If you’re like most people, your attic is just a place to store boxes of holiday decorations, coats you only wear a few times a year, and other odds and ends you don’t have any other place for. But what if your attic could be so much more? What if you could convert it into a living space?
It’s definitely doable, and it can be a great way to add extra living space to your home without having to go through the hassle and expense of adding an addition. Let’s take a look at some steps for converting your attic into a livable space that you can enjoy.
Flooring and Walls
The first step in your attic conversion will be to install a floor if necessary. Most attics just have exposed joists, so you will need to build a floor before you can do anything else. Plywood is the cheapest and easiest option, and it can be installed in a day or two. Ensure the floor is level and that all of the joists are in good condition. If there are any problems with the joists, they will need to be fixed before the plywood can be installed. Once the floor is ready, start by framing out the walls. This can be done with 2x4s or with metal studs. If you’re using metal studs, make sure to use a stud finder to locate the joists in the attic.
Plumbing And HVAC Ducts
Before you can move forward with finishing the walls, flooring, or ceilings, you’ll need to install plumbing and HVAC ducts first. If your attic is currently unfinished, you’ll need to install a new roof to support the weight of the new plumbing and heating/cooling ducts. If your attic is currently finished, you’ll need to remove the existing roof and replace it with a roof that can support the weight of the new plumbing and heating/cooling ducts.
The plumbing should be installed along the attic perimeter, and the HVAC ducts should be installed in the middle. If you are putting in a bathroom, you will need additional plumbing work. For this, it might be best to hire a professional plumber to ensure the work is done correctly. Depending on your situation, you may wish to leave the entire bathroom to a professional contractor. Based on your location, you can search for “shower remodeling in Pittsburgh,” for example, to find help in your area. Once the plumbing and HVAC are in, you are ready to move on.
Electrical and Insulation
If your attic doesn’t have electricity, you’ll need to run electrical wiring. This can be done by running wire up through the attic floor or walls or by drilling a hole in the roof and running the wire down through the attic. Once the wiring is in place, you can install lighting and electrical outlets. You may wish to have a professional electrician assist you with this step.
Next, you’ll need to insulate the attic. This can be done by installing insulation batting between the attic joists or by installing a layer of insulation over the attic floor. Insulation will help keep the attic warm in the winter and cool in the summer and will also help reduce noise from below. Insulation installers can help you get this part of the job done quickly.
Finally, you’ll need to seal any cracks or holes in the attic floor or walls. This can be done with caulk, sealant, or expanding foam insulation. Sealing the cracks and holes will help keep out pests, rodents, and drafts and will also help improve energy efficiency.
Once you have the insulation, electrical, framing, plumbing, and HVAC in place, the final step is to install the finishings. The finishings can include flooring, walls, ceilings, trim, and lighting. There are a variety of finishes to choose from, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, the most important part of finishing your space is to choose things that fit your design and style. From the light fixtures to the paint, you can craft a space that is uniquely yours.
Converting your attic space into a living space can be a fun project that expands the size of your home. From creating a construction budget to hiring professional help, there are a few things to consider. However, with a few steps, you can have a new living space in no time.