Make Use of Forgotten Space with Attic Remodeling

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 2, 2017

Remodeled attic

One of the most overlooked areas of a home is the attic. Often forgotten except to store old boxes and keepsakes, attics actually have a lot of potential when it comes to remodeling your home, creating more living space, and opening up the space you already have. Here’s some attic remodeling ideas, as well as some common challenges most attic remodels face.

Attic Remodeling: The Possibilities

When most people think of an attic renovation, they often think of lofts or other simple renovations to the space. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, however. If you’re still in the planning process, here’s a list of some popular remodeling projects involving attic spaces to get your gears turning:

  • Vaulted Ceilings: Most people think extra living spaces when they consider remodeling attic space, but what about opening up living areas you already have? Transforming a neglected attic into vaulted ceilings for your living room or great room can change the entire feel of your home in one easy renovation.
  • More Windows: Besides creating more space indoors, opening up the attic to high ceilings also makes room for the addition of large windows to let more natural light into your home.
  • Extra Bedrooms: Provided your attic ceiling is tall enough, your attic can also be an excellent place to add extra bedrooms. Guest bedrooms and bedrooms for children and teens are particularly well suited to the smaller spaces that are common in attic remodels.
  • Playrooms: Playrooms for children are a perfect fit for attic remodeling. Attic playrooms provide a nice place for children to get away from adults and do their own thing, not to mention they are ideal for keeping toys and messes contained and out of sight.
  • Lofts and Office Space: Okay, we went here anyway. But only because lofts are a great use of attic space. They work great in conjunction with larger remodeling projects such as introducing vaulted ceilings into your home and can also add a little more flexibility to remodeling attic space since they don’t have the same code requirements that bedrooms do when it comes to access.
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Some Things to Look out for with Attic Remodeling

Attic remodeling is full of possibility, however you should keep in mind that there are some challenges when it comes to remodeling attic space. The first is ceiling height. Consider 5 feet to be the absolute minimum height for a usable space, and know that even that is pushing it. You’ll be hitting your head on a regular basis even if you do abide by this rule. Raising or modifying your roof is always an option, though the high costs of such a project can be prohibitive in the end. The second challenge you may run into is whether the floor of your attic can support a usable living space. It’s not unlikely that you might have to reinforce or replace the floor to safely accommodate living areas. Finally, keep in mind the approach. You’ll need a stairway to reach your new attic space, so it’s important that you plan space accordingly. Spiral staircases can save room, and if your attic remodel doesn’t include bedrooms, then ladders are also an option.

Consult with a Professional

Whether you plan to do your remodel yourself or hire a contractor, it’s important that you have the space evaluated ahead of time so you know what you’re getting into. Attic floors and roof joists often play a large structural role in holding your home together, and your home’s infrastructure, including wiring, plumbing, and ductwork is often housed in your attic as well. Hiring an architect, contractor, or engineer to come in and do a preliminary evaluation of your attic space can help prepare you for the remodeling project to come, and let you know whether you attic is a good candidate for remodeling in the first place.

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