Tuesday, 26 May 2020

10 Tips for Creating a Beautiful Finished Attic

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 29 October 2019 02:22

Want to make your attic more livable? Use these suggestions to create a beautiful finished attic and add space to your dwelling.

Your attic has the potential to be so much more than a home for dusty holiday decorations and freeloading spiders. If you want to add more livable space to your house, a beautiful finished attic could be the perfect way to create that extra bedroom, office, or hangout that you need.

Finishing an unused attic can be a big home improvement project, so it's important to go in prepared. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when building your finished attic.

  1. Make Sure Your Finished Attic is Up to Code

Building codes vary somewhat by location. Generally, requirements state that at least half of the attic must be seven feet high. A finished attic must also be a minimum of seven feet wide and 70 square feet.

If your attic doesn't meet your local building codes, you may have to meet with a contractor to see what your options are. They may have suggestions for how to modify your attic by building bump-outs or raising the roof height.  

  1. Structural Strength

Before you start building, make sure the attic is strong enough to support the load of a finished room. Have a professional inspect your attic and sign off on the project. If the floors are not supportive enough, you may need to add to the floor joists before putting down a subfloor.

  1. Safety is Key

When planning your attic renovation, make sure you have escape routes in case of an emergency. Most building codes require at least two points of egress in the event of a fire. Make sure your attic has at least one opening window, and consider having an escape ladder nearby. 

  1. Extending Your Home Systems

Be sure your electricity, HVAC, and plumbing (if you're building a bathroom) will be able to support an additional room. In the case of electricity, consult a professional to make sure the existing electrical system will be able to extend to the attic. 

Many people rely on window air conditioning units and baseboard vents to ventilate an attic room. While this is a simple solution, it's not always the most effective. Talk with an HVAC professional to learn all your options for extending ventilation systems. 

If you'll need plumbing in your finished attic, align your new plumbing fixtures with the current plumbing in the rest of your house. That way, you won't have to worry about repositioning the pipes.

  1. Insulation

Attics require a lot of insulation. The roof is one of the main ways that homes lose and gain heat. Research the different types of insulation to determine what kind will be best for your attic. 

For example, batt insulation is one of the most common types, and it may work well for most of the attic. However, you may want to consider spray-foam insulation for the roof. Spray-foam insulation is very effective, and it insulates well with less product, so you'll have more overhead space. 

You'll also want to make sure the floor is well-insulated. Besides helping to control the temperature, an insulated floor will help cut down on noise. Carpeting can also help to muffle the sound of people walking around in the attic. 

  1. Stairways

Put some thought into how you'll get into the attic. You'll need to figure out whether you'll have space for a staircase. Also, consider what type of staircase will work best. 

Straight stairs are simple and safe, but they often take up a lot of room. A spiral staircase could be a solution if space is an issue, but they tend to be a bit pricier. 

In many cases, building codes will require a finished attic to have a staircase in order to count as an official living space. If you're not planning to build a staircase, you can look into different types of loft ladders to determine which would be best for your home

  1. Built-In Storage

Remodeling is a great opportunity to create some built-in storage. Built-in drawers or shelves are a good option for a small attic room, as they will give you more space to work with. Plus, you won't have to haul bookshelves or dressers up the stairs.

  1. Perfect Paint Colors

To make your attic room feel airy and spacious, opt for light paint colors. Crisp whites or warm beiges are perfect for an attic bedroom. Or if you love color, go with something in a light pastel shade. 

Don't forget to use primer before painting. Especially if you've hung new drywall, you'll want to use primer to make sure your paint goes on smoothly and evenly. 

  1. Lovely Lighting

Part of an attic room's charm is its cozy feeling, but the close walls can leave things a bit dark. In order to make sure your attic has plenty of light, consider installing a few skylights to let the sunshine in. 

Recessed LED lighting is a great option for an attic room. Recessed LEDs will brighten up the place without taking up space or generating extra heat. 

If the ceiling is high enough, you could go with a ceiling fan and light fixture combo. This will give you extra visibility and improved air circulation. 

  1. Cool Ceilings

A peaked attic ceiling is a natural focal point. You can play it up by adding interesting decor elements, such as paneling. Natural wood textures will enhance the room's coziness, while bright white shiplap will make the ceiling seem higher while adding visual interest. 

Your Ideal Finished Attic

An unfinished attic can easily be transformed into your favorite room of the house. It could be your new master bedroom, private spa bathroom, or secret getaway. Tap into this unused space to create the finished attic room of your dreams. 

Want to learn more about how to make the most of your home? Check out more homeowners' tips from our website. 

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