Turning unused attic space into a functional room can be an ideal way to expand the living area of a home. However, not all attics can be converted. Before starting an attic remodeling project, there are a few best practices that can help you get started.
Adhere to Safety and Building Codes
- Although local codes may vary, following the “rule of 7s” can help you decide if the project is feasible. The rules typically require that at least half of the room be seven feet high, a minimum of seven feet wide and consist of at least 70 square feet.
- A finished room is generally heavier than the boxes often stored in unfinished space. A local building official or engineer can inspect the foundation, joists and frame to ensure it can handle the weight of your attic remodeling project.
- Is a staircase needed, or will drop down stairs be adequate? If the space will frequently be used, a staircase will make accessibility easier but will take up 33 to 50 square feet of space.
Keep an Eye Toward Comfort
- The attic is often unfinished space, which means it may need insulation or air ducts.
- Ensure there is be enough ventilation.
- Natural light can make a room seem more spacious. If there is not enough room in the budget for dormers or skylights, make sure there are wiring and electrical outlets
- Recessed LED light fixtures don’t generate heat and can be tucked out of the way.
- Built-in perimeter drawers and cabinets turn the short space under the eaves into convenient storage.
Attic remodeling can add value and usable space to a home. Windows, ceiling fans and lighting can make the room fit seamless with the rest of the house. Whether you are interested in making a master suite, creating a playroom or home office, building contractors and designers who specialize in remodeling projects can help you design the space to meet your needs and your budget.