Believe it or not, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2006 Cost vs. Value report, attic bedroom remodels in the New England area are runners up only to kitchens and bathrooms when it comes to the amount of money you'll recoup on the project if you choose to turn around and sell your house once the work's completed. What's that mean for Bostonians? To put it simply, it means that if you're trying to find a way to add square footage onto your home without adding on, the first place you ought to look is straight up.
How to Decide if You're a Candidate for a Boston Attic Renovation
Attic remodels can be a tricky business, and no homeowner should walk into them blindly. In fact, they can be a bit of a risk if you don't know what to look for. The main things you need to determine before you give the go ahead for work to start is whether there's sufficient headroom in your attic to justify an attic remodel of any sort, whether there's a sensible place to build an access point (also known as stairs), and whether your present attic's rafters are built strong enough to accommodate being used as a floor. A lack in any one of those areas often makes for a failed Boston attic remodeling project in terms of adding any significant amount of value to your home.
Oldies But Goodies Make for Excellent Boston Attic Remodeling Prospects
The only sure way to know whether your attic is a candidate for a remodel is to bring in a contractor to perform an evaluation for you. However, it's safe to say that the older your home is, the more likely the answers to all of those questions are going to be yes. That's good news for Bostonians, since Boston is more than three hundred years old and older homes in town are the rule rather than the exception. To be more specific, the high, steeply pitched roofs of most colonial, federalist, and Victorian style houses (all fairly common in the Greater Boston Area) almost guarantee enough head room for attic remodels in Boston, while the regimented floor plans of the first two styles routinely leave plenty of room for a central set of stairs. Add to that the fact that many older home's attics were built to withstand foot traffic in the first place, and you've got all the makings for a successful attic remodel at your fingertips.
Deciding Between Different Boston Attic Remodeling Options
Here's where things get tricky. As with any remodel, the possibilities for your new attic remodeling project in Boston are limitless. Music studio, playroom, master bedroom suite, you name it. If you can think it up, there's somebody in Boston that can make it happen. When it comes to getting your money back, however, things aren't nearly so cut and dry. A home office, for example, comes in last on the same Cost vs. Value report mentioned above when it comes to recouping your money on large remodeling projects. Furthermore, some other popular uses of extra space, such as family rooms and home theater areas, just don't seem to fit attics and their location in the home. So what is the best choice for attic remodels in Boston? All things considered, extra bedrooms are probably your best bet if you hope to secure the highest possible return.
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What Makes a Room a Bedroom in Attic Remodels in Boston
Undoubtedly you're wondering what the big difference is between a home office, a playroom, a studio, or a bedroom. Frankly, not much. The difference, from an official standpoint, has to do with the size of windows you choose to install. Per Massachusetts building codes, in order for you to be able to classify a room as a "sleeping room" (a.k.a. bedroom), it needs to have at least one window large enough to serve as an emergency egress (escape) or rescue point. More specifically, the qualifying window in each room should measure at least 20" x 24," and have an area of at least 3.3 square feet, to pass specs. Bringing the discussion back to attic remodeling in Boston, by simply ordering and installing large enough windows during the remodeling process you'll be able to recoup almost 13% more of the money you invest up front in comparison to alternatives such as a home office. And keep in mind, once the construction is finished you can use those bedrooms for whatever you want, home office included.
An attic renovation in Boston is always going to add to your home. It's important that you know the rules of the game, however, if you want to bring added value into the equation as well.