What You Need to Know About Converting an Attic Into a Living Space

Many residential attics are surprisingly spacious. Sure, they are great areas to store things like holiday decor and other seasonal items, but there’s still so much open space up there. The interesting thing about an unfinished home attic is that, when done right, it can be transformed into usable living space. It could be an extra bedroom, a home office, a hobby area or the kids’ playroom. And since the enclosed space is already available, you can add a room to your home without the expense associated with a whole new home addition.

If you’re curious of what goes into an attic conversion, do some research before you get serious. Here’s what you need to know about attic finishing in San Marcos, CA.

Considerations before finishing an attic

First things first, as with any major home remodel, attic conversions come with list of restrictions and regulations. These are in place for your safety and to preserve the structural integrity of your house. Once you get past them, you’re sure to enjoy your attic conversion for years to come:

  • Meet local codes and regulations: An attic conversion has to meet the same requirements as other room remodels for homes. Most building codes call for your attic to have at least seven feet of vertical clearance in most of the room, be a minimum of seven feet wide and have at least 70 square feet of livable space. The new room must be accessible by an existing or added full-size staircase and have a separate exit point (like a window) in case of an emergency.
  • Permits: Find out if your city or county requires a building permit for attic conversions. A permit is typically only needed if you’re adding ventilation or electrical wiring, or if you’re knocking down existing walls.
  • Consider HVAC needs: If your attic doesn’t have ductwork, consult an HVAC professional for an assessment of your system and its ability to accommodate heating and cooling the additional living space.
  • Consider your budget and time: The budget for your attic conversion will likely include costs such as electrical wiring, installing ductwork and vents, adding stairs and building a dormer. There’s also the cost of materials like drywall, flooring and wall insulation to take into account.

Steps to finish an attic

Whether you want to do the project yourself or hire a builder, there are some steps you can expect to take. This includes cleaning out the attic, including removing junk and building materials (insulation, drywall) you won’t need and relocating storage items. Vacuum the area well. A subfloor needs to go in, as do fresh drywall and ceilings and new wall insulation. Paint the room before installing your flooring to avoid splashing paint on new carpeting or hardwood floors. You’ll also need to hire an electrician to wire the attic once it’s livable, and a plumber if your attic conversion includes a bathroom.

From exposed rafters to a finished usable room, let the team at Bespoke Remodelling help you plan for attic remodeling in San Marcos, CA. Contact us today to get started!

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