An attic conversion is an excellent addition to your home, which easily gives you more living space without impacting your lawn space. Often, these remodels will be less expensive than a brand new addition, as there’s usually no need for framing and foundation work. You can even increase the square footage of liveable space in your home, increasing its value. Here are the steps you’ll take to build an attic conversion. If you partner with a remodeling contractor, they’ll help you every step of the way.
Before any construction begins, you’ll need to research the permitting requirements of your municipal zoning board. They may require a building permit depending on the scope of your conversion. If you are simply installing flooring and drywall, you might not need any permits. If you are installing utilities or making any structural changes, like adding dormers, then you will need permits. Check with your local government for your specific requirements.
How Attics are Finished
First, floors must be secure enough to hold the weight of people & furniture on them. Many attics may not be originally built to support this weight, so additional joists and supports may be added. Depending on your local ordinances, you may also need to install a stairway if your attic is only accessible by ladder. Next, you may want to replace old, inefficient insulation with newer insulation. High-quality insulation, like spray-foam insulation, makes the space feel like a real room in your home, planned from the start.
Any utilities, like eclectic or HVAC, should be installed before finishing. From there, drywall and flooring can be installed. The drywall and a fresh coat of paint will make the room look finished. Your flooring choice can be whatever you want and can impact the functionality of the space. Carpeting is a nice soft flooring for a kid’s playroom. Hardwood is a nice, classic look for a study or office space.
How Attic Dormers are Built
When you want extra lighting or floor space in your attic, a good option is to build out a dormer. A dormer is a roofed structure that projects out from the pitch of the roof to allow more space and light in your attic. It has a vertical window and three walls, allowing you to fit taller items or more standing room in a slanted attic.
Dormers are built after the floor is reinforced but before any insulation and finish work is done. First, the layout will be marked on the floor and roof before the roof is opened. Roofs are opened by marking the shingles and sawing along them. Then, the rafters are reinforced and the walls’ frame is built. After the frame is built, the roof is extended over the dormer and the dormer’s rafters are installed. Lastly, the exterior and interior walls are finished.
What Can Count as Added Square Footage?
Finished attics only count as square footage in your home when they satisfy certain requirements. Typically, you must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet over at least 70 square feet of floor space. So, your attic may be hundreds of square feet but the slanted ceilings prevent you from counting the entire space. If you don’t meet the 70 sq ft minimum requirement, or would like to include more square footage in the total, then 7 ft dormers will give you that extra amount of space that counts towards the total. This area must also be properly climate controlled and have windows for natural lighting and emergency escape routes. Check with your local ordinances to understand what you can and cannot count as liveable space.
Start Your Attic Conversion Today
If you’re not as skilled with tools or don’t have the time to renovate your attic on your own, then trust an experienced contractor to do the job right. E&E Contractors uses exceptional materials and quality workmanship to deliver the best results possible for your renovation. Contact us today to start planning your attic conversion.