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Steps to convert your attic into living space

We’re always on the lookout for every available square foot of space in our home, and this quest never stops. Regardless if you want more living space or a bedroom, adding another room to your home is a resounding success. Some homeowners try to find extra space by renting storage units Skokie. Others, try to build an addition to their house, but this is sometimes difficult to pull off because of existing housing plans or their budget. However, did you know that you have all that extra space you need in the current floorplan of your home? We’re talking about all that unused space in your attic. This could seem a bit tricky to pull off, but it is absolutely possible. We’re here to help you convert your attic into living space without spending a fortune.

It is possible to convert your attic into living space with a bit of work

The first thing you want to do if you’re thinking of converting your attic is to check the local building code. Before you get to work, you need to make sure your attic qualifies for the conversion. Depending on the municipality you live in, certain specifications may vary. Also, if your attic for some reason doesn’t meet these regulations, don’t worry! There are projects you can do while renovating that meet the build code, thus allowing you to convert your attic into living space. Before you start the construction work, consider emptying your attic and moving the contents to Golan’s Moving & Storage facilities. You’ll be able to work in peace, knowing that your items are safe and sound.

an attic before being converted into living space
With a bit of construction work, your attic can become a beautiful bedroom

The first thing you need to worry about is the ceiling height. To be considered a living space, your attic must have at least 7 feet of height. If it is below that number, you can either lower the height of the lower floor or raise the ceiling. It may be a daunting task, but it can be done with the help of a contractor. The next thing on the list to worry about is the heating. To meet the building code, your attic should be able to maintain a temperature of 68°F. With your current heating and cooling systems, and the attic’s insulation, this should be easily doable.

How much does it usually cost?

Like any other construction work, the cost of your attic conversion will depend on its size. According to the statistics, it shouldn’t cost more than 15% of your home’s current total value. So for example, if your home is valued at $170.000, you shouldn’t spend more than $25.500. In other words, a home attic conversion price range varies between $25.000 and $50.000. The cost also largely depends on your attic’s current condition. If your attic already meets the building code, you’re almost good to go. Not much renovation will be needed, meaning you can save during home renovation. If you want to plan your budget ahead, write down a list of changes you want to make in your attic. Then, you can consult with your contractor and get a rough estimate from him. Remember to save up for the furniture you’ll buy later on!

The needed steps to convert your attic into living space

It goes without saying that your attic conversion needs to be taken one step at a time. In addition, you need to reconstruct and refurbish all of the major elements of your attic. Let’s look into the most important components of your attic and how you should tend to them.

brown and blue attic room
You’ll have very little space available, so make the most of it!

The ceiling will be your attic’s crown

Whenever anyone enters your new attic living space, the first thing they’ll notice is its focal point, the ceiling. Sloped ceilings are generally considered to be unique and interesting pieces of architecture. Your task is to finish it in a way that compliments your room’s final design. If you want to give your room a country charm, we suggest bedboard paneling. It’s easy to install, has a similar weight to drywall, but has a more finished look, thanks to the decorative grooves. For a more traditional look, add elegance to your space with strategically placed molding. It looks very polished and is considered to be a classic finishing touch. There is also wood finishing, which is a very popular decorative finish, and the most versatile out of the three listed. Different species of wood give you the ability to stain them. This gives them a rustic look and ensures longevity.

The walls and floors are equally important

Given the fact your ceiling is the attic’s centerpiece, the walls will naturally extend into a supporting feature. In most cases, attic’s have knee walls, which are around 3 feet or lower. With a small space like that, you need to cleverly utilize your wall space with built-in seating and storage. Installing recessed shelves is a great way to maximize your storage space in a wall you previously weren’t able to use. If you’re looking for closed storage, you can install cabinets and drawers in the same spots. Another clever trick to consider is built-in seating. Installing it against the short walls, creates more room in the central area, opening up more space for bigger furniture pieces.

a skylight window after converting an attic into living space
Your choice of windows will have a huge impact on the room’s final feel

When it comes to picking the flooring options for your new attic space, think about how they’ll fit with other areas of your living room. People often want to isolate their lower floors from the noise of the upstairs traffic. To make everything silent and bearable, carpets are the obvious choice. They absorb excess sounds rather well, which makes them the perfect pick for an attic that will be heavily used. If you want to have a hardwood floor, but still keep the noise down, you’ll have to go an alternative route. In this case, dense insulation and bulky floor joists can help reduce noise coming from upstairs.

You can’t have a nice attic room without windows

When trying to convert your attic into living space, always consider windows and natural lighting. By allowing plenty of sunlight into your room, it will be much more enjoyable, while looking bigger. The two most common window types used in attic conversions are skylight and dormer windows. Dormer windows are built to project vertically on a sloped roof, which makes them the perfect choice for attics. They allow plenty of natural light in, and since they project outward, they open possibilities for maximizing storage space. Skylight windows are often built into the home’s design. Their installation is rather simple and doesn’t alter the original roofline too much. Dormer windows require a vertical wall, while skylights follow the existing slope, making them more convenient.

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