Digging Deeper: The Attic Space

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I’ve always liked the idea of turning a good size attic into a usable living area, such as an extra bedroom.  This type of renovation does take some planning.  However, with an experienced general contractor who pays attention to detail, you can add a cozy new living area to your home.  Many older homes were built with A-framed roofs and loads of available height, making an attic conversion pretty straightforward.

Where to start?

There are many things to take into consideration before tackling this project. Building codes may make permits incredibly difficult to get if certain requirements are not met.  All of these things must be considered before you start construction:

  • Roof Design
  • Structural Integrity
  • Support
  • Accessibility
  • Lighting
  • Head Room
  • Safety

Grab Your Flashlight

Now go grab your flashlight; we’re going to the attic!

If the first thing you see a bunch of W-shaped trusses supporting your roof, stop right there.  Forget this project. You could build an addition much more cost-effectively than you could remodel this kind of attic. If, however, you find beams that form an A shape to support the roof and open space underneath, you’ve got a remodeling candidate.

Lighting

I am a huge fan of natural light, especially in a smaller space.   Windows or skylights may have to be added for natural lighting. Also, if you are going to use the attic as a bedroom, several codes require an escape route through a window in case of fire or emergency.

How are you going to get up and down from the finished attic space?

Keep in mind that adding a stairway will affect the space below the attic as well.  Whether you are planning to enlarge your existing stairway or create a new one, it will take some careful planning and open communication with your general contractor!  There are several options, but it really depends on your space below and, of course, following all the building codes.

Spiral Stairway

Straight-Run Stairway

Intermediate Landing & Two Runs

Organization

Once you have figured out all the nitty gritty details of following all the safety and structural codes, the fun can begin!!  Now, it’s all about organization and function.  Clutter will no longer be welcome in this attic!!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss creating your attic space, contact us today!

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