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7 Tips to Renovating Attics for New Homeowners 

7 Tips to Renovating Attics for New Homeowners
Attic Renovation

Renovating your home can help add value to it. Many potential buyer feel attracted to home improvement projects. There are many parts you can consider improving, such as the furniture, the cellar, or even the closet. 

Most people use attics to store memories and things they don’t need. But if you’re planning to renovate your attic, consider turning it into an extra space. Remodeling your attic is a great way to add comfort to your home without adding extra square footage. 

But before you start remodeling your attic, there are some steps to consider. Here are seven beginner tips for remodeling attics. 

1. Secure The Needed Permissions

To remodel attics, you need to get the necessary permissions. The first step to renovating is checking your building code requirements. Not all attics are viable for conversion into a spare room. 

Most buildings require at least 7 feet of space between the floor and ceiling. You may need to hire a contractor to raise your roofline if you don’t have enough headspace. Your finished attic should be accessible by a permanent staircase and not a pull-down ladder like most attics. 

Your new finished attic must also have an accessible emergency escape route. Most renovations don’t ask for a permit. But you may need to secure one if you plan on making electrical or ventilation changes. 

2. Have a Plan

Before you start gathering materials, you need to have a plan for space in your attic. Remodeling your attic allows you to increase your home’s functionality. There are many things you can do to renovate your attic.

It’s important to consider your goal for your remodeled attic. Having a plan and a goal serves as a guideline for the rest of your project details. It allows you to consider the best flooring like engineered dark grey flooring, decorations and furniture, and more. 

Most people turn their attic into a spare bedroom. If you don’t already have a guest room, consider turning your attic into a bedroom. You can also turn your attic into a family game room or a playroom for the kids. 

If you work from home but don’t have a proper work station, an attic office can be a valuable addition to your property. You can also convert the attic into an at-home theater room. These are only some ideas, but feel free to get creative! 

3. Have the Right Roof Structure

Having the right roof structure is an essential step to renovating your attic. If W-shaped trusses support your attic roof, you may face some complications. A roof with W-shaped trusses can be expensive or impossible to convert at all. 

A roof that has an A-shape and supporting rafters is the most ideal structure for an attic renovation. An A-shape roof guarantees you enough ceiling height which most buildings require. Consider contacting a professional roofer or architect to inspect your home. 

4. Install a Safe Stairway

Building code requirements include a standard and permanent stairway. This ensures safe and easy access to the attic. Most attics have pull-down staircases or ladders, but this will not pass building requirements. 

You will need to replace pull-down staircases and ladders with a standard staircase. A stairway must be at least 36 inches wide with 9.5 inches deep threads. As you walk along the entirety of the stairs, you must have at 6 feet and 8 inches of headroom. 

Remember that a straight run staircase can take up about 10 to 14 feet of space on the floor below it. You can also opt for spiral staircases. 

5. Prioritize Insulation And Ventilation

To turn your attic into a proper habitable space, you need to have proper insulation and ventilation. You may need to contact professionals to help you with this part of renovating. They will determine if your HVAC system can support another room. 

Your attic must maintain a steady temperature of 68 degrees before you can consider it habitable. Aside from insulating the roof, you can also add spray foam between the floor joists. You can also consider adding ceiling fans if you have enough height. 

6. Add Lighting

Add windows to your attic if you don’t already have them. Habitable rooms require natural light equal to at least 8 percent of the entire area. A roof window like a skylight which allows you to give more natural light to your attic without heavily altering your roof. 

Aside from natural light, you need to add some proper light fixtures to your attic. Fluorescent loft lighting can be the best attic lighting. Fluorescent lights can distribute light more evenly while also conserving energy. 

You can also consider adding an LED panel to your attic. LED panels can fit well with roof beams and insulating boards. Consider adding recessed spotlights to roof beams. 

This allows you to give enough functional down-light to your attic. If you’re installing attic lighting by yourself, always practice safety! Use a sturdy telescopic ladder like this one. 

7. Add the Finishing Touches

The final step to finishing your attic is adding the finishing touches. This includes flooring, decorations, and furniture. These may vary depending on your plan for the space in your attic. 

Most attic floors have floor joists or truss members for flooring. Floor joists may not be enough to turn your attic into a habitable space. Consider reinforcing them or replacing them with something better. 

Most building codes require attic floors that can carry 30 pounds per square foot of live load. Live load pertains to people and their belongings. Feel free to design your newly finished attic however you want. 

Start Renovating Attics For a Better Home 

Renovating attics can be a good way to add value to a home for reselling or for new homeowners to make a house their own. 

These seven tips can help new homeowners remodel their attics into a personal living space. When in doubt, feel free to contact a professional designer or architect. 

Thank you for reading our article! If you found this helpful, consider leaving us a comment. Check out our other blog posts for more great home improvement content! 

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