Attic Conversion – Is It An Option?

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 21, 2013

roofer ILIf you’re looking to add square footage onto your home but aren’t able to add on an addition, perhaps finishing your attic into living space is an option. Not all attics are created equally though, so here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not your attic is a good candidate for rehab.

Since most attics were not built with the intention of using them as living space, converting them into just that comes with many challenges. Because of those challenges, attic conversions are not inexpensive, please do not think that this is a cheaper option than finishing your basement or adding on a room, it is simply an alternative to those options.

Is your attic a candidate for conversion?

• Consult with a local building official to find out the requirements for an updated attic space. Your local building code will undoubtedly have regulations regarding ceiling height, windows, ventilation, and egress. If you are unable to meet those regulations, converting your attic will not be an option, no matter how creative you get.

• Take a look in your attic to see how the roof was built. A-frame trusses that support the roofing are the best option for remodeling while W-shaped trusses would make the project next to impossible.

• Consider the actual space and how much of your square footage a stairway would eat up in both the attic and on the floor below. Where would you be able to place the stairway on the lower floor so that it has the least impact on your current living space?

• Consult the professionals; they will be able to give you a true evaluation of whether or not your attic is a good candidate for remodeling. You may decide to work with a home improvement contractor or with individual trades people. No matter the approach, your attic remodeling would likely involve roofing contractors, heating and ventilation contractors, window specialists, electricians, and plumbers in addition to the builders. Make sure that everyone involved is experienced in attic conversions and that you have been given a written estimate.


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