Washington DC Attic Remodeling

by Jon Nunan

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There are many different factors that come into play when deciding to begin a major remodeling project. While many homeowners are primarily concerned with enhancing form and function, other big motivators are cost recovery, initial investment, and, of course, project duration. In Washington DC, attic remodeling is a viable option for anyone who is looking to expand his or her home's living space without the expense of adding on. Since there is not a lot of room to spare in a city such as Washington DC, attic remodels are an excellent choice for expanding families who need more room but don't want to sacrifice any existing yard or parking space, as well.

Washington DC Attic Renovation vs. Traditional Additions
For those in rural areas where space is plentiful, the cost of living is relatively low, and the neighbors are far enough away that loud noises won't be a disturbance, a traditional addition makes a lot of sense. Since an addition is essentially a separate structure, rural homeowners will have a lot more control over what can be done with the new space.

In Washington DC, attic remodeling is a far more reasonable path for those who need more room. Though not as crowded as some other cities, DC's population density is far from that of a rural setting. Building a traditional addition in the area won't just be a tight squeeze physically, in many cases, it can put a squeeze on the wallet, too! Washington DC attic remodels are generally much less expensive, far faster, and logistically more practical than an add-on. When you add the fact that much attic space isn't used to its fullest to begin with, it's easy to see why attic remodels in Washington DC can be a more attractive option than an addition.

Washington DC Attic Remodeling vs. Basement Remodeling
Along with attic remodeling, Washington DC homeowners looking to expand living space without expanding the actual property might consider basement remodeling. Both of these projects have their benefits, and in some ways, basement remodeling is a better choice. Basements generally offer more space to work with, and the fact that they are underground gives them a bit more leeway when it comes to function. On the other hand, attic remodels tend to take less time and don't require as much of an initial investment.

Washington DC Attic Conversions that Work
For homeowners in Washington DC, attic conversions are likely to add less living space than traditional additions and basement remodels, making the need to optimize the space that is present extremely important. Due to the moderate to cold winter temperatures in and around Washington DC, attic conversions are likely to involve adding some extra insulation to the underside of the roof; to maximize space, it is probably a good idea to opt for thin insulation with a high r-value rather than roll or batt fiberglass insulation that will take up extra space.

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Remodel an Attic

Additionally, you need to think very carefully about your layout. For most homes in Washington DC, attic conversions are going to need to make use of spaces that are directly underneath slanted rooftops. If planned well, the low ceilings in corners and near walls can house any number of features and make the space efficient as well as unique; if not taken into account early, however, these slanted spaces will typically be wasted. Though many homeowners opt to simply have their attic space "finished" and then stick furniture and fixtures into whatever space seems appropriate, by having a professional on board during the design stages of an attic conversion, Washington DC homeowners can make sure that each and every nook and cranny is used effectively. This typically results in not only more room, but a more desirable space and added resale value.

Central Air Conditioning and Washington DC Attic Remodels
Another layout problem with attic remodels that is common throughout the country has to do with bulky central air conditioning. Though newer ductless and mini-duct A/C systems require far less space than conventional systems, they are the exception rather than the norm in existing homes. If your mind is already made up and an attic remodel is definitely in your future, you might consider installing a ductless or mini-duct system to free up space. Though growing more popular all the time, central air conditioning is not a factor for some homes in Washington DC; attic remodeling coupled with A/C installation might be an excellent way to improve your home's market value in some cases.

Prices of Washington DC Attic Remodeling
Different jobs will, obviously, have different obstacles, and different homeowners will want different things from their attic remodels. Washington DC homeowners should definitely interview several different contractors and get several different estimates before beginning a project of this magnitude if they want to get the best price. Though there's no way to say for sure how much a DC attic remodel will cost without the specifics, this project can easily run anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.
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