How to Convert Your Attic Into a Room
Convert Your Attic Into a Room
Want to add living space to your home without having to expand? Consider converting your attic into a room! Finishing your attic is way easier than expanding the walls of your home, and of course costs less. Once you have the floors, walls and ceilings are finishes, your attic can easily transform into an extra bedroom, office space, reading nook, or play room! Remember to be realistic about your skill level when it comes time to do work, there are some projects you may want to leave to the pros.
Here’s how to convert your attic into a room:
Check the Building Codes in Your Area
When converting your attic into a new living space, it must meet the same building requirements as the other rooms in your home. It’s important to remember any living space in your home should follow the ‘rule of sevens’ which is that it must have at least 7 feet of vertical clearance, be a minimum of 7 feet wide and have at least 70 square feet of space available. Building codes also require finished attics to be accessible by a full-size staircase. Furthermore, for an attic to satisfy fire codes, it must have another exit in case of an emergency, this typically means an easily accessible window.
Obtain a Building Permit
Whenever you’re finishing an attic, you’ll likely need to obtain the necessary permits from your city or county government. You need to complete the appropriate forms and submit them to the local body that oversees building permits. Usually the price depends on the location of your property and type of work involved.
Inspect Your Roof
Inspecting your roof is a must on your to-do list when converting an attic to a living space. Check to see if you have rafters or trusses. While trusses provide additional support to your roof’s framing, traditional rafters are considered better for an attic conversion due to the open space they create. If you have trusses, it will be difficult to reconfigure them to allow for open space.
Finishing the Attic
1. Wire for Electricity
Once your attic is brought up to code and you’ve got your permits in order, it’s time to get a licensed electrician to ensure all wiring is up to code. We do not advise doing any electrical work yourself, as you run the risk of electrical fires.
2. Insulate Ceiling and Walls
Proper insulation is key to finishing your attic and increasing your energy savings, hiring a professional insulation installer will be able to help you achieve both. Professional insulation installers know how to assess your home’s current insulation and select the right R-value and best type of insulation to use. An experienced insulation installer will be able to properly remove mold, access hard-to-reach spaces, identify rotting structures and more.
3. Hang Drywall Over the Insulation
When you’re ready to hang drywall prepare to feel excited, this is when your attic will really begin to take shape. You can hang drywall sheets vertically or horizontally, but most lean towards hanging drywall horizontally because it reduces seams, hides uneven studs and is easier to finish.
4. Prime and Paint Walls
Once the drywall is up and all the seams are taped and finished, you can begin painting. It typically takes about two coats to cover new drywall. Remember to seal the drywall with primer in order to get an even finish, and do not paint until the primer is dry.
5. Install Flooring
Attic floors are usually a bit noisy, while you may be able to live with the squeakiness now, once the room is livable you’ll definitely want to cut down the noise. When choosing flooring, opt for carpet as it absorbs sounds. If you’re laying hardwood floors, be sure to prep your subfloor.
We hope you found this guide helpful when converting your attic into a room! Remember when hiring professionals for any of these steps, be sure they are licensed and insured. For any debris and leftover mess this makeover may leave you with, call us at Waste Solutions 123 for an affordable roll off container!