How to build a wardrobe in the eaves of an attic

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One of the best ways of building a wardrobe in the eaves of an attic is to use hanging rails between the rafters along the entire attic length. This is a great use of the space, especially if easily accessible by stairs or a quickly deployed folding ladder. According to property expert Hannah Shanks, you don’t usually need to obtain planning permission for loft conversions.

Follow the advice of HGTV and lay attic floorboards first, where necessary, to make it possible to walk safely in the attic. Chipboard is quite adequate. Nail the boards to the joists. Also board off any exposed purlins, remembering not to cover any essential air gaps or soffit vents.

Decide on a convenient height for the hanging rails, depending on how tall you are. The spaces between rafters are ideal for placing rails, providing sturdy support at either end in individual areas like bays. Hold the first end support against the side of a rafter. Mark the screw holes onto the wood with a pencil. Use a bradawl to make indentations in the screw hole markings. These will grip the screws as you tighten them. Screw the first end support in place.

Use a spirit level and ruler to establish the correct position for the second end support on the opposite rafter face. Fit this in the same way as the first one. Fit the rail in place by manoeuvring it into the end supports.

Do the same between the second and third rafters, and so on, along the entire length of the attic. You can vary the heights of the rails if you wish to allow different amounts of space for garments of different lengths.

Follow the lead of comedian Vic Reeves and model wife Nancy Sorrell and install a sliding wardrobe door system in the eaves. There are many systems on the market but the basic components are the same, namely top and bottom tracks and hanging doors. Screw the top track in place parallel with -- and slightly in front of -- the furthest projecting point of the rafters. Use stepladders if necessary, for access.

Use a plumb line to establish where the bottom track needs to go. It should be directly below the top track, in the same vertical plane. Screw the bottom track in place.

Fix the push-fit hanging door mechanisms onto the tops of the doors and the wheels onto the bottoms of the doors. Hang the doors from the top track and ensure the wheels engage in the guide of the bottom track.

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