix Loft Conversion

The second fix of a loft conversion includes the electricians and plumbers coming back to complete their works, flooring being laid and doors being hung all in preparation for decoration to take place. A full explanation of first fix loft conversions can be found here.

8. Snagging

Snagging takes place towards the end of your loft conversion, it is a list of imperfections and defects in the quality of the finished work such as decoration niggles. A full explanation of first fix loft conversions can be found here.

9. Rafters

Are the main sloping roof timbers which form the roof structure of a building

10. Batten 

Batten, a small strip of sawn timber fixed horizontal across the rafters and dormer structure to provide a positive fixing to either tiles/slates

11. Binders

Thin strips of timber nailed across the top of the ceiling rafters in lofts to strengthen the structure

12. Cheeks

The side walls of a dimer window

13. Fire check door 

A door that can withstand the passage of fire for a given time

14. Lintel 

A timber, steel or concrete structural member used to span an opening and support the load above, such as a door or window

15. Flashings

A thin strip of lead used to cover joints to roofs and chimneys to prevent leaks

16. Newel Post 

A post supporting the strings and banisters of a staircase, normally found at the top and bottom of the stairs

17. Load Bearing 

Any structural part of the building that carries imposed loads such as a brick wall or steel/timber post

18. MoE 

Means of Escape refers to escape windows, which comply with minimum dimensions that are set out by building regulations

19. Noggins 

Short timber battens fitted between a pair of joists or timber studs to add strength

20. OSB

Oriented Strand Board is a multi-layered board made from strands of wood or fine timber waste, mixed together with a binder

21. Party Wall 

Refers to the wall that separates adjoining terraced or semi-detached houses. The boundaries between two properties, although shared by both are subject to legalisation, more information about the party wall act can be found here

22. Plasterboard 

A sheet of material used for stud walls and ceilings

23. Ridge 

The apex of a pitched roof where the two slopes meet

24. Roof Truss 

A traditional roof structure, comprising of a framed assembly of structural members

25. Sawn Timber 

Timber, cut into commercially sized lengths

26. Spine Wall 

The main internal load-bearing wall commonly found in pre 1970’s properties

27. Stanchion

A vertical supporting beam, made of steel

28. Stretcher 

The side of a brick, visible in walls when laid lengthways

29. Stud 

A vertical timber used in the construction of stud partitions

30. Stud Partition

A series of vertical studs and horizontal noggins nailed together to form a framed position covered with plasterboard on both sides

31. Universal Beam 

A steel beam similar to a RSJ but with a flat top and bottom flanges

32. Universal Column 

A steel beam similar to a RSJ but square in section

Interested in having a loft conversion in Hampshire, Surrey or South West London? Please contact SkyLofts on 01252 500872 , email or go to our contact page.