Cost to Finish an Attic Bedroom

The typical cost to finish an attic bedroom is $40,000. You may pay as little as $12,000 or over $70,000.

Find out how much your project will cost.

Updated April 21, 2022

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The typical cost to finish an attic bedroom is $40,000. You may pay as little as $12,000 or over $70,000.

The cost differences are based on the size of the space and whether you're remodeling an attic that is already, at least in part, a living space, or if you're completely renovating and finishing a bare-bones attic space. Including a bathroom as part of the bedroom suite will also increase the overall cost. You can expect to pay between $100 and $300 per square foot for this project.

Select your Attic project

A worker spraying blown fiberglass insulation between attic trusses
Install Blown-In Insulation
(14,664 projects)
$1,553 Average National Cost
batt and roll insulation installed by professional in protective gear
Install Batt, Rolled, or Reflective Insulation
(6,614 projects)
$1,758 Average National Cost
new spray foam insulation being applied in attic
Install Spray Foam Insulation
(3,325 projects)
$2,623 Average National Cost
exterior attic fan vent on home near roof line
Install an Attic Fan
(2,661 projects)
$596 Average National Cost
turbine ventilator attic fan on roof of home
Repair an Attic Fan
(1,437 projects)
$295 Average National Cost
construction permit application being filled out
Get a Building Permit
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$1,357 Average National Cost

Average Cost to Finish an Attic Bedroom

Average Cost $40,000
Typical Range $25,000 – $55,000
Low Cost $12,000
High Cost $70,000+

Estimating Attic Bedroom Conversion Costs

Many elements make up the final cost of your attic bedroom conversion. Attic bedrooms cost more than other bedroom conversions because attics are usually under-insulated, don't have existing adequate HVAC, and are missing other components like subfloors and windows.

Attic bedroom conversion cost breakdown, with labor averaging 40% and materials 60% of the cost

Materials

Materials account for around 60% of the project price. So, per square foot, you can expect to pay $60 to $180 for materials alone. 

Labor

Labor accounts for the remaining 40% of your project budget. The total amount you’ll pay for labor depends on which projects are part of your bedroom conversion and whether you can save money by completing any of these tasks yourself. 

Take a look at some of the common attic bedroom finishing projects and their average labor costs.

Project Range (Labor Only) Average (Labor Only)
Insulation $200 – $400 $300
Demolition $200 – $700 $450
Electrical Work $300 – $700 $500
Finishing $300 – $700 $500
Painting $300 – $800 $550
Designing  $500 – $700 $600
Plumbing $500 – $1,000 $750
Flooring $70 – $2,000 $1,035
Doors $100 – $2,000 $1,050
Windows $100 – $2,000 $1,050
Closet  $200 – $2,000 $1,100
HVAC $150 – $5,000 $2,575

Permits

Permits typically cost between $150 and $500. They may not be necessary, but many states require permitting for electrical, ventilation, and plumbing work. You'll also need a permit if you're changing the structure of the attic as part of the project. While your contractor will likely handle all permit requirements for you, it's always worth checking with your local permitting office ahead of time so you know what to expect.

Cushion

With a big project like finishing an attic bedroom, you need to have a cushion in your budget. Ideally, leave yourself an overage of 10% to 15%. This gives you enough wiggle room to comfortably cope with unexpected costs such as structural snafus, plumbing issues, or electrical problems that need taking care of but that weren't accounted for in the original quote.

Cost to Finish an Attic Bedroom by Size

The size of the space you're converting has a significant impact on the price. For a small, 100 square-foot bedroom without a bath, you could pay as little as $10,000. For a larger 360-square-foot primary suite that includes a full bath, you could pay $100,000.

The table below shows you size and cost estimates for typical attic spaces. The lower end of the range is indicative of a bedroom alone, while the higher end is a bedroom suite with a bathroom.

Size Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
10 ft. x 10 ft. $10,000 – $30,000 $20,000
12 ft. x 12 ft. $14,400 – $43,200 $28,800
12 ft. x 15 ft. $18,000 – $54,000 $36,000
12 ft. x 18 ft. $21,600 – $64,800 $43,2000
15 ft. x 15 ft. $22,500 – $67,500 $45,000
15 ft. x 20 ft. $30,000 – $90,000 $60,000
18 ft. x 20 ft. $36,000 – $108,000 $72,000

Cost to Finish an Attic Bedroom by Project

Depending on what your plans are for the bedroom and the current state of the attic, you may not need a full conversion or renovation. You may only need a handful of these tasks completed to finish your attic bedroom if much of the work is already complete. Take a look at some of the most common tasks involved that make up the cost of your bedroom remodeling project.

Project Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Project Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Subflooring $500 – $800 $650
Lighting $30 – $2,000 $1,015
Doors $300 – $2,500 $1,400
Walls $500 – $2,500 $1,500
Soundproofing $1,000 – $2,500 $1,750
Drywall $1,000 – $2,600 $1,800
Closet $200 – $5,000 $2,600
Insulation $1,750 – $2,100 $2,750
Bed $100 – $6,000 $3,050
Floors $200 – $6,400 $3,300
Windows $200 – $10,000 $5,100
Decoration $500 – $10,000 $5,250
Floor Joists $1,000 – $10,000 $5,500
Plumbing $1,000 – $10,000 $5,500
Stairway $1,000 – $10,000 $5,500
HVAC $600 – $20,000 $10,300
Ceiling $120 – $25,000 $12,560

Subflooring

In an attic space, laying a subfloor costs $500 to $600. You'll need to lay a subfloor if the attic joists are visible. The subfloor goes down after electricals and ventilation are in place. It's also a good idea to insulate beneath the subfloor for energy efficiency and sound-dampening. 

Lighting

Installing light fixtures costs $30 to $2,000 for an attic bedroom. Lamps and simple light fittings cost as little as $30 per piece while high-end recessed lighting can cost as much as $2,000

Doors

Adding a new door costs $300 to $2,500, depending on the type of door you choose. Installing a standard interior door costs around $300. However, if your attic access is on the home's exterior, you'll want an external security door, which can cost up to $1,200. Fancy doors, such as pocket doors or sliding doors can run you up to $2,500.

Walls

Remodeling and finishing walls costs $500 to $2,500 depending on the square footage and the options you choose. Professional painting and wallpapering costs $500 to $2,100 and installing and finishing trim adds another $300 to $500

Soundproofing

In an attic space, soundproofing costs $1,000 to $1,500. While not essential, adding soundproofing is a smart option if the bedroom's occupant is easily disturbed by outside noises or sound from the rest of the house. Similarly, if the bedroom's occupant works the nightshift, adding soundproofing lets them sleep soundly during the day when the rest of the household is awake and active.

Drywall

For an attic space, drywalling costs $1,000 to $2,600. It's installed when the wiring, insulation, and ventilation systems are all in place and is an essential component of finishing the attic to turn it into a livable space.

Closet

Closets are integral components of bedrooms and cost $200 to $5,000. For smaller spaces, a built-in closet with space-saving closet organizers is a good option and starts at around $200. For larger bedrooms, such as a primary suite, you can consider adding a walk-in closet, costing up to $5,000, including lighting, seating, and storage.

Insulation

Attic insulation costs $1,700 to $2,100. If you're installing insulation in an already partially finished space, blown-in insulation is the most cost-effective solution. If, however, you haven't hung the drywall yet, you can install structural insulated panels which, while more expensive, are stronger, longer-lasting, and more energy-efficient

Plumbing

Plumbing costs anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 and is dependent on whether the rough-in is already in place, whether you need to run new plumbing lines, and how many fixtures you want added. The further away the existing plumbing is, the more it costs to run new lines to the attic due to the increased distance and complexity.

Bed

Beds cost anywhere from $100 to $6,000. A basic bunk bed or a twin designed for a compact bedroom can cost as little as $100. At the other end of the scale, a fancy king bed suitable for a large primary suite can cost up to $6,000. If space is at a premium but you still want a really great bed, consider a murphy bed, which costs between $2,000 and $4,000

Floors

Attic bedroom floors cost between $200 and $6,400. The price varies so much based on the size of the floor and the type of material. The simplest option is to paint the existing floor if the surface is suitable. This costs as little as $200. High-end hardwood flooring can cost up to $6,400

Here are some typical attic bedroom floor choices and their average costs:

  • Painted floor: $200–$600

  • TIles: $500–$3,200

  • Vinyl $600–$2,000

  • Carpet $980–$1,680

  • Laminate $1,500–$3,500

  • Cork $1,800–$3,000

  • Wood flooring $2,800–$6,400

  • Marble flooring $3,000–$6,000

Windows

The cost to add windows in an attic is $200 to $10,000 per window. The huge cost range depends on the type of windows you want, with a like-for-like window replacement costing from $200. Adding skylights and corner windows typically costs around $3,500 each, while floor-to-ceiling windows, which are great for creating breathtaking views, cost up to $10,000 each.

To get more usable space and let light into the attic, you can add a dormer instead of a regular window. Installing a dormer window costs $3,000 to $8,500

Decoration

Decoration and finishing touches cost $500 to $10,000. The price varies so much because you may be able to utilize existing furnishings, window treatments, and other decorative items, which reduces the overall cost. Additionally, aside from bed linens and soft furnishings, you may want to add an entertainment station, a desk, vanity, reading nook, or other custom feature that adds to your total project price.

Floor Joists

Repairing or replacing floor joists in an attic costs $1,000 to $10,000. You may not need this part of the project at all, but your pro will be able to assess the existing joists to see if they need any remedial work. The joists must be strong enough to bear the weight of the finished room, all its furnishings, and the people using the room. The baseline is that the floor must be able to support a load of 30 pounds per square foot. 

Stairway

Adding a stairway to an attic costs between $1,000 and $10,000. If a safe staircase already exists, then you won't need to pay for this addition. A simple internal stairway that's an extension of your existing stairs is the most affordable and space-saving option. You can also have an external stairway added if you've got or want to add an exterior access door. Where a stairway isn't possible, you can add an attic ladder that costs $250 to $650.

HVAC

Adding HVAC to an attic costs anywhere from $600 to $20,000, depending on the systems you want to add. Electric wall heaters will run you $600 to $1,000. If you want to lay underfloor heating, expect to pay $1,000 to $3,600. For vertical radiators, the typical range is $3,000 to $4,000. For larger suites where you want a luxurious finish, you may want to add a fireplace, which can cost up to $20,000

If your home already has central air, you can install new ductwork and vents in the attic to provide conditioned air in this newly livable space. This typically costs $500 to $900. Alternatively, you can install a ductless or mini-split system at an average cost of $2,000 to $4,000 for a 12,000 BTU system.

Ceiling

Finishing an attic ceiling costs anywhere from $120 to $25,000, depending on what needs to be done. If the existing ceiling is sound, then a simple paint job is sufficient and costs between $120 and $300. Adding crown molding adds another $200 to $240 to the project price. Installing a ceiling fan to improve airflow and add some cooling costs $350 to $640. Finishing a slanted ceiling costs $8,000 to $12,000 and, if you have the roof height and the budget, you can add a vaulted ceiling at a price of $18,000 to $25,000

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

It's not advisable to try and do the whole attic conversion and finishing yourself, because it's a big project that requires a variety of different professional skills. Plus, many municipalities require electrical and plumbing work to be completed by a licensed professional.

However, you can keep costs down by doing lots of the finishing work yourself. This includes things like adding window treatments, building the closets, painting the walls, laying flooring, and other decorative tasks. Although you'll still pay for the materials for these tasks, you'll save around 40% on the cost of hiring a pro to do it because you eliminate labor costs. 

FAQs About Converting an Attic Into a Bedroom

Does finishing an attic increase value?

Yes, in 2019, the average attic to living space conversion had an impressive 56% ROI. Attic conversions have a higher resale value than adding a new family bathroom or a master suite.

How long does an attic conversion take?

How long an attic conversion takes varies a lot based on the complexity of the project. A simple conversion can take as little as four weeks while a more complex one takes up to eight weeks.

Where should you put stairs for an attic bedroom?

The most space-efficient location for an attic bedroom stairway is above the existing staircase.