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What to consider before remodeling your attic (and some killer attic remodeling ideas)

A remodeled attic at it's finestRemodeling the attic has one primary goal: to use the space that would otherwise be wasted to rolls of Christmas wrapping paper and boxes of dusty clothes.  For the goal to make sense, you’ll need some head clearance in the attic; with that said, even if you can’t stand up completely the attic need not go to waste.

You still may have the space to make a kid’s playroom; getting them out of your hair and giving you the living room back.

In this article, we’ll explore a handful of attic renovation ideas that may work for you.  The only limit to what’s possible is your creativity, budget specifications and available space.

So, let’s get started…

About inspection

Before you layout any cash, you should seriously consider getting a home inspector to come in and give the attic a look.  Things like rot or mold in the attic can quickly turn a renovation into a nightmare.  For a few hundred dollars, you can save yourself the heartache.

You may also need an electrician to give a look to the electrical system.  Older houses are notorious for not having the power requirements necessary to power an addition (such as an attic renovation).  Check up on this before you start building; there’s nothing worse than finding out you have to cough up $XX,XXX more before you can even use your new attic.

To pass final permitting inspection, you may need a secondary egress (exit).  Check the requirements for your locality; the permitting requirements always vary.

Also, keep in mind an area isn’t considered living area unless it’s insulated.  If you plan on boosting your living area (for appraisal purposes) you’ll want to insulate making sure not to stifle natural circulation.

Some things you may want to include

Bathrooms are usually a good addition, assuming an existing bathroom is located on the floor below the attic.  Running pipe can get very expensive fast, if there isn’t existing infrastructure already in place.

Skylights are a fast way to let natural light bring the attic to life.  They also can help with ventilation, which is a common stumbling block for attic and basement remodeling projects.  For an additional investment, dormers accomplish the same thing with the added benefit of being a secondary egress.

Hardwood flooring or carpet will make your attic feel like an extension of the home… not a cold, isolated dungeon. I prefer carpet to add comfort, but build to your taste.  Just remember to bolt down hardwood if you’re using it; nothing is as much of a drag as squeaky floors.

Cool things you can build up there

Kids Playroom –

I like these for attics with less head clearance than a full grown adult needs.  Throw up some walls, add an egress (if needed), put in hardwood flooring (to avoid stains to carpet) and let the kids run wild.  Move all of the toys up here, like that new drum set, and watch the noise level drop down to pre-pregnancy days.

Home Office –

More of us are working from home.  That means more of us are finding out how hard it is to work when the phone is ringing, the dog is barking, the bed needs to be made and the T.V. is right there.  Having a designated office is an easy way to boost productivity… and a renovated attic is the perfect location.  Don’t forget the natural light; a skylight or dormer is the way to go here.

Bedroom –

You can set up a guest or primary bedroom without much difficulty.  Use light and “sleepy” colors (think blues) and keep a dehumidifier up there.

Adult Getaway –

Drop in a pool table and a T.V. and you have your own little oasis away from the hustle and bustle downstairs.  Throw in a minibar and a dart board and you may never want to leave.

There you have it; a handful of attic remodeling ideas.  Do you have any ideas or tips for renovations? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Published in Remodeling Your Attic

11 Comments

  1. jess jess

    I love the idea of putting in skylights, you’ll save some money on electricity. I think having a playroom for the kids where they can yell and scream and I don’t have to hear it, would be awesome. A playroom is probably the best choice especially if you have a low or slanted ceiling in your attic.

  2. dhaval dhaval

    very nice idea given from this article, i can absolutely save money. I must be have playroom for the kids where they can play anytime their games and also they will definitely enjoy it.

  3. Lisa Simmons Lisa Simmons

    Wow! There are some very creative ideas here! You gave me some very useful info for my attic project. Thanks!

  4. Samantha Samantha

    Thanks! We just bought a house and this will help!

  5. sanoo sanoo

    With a little bit of imagination and moderate investment, an attic can evidently be a lot of things. I wonder how a home theater would fit in there. Thanks for the article.

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