An attic remodel is a great way to create a room without the expense of a roof, exterior walls or a foundation. Popular attic uses are a bedroom, office, children’s area, playroom and living space.
Before you start, however, you need to work out if your attic is suitable for converting and create a plan. Make sure the flooring or joists are strong enough for you to stand on for your inspection.
Ceiling – can you stand up, or do you bump into the ceiling? Building codes require ceilings to be a particular height (typically 7 feet 6 inches over at least half of the available floor space). You need to be able to stand up straight without crouching in the room. There are ways to deal with a low ceiling. If the ceiling height is too low and there are trusses, you may only be able to use the attic for storage, rather than a room.
Floor – the attic floor is the ceiling of the room underneath. Ceiling joists need to be strong enough for you to move around the attic and to hold furniture.
Access – how will you get in and out? If you plan to use the attic as regular living space, you will want a strong, fixed stairway. Folding or drop-down stairs may be okay, but you need to consider how often the room will be accessed.
Lighting – do you want some natural light, or will it all be artificial. Without natural light, the room can be dark and dingy. Skylights and wiring may be necessary to provide lighting.
Ventilation and temperature – attics are often uninsulated and unheated – they are usually hot in summer and cold in winter. You will need adequate ventilation through the room.