In most homes, the attic serves only one purpose: storage. Yet, people tend to put belongings there just to get them out of the way. They use it so rarely that said items might as well be forgotten. In other words, the attic practically serves no purpose whatsoever. And that’s a real shame. All that space – wasted. But, if you decide to turn an attic into an extra bedroom, that’s a whole other story. It’s a decision we at Roof Insulation wholeheartedly support, as you only stand to gain from it. And it’s precisely why we decided to create this guide; to help your excellent decision come to life without difficulty.
Should you turn an attic into an extra bedroom?
Yes! Turning an unused part of your home into a livable space is a fantastic idea. And for several reasons:
- You’re getting a whole new room. And that opens many new possibilities. Your family can have more comfort and privacy, you can accommodate dear guests from afar, or you can change where you sleep once in a while to mix things up a bit.
- You can keep your little piece of heaven. People connect to their homes on a deep, emotional level. That’s why moving can be one of the most upsetting experiences of your life. And what is the prime reason for moving? That’s right – lack of space. When you turn an attic into an extra bedroom, you have the option to remain in your cherished home.
- Adds value to your property. Any renovation work increases the resale value of your home. This is ideal if you’re planning to move in the foreseeable future. You can put your house on the market and expect it to sell faster and for a better price.
Professional help is always the best choice
It is quite possible to turn an attic into an extra bedroom DIY style. Still, it’s always better to hire professionals to do it. Home remodeling is a grand undertaking. It requires utmost engagement and dedication, not to mention that every error can jeopardize the structural integrity of your home. In other words: home remodeling carries a lot of risks. Professional’s services can help you make the whole venture less painful:
- They know rules and regulations. This will cut the time you have to waste to get permits, do paperwork, and wait in lines. You know, all that fun stuff.
- As with any type of work, the key to success lies in experience. Professional contractors and home remodelers know the best methods to do the job swiftly and efficiently.
- Professionals have access to specialized equipment. This can be a defining factor in the efficient resolution of your project. The right tools and their proper application guarantee better results.
If you’re still keen on DIY conversion, at the very least consult professionals often. A little advice can go a long way and help keep you on the right track.
Ensure your project meets local building codes
Converting an attic into a bedroom is not a minor rework. You are adding a livable area to your home. As with any other room, this one will have to meet specific criteria. Therefore, you have to do the research. The more information you have, the fewer obstacles you will encounter.
After you familiarize yourself with building regulations, you will know how to proceed with the works. You will have a good idea of your project’s legal and technical requirements. Therefore, you will understand what permits you need, what materials to use, etc.
A well-devised plan is half the work done
Once you’re done with permits and research, it’s time for the fun part. Planning is not only beneficial for the project’s success. It will also build up your enthusiasm and make you excited about the work that follows.
The best way to go about it is to consider the layout. Imagine yourself living and functioning in the new room daily. What would you need to function unobstructed? Where will be an ideal place for a bed? Will you partition the room to make smaller sections? How many electric outlets? How to optimize limited space and the slanted wall?
These and similar questions will help you clearly define your vision. And once you do that, put it to paper. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a master architect. In this case, aesthetics don’t matter. What does matter is having a tangible reference to what you’re trying to achieve. If you have that, your work is almost done.
Make sure you have enough maneuvering space before the work starts
Once the renovations start, your house will be in chaos. There will be tools everywhere, materials scattered throughout the house, and people constantly circulating. Renovation is demanding work, and every obstacle can slow down the workflow. So, it is essential to get surplus belongings out of the way before the work begins. A great idea would be to declutter and put excess belongings into a storage unit. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone:
- You will have a lot of maneuvering space and;
- There will be less clutter to contend with after you finish the renovation.
Your new bedroom will need reliable means of access
Ladders are a way to get to your attic. They serve the purpose when you don’t have to get in there often. But, when you need daily access, they are less than ideal options.
So, you will have to consider building the stairs. Depending on available space, and local building codes, there are several ways to go about it:
- Standard stairs are the best and logical first choice. However, they can take up a lot of space on the base floor.
- A spiral staircase is the second best as its base takes less space. And it looks impressive, which is a big plus.
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll have to make a new entrance point. This entails excessive construction work, as you’ll have to build a new staircase on the outside of the building. However, even this isn’t too bad. Because now – you will have two access points. This is ideal if a real worst-case scenario occurs, like fire or other disasters.
Choice of windows can truly define the atmosphere
The benefits of natural lighting are immense. It positively impacts your health, mood, and productivity. Windows demand a bit more investment and work, but the results can be breathtaking.
- Skyline windows are an excellent choice, especially if you plan the layout so that your bed is right beneath it. It will give you the feeling that you truly sleep among the stars.
- Dormers are another great option. They add a stylish look to the outside and a bit more space on the inside.
Thermal regulation and insulation are critical for livability
Your attic bedroom will be the warmest area of the house. During winter, this will be great. But, during summer, the place can become unlivable. Think: sauna, but without the health benefits.
If you want to keep your new bedroom cozy throughout the year, quality insulation is a must. It is by far the most cost and energy-efficient way to regulate the temperature.
Insulation + Ventilation = Quality living
Insulation alone isn’t enough to make your new bedroom a truly enjoyable place. For the best result, you should combine it with adequate ventilation.
- Ceiling fans can be a solid option. It’s stylish and adds a retro look to your room. Still, they are not particularly effective.
- Wind turbine roof ventilators are an excellent choice. They draw in the fresh air and extract hot air. So they don’t only regulate the temperature, but make the air more breathable.
- If your current HVAC can support another room, you are golden. Otherwise, you might have to install a separate CCU to keep the place liveable.
An upgrade of the electric grid is unavoidable
Most attics today have some sort of electric installation, which is great for you. It means that you won’t have to break the walls and drag cables all over. Still, you will certainly need at least a few more light fixtures and electrical outlets. Consider your needs carefully, and make sure they are all in the right spots. This way, you’ll save yourself the trouble of renovating after renovating. And you’re saving money on material, which is always great.
Turn an attic into an extra bedroom and see a major quality of life improvement.
The decision to turn an attic into an extra bedroom is one you’ll never regret. Yes – it is a daunting task and requires you to invest time, energy, and money. But when you consider the payoff, it is more than worth it. So, don’t let the difficulties intimidate you. Keep your eyes on the prize, make a good plan, and you will overcome the challenges.