Monday, February 18, 2013

Attic Rooms - Converting your Attic into a Bedroom

We all want more space. How great would it be to add a whole room, or even two, without an expensive addition? All you might have to do is just look up!

Most attics aren’t exactly ignored completely. We shove Christmas decorations, hand-me-downs and old photos and clothing up there to forget about. Builders pack the space with ductwork and vent stacks in newer homes and remodels. If your attic has good access and enough space to stand up in a good part of it, chances are good it can be converted into a bedroom or office, like the last photo, below, from Apartment Therapy's website.

Attics are characteristically oddly shaped spaces, with low ceilings, tiny alcoves and an iffy floor, if any. Those are the very same things that make finishing attic rooms so appealing and full of potential. It’s pure bonus space, so you don’t need perfection and you can get really creative, like these examples pictured from Elle Decor's website.

But while it seems like a pretty easy conversion, this is not a DIY project. Even though you might be able to do some of it on your own, it’s best to leave it to the pros. Talk with your contractor before starting anything.

Here are some things to consider:

Can I consider a finished attic additional square footage? It depends. There are a lot of code requirements that you need to fulfill, from access, insulation, electrical outlets, heating and air conditioning, ventilation and emergency egress. Talk with your contractor and a Realtor about regulations for your area.

Stair access. If you don’t have a decent stairway or space to add one, give up and dedicate the attic space to storage for things that are impervious to temperature changes and humidity. It’s not worth the hazards of a rickety or steep ladder.
If you need to build a stair, talk with a contractor, architect or engineer to make sure it’s up to code, properly supported and the right size.

Insulation. Chances are the insulation that may be in your attic currently is designed to keep the house warm, not the whole attic space. You’ll need to add some more. There are tricks to insulating the underside of a roof so that you won’t trap moisture, so, again, talk with a contractor.

Consider a skylight. Attics can be dark, even if there is a window. Skylights add lots of light and fresh air if they are operable. Again, talk with your contractor about what might be appropriate for your house.

Now you get to decorate! Here are some more great ideas from Once the space is finished, then the fun comes in. In an attic room, you can bend some rules because the spaces are so odd. Tuck the bed or a cozy chair in an alcove, build out storage or shelves under the lowest part of the roof, and be OK with a door that has a missing corner.

It’s all part of the charm and the fun. Send us your favorite attic room photos. We would love to see what you’ve done!

Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


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