When home owners are looking to add more space, value and versatility to their home, they should consider converting their attic. The converted space can be used for additional bedroom space, game room, a new family room, a studio or just a quiet place to relax.
An attic conversion is considered less expensive and less complex than building an addition to your house, mainly because the basic frame work of the ceiling walls and roofs is already in place and might only need to be reinforced. You must make sure that the attic floors are set to bare the required load of furniture and people, that you have enough headroom and electrical service wherever it is needed.
The basic step of any attic conversion and remodeling will start with a through attic inspection. This process will cover checking the ceiling joists, the roof supports and any existing trussed system. It is very important to adequately support portions of the joist systems and beams because most of the old attics are not designed to carry the weight that a regular floor does.
Comfortable and safe access is crucial for the attic conversion project. In some cases, you may have to build a new stairway or bring the existing one up to code. In order for the new room to qualify as a living space, at least 60 square feet, or 50% (whichever is greater) must have a minimum ceiling height of 7 and a half feet, no area with ceiling height of less than 5 feet is considered habitable.
The most popular way to create space in a room that is restricted by the roof pitch is to build more dormers. A dormer not only adds space, but it also lets more day light and fresh air into a finished attic. Skylights can also be a good options and a less expensive one.
When planning the attic conversion, it is important to know where you want the electrical outlets, light fixtures and switches. All the electrical wiring can run inside the framed walls and the floor joists. Installing the right insulation is a key to keep the attic area warm at winter and cool at summertime. The insulation can be located between the rafters and the ceiling joists sections. Also, providing heating and cooling to this area is a necessity.
Bottom line, it is much simpler than an addition, but still requires a lot of experience from a contractor to convert the attic to a livable space.