So you asked yourself, 7 Things to Think About Before You Start Finishing Your Attic and now you are ready to get started. Be realistic about your skill level when it comes to doing the work yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you convert your attic.
1. Clean Out Your Attic
Before you begin converting an attic, you need to clean out the area and remove any old junk. Assuming you are going to add new insulation before installing drywall, remove any old insulation. If the insulation on your attic floor is in good shape, you can install subflooring over it. If it is old and compressed, consider replacing it.
2. Wire the Attic for Electricity
Once your attic is brought up to code, and you’ve obtained a permit, hire a licensed electrician to ensure all wiring meets code requirements. By hiring a professional to install electrical wiring across the walls and ceiling, you can avoid many issues that may come up. If you do the work yourself, you run the risk of electrical fires. As a rule of thumb, there should be at least one outlet on each wall and at least one outlet every 12 feet. Recessed LED fixtures are the best for attics since they can be tuck entirely out of the way, they don’t generate unwanted heat, and can have insulation installed snugly and safely around them.
3. Build a Subfloor
Start this process only once all electrical and ventilation installations are completed. If joists are visible on the floor of your attic, you will need to build a subfloor. To reduce sound traveling from your finished attic through the floor to the rest of the house, you can add insulation under the subfloor paneling or choose a thicker subfloor panel.
4. Insulate Your Attic
For a DIY project, the best insulation for an attic is batt insulation with a vapor-retardant facing. This insulation is excellent for finishing an attic because it is flexible and easy to install and can even be layered for additional coverage. Before installing the batts, caulk any spaces or leaks where air can pass to the rooms below. Staple the insulation into the joists as directed by the insulation manufacturer.
5. Install Ceiling
Do not go with plain boring drywall for ceilings, try one of these unique ceiling finishes. Paneling with moldings is a luxurious touch for the space, tongue-and-groove panels are easy to install and will protect the low ceiling from dings and dents, or stained or left bare wood makes a low-ceilinged attic feel snug and cozy.
6. Paint Walls
New drywall will need to be primed before painting. After priming, add at least two coats of paint to give the drywall a finished appearance. If you use drywall on the ceiling, paint it before starting on the walls. When choosing colors for your attic room, consider lighter options, especially if the room has few windows and little natural light. A No-Fail Color Scheme is to painting the walls, ceilings, floors, and even furnishings in a light hue to tie together, making attic feel more substantial and airier. Opt for warm whites, like ivory or cream, to avoid the sterile hospital look.
7. Choose and Install Attic Flooring
Attic activity can cause a lot of noise for the rooms below. Huskier floor joists will quiet things down, as will filling the bays with blown-in dense-pack insulation. Carpeting is a good option for an attic because it helps reduce sound and adds additional insulation to your floor.
Now that your attic is finished, move-in furniture and décor to make the room the living space you always wanted. Enjoy decorating your newly converted attic!
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Kurt Kopp is a dedicated professional with a commitment to excellence. He is a master builder of over 35 years of experience that strives to deliver the highest quality product to his valued customer.