You might be wondering, is it possible to convert an attic space into a living room? It is — with the right renovation tips. Converting attics into a guest room can be a great way to go for its comfort and well-lit, breathable space compared to a basement with a limited light source. With the proper design and planning, you can turn your dusty and unused attic into a bedroom fit for any guest.
Keep in mind that not all attics are meant for conversion due to building codes and permits. Also, with the size, if it’s not large enough for you to stand upright, it can’t be easily turned into a bedroom.
But despite certain limitations, an expert like an architect and a designer can do some tweaking to squeeze enough space into your attic — but it will be costly.
Consider Modern Building Codes and Permit
Before you start your attic renovation, make sure if your attic needs local building codes. Any home renovation is going to require homeowners to consider building codes and permits during your planning stage.
Check with local municipalities if they will require you a permit. Building code consists of safety standards to ensure the stability of your projects, such as the ceiling height, the total square footage of the room, and the width of the room.
If your attic is accessible from a pulling staircase, you will surely need a full-size staircase, and your ceiling should be at least 7 feet tall and seven feet wide to meet building codes. You can hire a professional to increase the height of the room or install new stairs.
Consider the Cost
Depending on the size, an attic renovation may vary. But according to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors, homeowners can expect to pay at least $80,000 to finish their attic conversion, with ceilings being the most expensive if built too low. It can cost anywhere between $2,500 to $20,000 to add square footage.
Plan Your Insulation and Ventilation Needs
Attics can be the hottest or coldest room in the entire house depending on the season, so setting up a comfortable atmosphere in a renovated attic requires planning, even with an expert.
With insulation, spray foam is a good option since it can easily fit between existing joists. This can keep the room warm during winter. Block windows with heavy drapes or curtains.
You will need to plan how to keep your attic cool, and one way of doing it is to release the heat that gets trapped in the attic by installing exhaust vents. You can also have an air conditioning system for the summer.
Clean Every Spot
Before you begin your renovation, you need to clean out the area and remove materials that you won’t need. Your attic might’ve been a storage room before, but to have an organized renovation, get rid of old junk, and simply leave the building materials.
Renovations can be messy, and you don’t want any personal things lying around. There will also be debris, dust, and broken materials since you’ll be removing them to install new ones.
Install A Drywall and a Ceiling
After electrical and plumbing work, it is not ready to install drywall and ceiling. Drywall or plasterboard can be easily be cut and trimmed and is used to cover conventional bare stud walls or damaged plaster walls.
If you are placing drywall over an existing wall, remove the baseboards and know the location of the nail hole in the wall surface to make the job easier when you place your new drywall.
With your ceiling, make the most of it by choosing a form that will complement the design of your attic. The ceilings will be a focal point for anyone who stays in the room.
When you convert an attic into a bedroom, you are adding a lot more weight to the floors. You can reinforce the floor joists to create a safe environment for the room.
Carpeting is perfect for your attic because it can help with the insulation. You can hire professional flooring installation services to do the job for you since this can be a bit tricky. You would need your floors to be tested out if they are solid and if they will not harm the structural integrity of your home.
Installing the right window can make a big difference in your attic and can be a factor for good lighting. It can also make the room appear larger and brighter in person.
To meet building codes, your attic needs to have at least one window that can provide an emergency exit in case of fire. Installing windows can level up your interior Since it will be adding natural light instead of artificial light from installed lamps. Skylights can be a good option for an attic conversion window since they naturally fit into a roofline.
Converting your attic to a bedroom meant for your guests can be a great way to add value to your home. You can make it as a master’s bedroom, a library, or an art room. Whatever it may be, remember that the conversion will take a lot of work, and it may cost you, but it will be worth it.