A new trend in home improvements is to renovate attic space to add functionality. Repurposing your attic provides a cost-effective alternative to new additions while at the same time allowing you to increase your home’s size and value.
But before you buy furniture for your new attic space, you need to have a plan for your renovation. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure your project goes smoothly.
Can I Remodel My Attic?
The attics in some homes may not have enough room for a remodel to take place. Even if they do, the cost of the remodel versus the size of the area remodeled may not add enough square footage to your home to make the remodel worthwhile. For an attic to be worth repurposing, it should have 70 square feet and a 7.5-foot ceiling.
Additionally, you need to determine if your home is strong enough to support the added weight of the new room. For this, you will need to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the integrity of your home. If your home can handle the added weight of new sheetrock, flooring, insulation, and other material, you can safely proceed to the next step.
Do I Need to Make Structural Changes?
Many cities have specific requirements for certain rooms. For example, some areas require that bedrooms have two entrances/exits. This gives an occupant an additional exit (such as a door or window) in case of an emergency (like a fire). Check your local building codes to find out more.
As part of your structural evaluation, you will want to make sure your roof is leak-proof. A leaky roof can lead to additional damage to your new construction. If rainy weather should occur during your remodel, you may end up with warped boards and rotting blanks.
To avoid purchasing replacement materials, hire a local contractor to inspect your roof and make any needed repairs. While he or she is inspecting your attic, have him or her also identify any areas open to the outside. Patching these areas will not only prevent leaks and moisture buildup, but will also keep animals from entering your home.
The last structural changes you will need to consider will include the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. Depending on how you choose to design the room, you may or may not need plumbing, but you will want electricity and HVAC available. Contact an electrician and an HVAC specialist to ensure proper installation.
How Will I Use the Space?
Once your attic is prepped for renovation, you can choose to convert your attic into any number of specific rooms. If you want the extra space but you’re not sure where to start, check out the following list for ideas.
Adding an extra bedroom will help you better accommodate your family and your guests. Additionally, an extra bedroom can significantly increase your home’s resale value.
Many families would love to have an extra bathroom in their home, as this prevents overcrowding in front of the bathroom mirror (as well as other unhappy accidents). Bathrooms, like bedrooms, also add to your home’s resale value.
Whether you want to make this a place to keep your children’s toys or want a room for adults, a game room offers hours of fun.
Use your media room to watch the big game, enjoy the latest blockbuster, or simply catch up on the latest news.
Sometimes you need a quiet place to get work done. In these moments, a home office offers a peaceful place to work.
Before you begin making plans to renovate your attic, make sure you thoroughly consider these three areas of renovation.