Attic conversions are a great idea for homeowners who want more living space but are unable to perform an actual extension because of logistic or financial reasons. Additionally, as one of the only projects that Remodeling Magazine's most recent Cost Vs Value Report shows to be more valuable than it was the previous year, an attic conversion is also likely to be a wise investment for those who may wish to sell their home in years to come.
There are more than a few different options to choose from when upgrading attic spaces. Here are five of the ones that are likely to prove practical on a number of levels.
1.Create a Private Entrance
The attic is unique in that its ceiling and the actual roof of the house are one in the same.
Many attics are rather difficult to access, and quite a few attic entry ways are simply too small to be of much use if anything larger than a box of holiday decorations is to be brought into the space. If you're planning on converting your attic anyway, a great place to begin is by adding an independent, full-sized entrance that will allow you to easily move larger items in and out of the room. This will be extremely beneficial if the remodeled area is to be used as its own efficiency apartment, but will come in handy even if the area is simply going to be used for storage.
2.Make the Space Self-Sufficient
If you are already considering turning your attic into a bedroom or second living room, consider going the extra mile and adding a small bathroom and kitchenette, as well. This will, of course, increase the price of the project, but the added versatility can be of great benefit. Not only will this make occupying the space more enjoyable and eliminate runs down several sets of stairs for use of facilities or refills on drinks and snacks, it will also allow you to use your attic as a fully functional guest house (or even a rentable efficiency apartment).
3.Increase Natural Lighting
The attic is unique in that its ceiling and the actual roof of the house are one in the same. This can definitely be used to your advantage when planning the space. Unlike lower rooms of the house, attics can be fitted with skylights which provide effective lighting from above for a large portion of the day. This will not only give the space a unique and pleasing feel, it will also cut down on the necessity of electric lighting and--if done properly--may even be able to lower heating and/or cooling costs.
4.Insist on Quiet Flooring
Though attic conversions are full of benefits and possibilities, one minor drawback that can be eliminated with good planning is the problem of flooring that is too noisy and can cause annoyance for the people underneath. This doesn't mean that your attic space should be limited to carpet, but it does mean that care and consideration should be taken to reduce floor noise right from the early stages of the planning process. Various forms of insulation, flooring, and sound-dampening materials can be used to reduce the amount of noise that filters down from above, but if these elements are an afterthought rather than a primary consideration, they will be more expensive and time-consuming to integrate.
5.Increase Space By Building a Dormer
Many attics are simply a byproduct of a pitched roof and were never designed with living space in mind. This means headroom is often limited. However, dormers offer a practical way to make this space more usable and comfortable--often at a more affordable price than many might imagine. By building a dormer, homeowners can maximize the amount of space and mobility their attic conversions offer while simultaneously making the exterior of their homes more attractive. In some cases, building a dormer may be a necessity for the attic to become a practical living area; in others, it will simply be a welcome feature that makes the space more versatile and inviting.