Transforming your attic is the most affordable way to add space to a home. Whether your family has grown and you need an extra bedroom, or a new home office to work from, an attic transformation is usually a better option than expanding and building a new home addition.
Attic transformations are significantly less expensive than basement conversion and are easier to do too. Basement conversions greatly impact your usual downstairs living space and can be very intrusive. Transforming your attic will also add considerable value to your home if and when you decide to sell.
Before you go ahead and start building, here are a few things to consider and keep in mind when transforming your attic.
Find Out If You Need a Building Permit
Most municipalities require building permits for attic conversions. Sometimes, a building inspector comes over to inspect your space and provides you with the necessary codes that need to be met. Contact your local municipality office and acquire the necessary permits for your building conversion.
Permits are almost always necessary, especially if your attic transformation requires structural changes like knocking down a wall or adding electrical wiring.
Add Lighting to Suit Your Needs
Attics are usually the darkest spaces in our homes. They have next to no windows, and the first thing you need to think about is adding lighting fixtures and windows to bring in natural light. Many people decide to add dormers when converting their attic space, but this can be quite an undertaking, quite expensive, and they take up a lot of wall space.
Adding skylights or double windows is one of the more accessible options for bringing natural light into your attic. They will help make your room airier and brighter, making it feel more spacious and open. A good option for lighting fixtures is recessed LED lighting along the borders of your ceiling. Adding LED lights is easier; they emit less heat and are easy to insulate around.
There will be a room under your transformed attic. Whether it is a bathroom, a home office, or a bedroom, you will have to consider soundproofing your attic floor. Just walking around in your attic will be very loud in the room under it.
Consider getting thicker floor joists and thicker or denser insulation when converting your attic. You can also add thick carpets or rugs when decorating to minimize the sound traveling to the room below.
Attics are the coldest rooms in your home during winter and the hottest in summer. This isn’t a big issue when you are using your attic just for storage, but if you want to transform it into a livable space, you will have to factor in insulation.
Good insulation regulates the temperature of a room greatly and helps it remain comfortable. Don’t just stick to standard fiberglass insulation but look for good quality and high-density insulation. Spray foam, though more expensive, takes up less space, is easy to apply yourself, and will prevent significant heat loss and gain.