Due to its structurally unorthodox, sometimes even impractical nature, a lot of people outright dismiss an attic as a viable living space. Instead, they see it as an alternative storage facility. While this is also an adequate way to use an attic, it is also a massive waste of potential. You see, a lot of people would rather remodel a basement than an attic, even though the latter has a much greater potential. In order to avoid making the same mistake, there are several tips on how to convert an attic into a great living space.
1. Start with an evaluation
First of all, you need to understand that not every single attic out there is suitable for living. The first factor that comes into play here is the height of the ceiling, which is, most commonly, about 7 feet 6 inches per minimum floor area of 70 square feet. Sadly, people who have an attic shorter than that won’t get a permit to transform it into a living space. Nonetheless, it’s also worth mentioning that different regions and states have different construction rules and regulations.
Outside of this, you might also need to consider the potential escape route, due to the fact that an average bedroom needs to have an average of two (the window and the hallway). The problem with this, when it comes to the attic living space lies in the issue of height. This is also why it’s a good idea to consider constructing a staircase leading out. This is relatively cheap, yet, pragmatic and potentially life-saving practice.
2. Exploit natural light
The next idea you should definitely take advantage of is the use of natural light in decoration. One of the biggest advantages of living in an attic is the fact that you get to install as many roof windows and you like, thus, overcoming the possibility that your furniture or internal walls might block the light. Of course, with the help of blinds, you can dim the place whenever you feel the need to do so. Relying on natural light can help you boost visibility and save costs at the same time. This is symbolic of the fact that the pragmatism is the main reason for converting your attic into a great living space.
Previously, we’ve discussed the fact that you can illuminate the place in a more energy-friendly manner, however, this is but a tip of the iceberg. You see, despite all the money that you save on lighting, you’ll still be in a deficit on your utility bill, if you fail to properly insulate the place. For starters, the above-discussed windows need to be quality-made and double glazing. Second, you need to insulate large surfaces in order to make it livable, seeing as how roof shingles provide much less insulation than standard walls.
4. Assigning it a purpose
Instead of just turning your attic into an alternative living room or a new bedroom, there are several other ideas you might want to explore. First of all, you might want to consider turning an attic into a home office. Due to the fact that a home office that’s a single-purpose room has a chance to qualify for a home-based business tax deduction, this is an incredibly great idea ROI-wise.
Of course, if the idea of a home-based business still holds true, you should perhaps consider looking for fitout specialists to outsource to. This is particularly important if you aim to bring clients/investors to your attic/home office. Aside from this, it’s also a good idea in a scenario where you need to install some specialized, industry-specific, equipment. Aside from this, you can also turn it into a playroom or into an entertainment room. By assigning a single purpose to it, you might eliminate some potential upgrades that you would have to make to the room, therefore, making your job substantially easier.
5. Extending systems
It goes without saying that your attic might lack an electrical or plumbing system, which is an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as you start planning to make the place livable. Fortunately, seeing as how you’re not making a new system but merely expanding and an old one, you have several tricks available that could make your job substantially easier. First of all, when it comes to plumbing, you can just locate your fixtures near the main stack. That is, provided that there are going to be some fixtures, especially due to the fact that they’re optional in most bedrooms and entertainment rooms.
As for the electricity, you first need to consult a commercial electrician and check if your current system can endure an upgrade. For this to work, nonetheless, you need to be honest with your plans for the future. After all, installing a completely new AC and heating unit is much more demanding than just plugging in one or two office appliances.
Keep in mind that all of the above-listed isn’t nearly as complex as it may appear. Most of your work in this field revolves around looking at plans, taking measurements and talking to professionals. Still, all of these professionals will make proposals based on your plans and ideas. This is why it’s vital that you do your research ahead of time and get as informed on the topic at hand as possible. Needless to say, this little extra effort on your side can make everyone’s job a lot easier.