To finish your attic, it will cost between $25,000 – 50,000, with a national average return of 84% of its value. Most homeowners who undertook an attic conversion have no regrets. Here are a 7 Things to Think About Before You Start Finishing Your Attic to make sure you are ready to start your project.
1) Codes and Safety
Did you know that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet? Also, did you know the attic has to be accessible by a full-size staircase, and you need to have an emergency exit, which is typically an easily accessible window? An engineer will help make sure your house’s foundation and framing can carry the extra load as well. Contact a contractor or a local building official to help you assess how the rule will apply to your attic.
2) Ceiling Fan
A fan will make a finished attic more comfortable in warmer months, and by flipping it, the switch in reverse for the wintertime will push warmer air down to keep you cozy.
3) Area Under a Dormer
A dormer can add to a more room within an open floor plan. Adding a desk or a pint-size table with chairs can become a home office or a kids’ craft area. Or you can keep it simple with a comfy reading chair and footstool.
4) Get More Space With a Bump Out
Adding a bump-out to your attic expansion plan will bump up the cost by a lot. That’s because they require structural modifications. But an attic bumps out is also the most cost-efficient way to gain more usable space. It is also a great way to add windows, which will add more natural light and fresh air.
A skylight can provide a few inches above a sink or toilet. TO make a skylight worth, you will want a few upgrades. A remote-control operation will let you open and shut the skylights with the touch of a button. A roll-up insect screen to keep out bugs and debris, as well as the screens, can be retracted for cleaning the glass. Solar shades to prevent indoor temps from getting too high.
There’s a chance you will need to enlarge the system if your attic wasn’t heated or cooled previously. Or you can save money by having an HVAC contractor install a free-standing HVAC unit in the attic rather than tapping into your existing HVAC system. Calling in a professional to make sure everything is done right.
Even if you’re using the attic as an activity room or office, a bathroom makes the space more comfortable, and it’ll improve resale value. Reduce costs and limit wall damage by installing pipes close to existing plumbing. Running the attic’s water supply and drain lines down to the basement is best for optimal water pressure and proper venting of sewer gases.
Ready to get started on this project? Check out 7 Steps to Finishing an 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.