6 Steps to a Great Attic Remodel

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attic remodelIf you’re looking for some extra space and you’ve already done the basement – or for some reason it isn’t going to work for you – sometimes it’s better to go up than down. What about finishing an attic? Most houses have one and it can be a way to add space without adding to the footprint of the house. Hope these steps to a great attic remodel help you with some attic renovation ideas.

6 Steps to a Great Attic Remodel

1. Make (some) room. If your family has been one of those that use the attic as a storage space – which often means a kind of private flea market – you are going to have to find some alternate location for all those boxes, stored furniture and sundry seasonal items. If you can’t find a space adequate, maybe it’s time to consider donating to some worthy cause, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

2. Clean up and assess your new room. You’ll want to vacuum floors especially; lots of dust has likely built up. Also, though, be sure to wash down the walls and clean the windows. This is also a good time to assess what will serve your new intended use for the attic. Do the current walls or flooring need to be replaced or will they serve your purposes? Also, what about those leaky, drafty windows? Maybe not, huh? Do an inventory now and get it right. It would be a shame to finish the job and realize that the flooring isn’t actually safe or the windows are inadequate for the winter months.

3. The walls. You should inspect the walls for damage. Where need be, patch them up. If you don’t believe the current situation is recoverable or it is just isn’t adequate to your needs, you’ll want to put up new dry wall and prime and paint the walls. When painting, it is recommended to choose light, warm colors to create an open, soothing environment. Consider accenting one wall with a different paint color for visual appeal and to create a sense of greater depth in the space.

4. The floors. You’re going to need good quality flooring for this room, both for temperature and sound insulation. Many attics already have wood. Hopefully yours does too. If not, though, you may have to lay down new flooring. Assess the weight carrying capacity of the current flooring. If you’re not sure how reliable it is, better to reinforce the floor first. Once the floors are ready, you may still find that it’s better to add a rug or carpeting. This will be best for a room with insufficient heating.

5. Wired and Lit. Unfortunately, many attics don’t come wired for electricity, so, unless you have some real skills of your own, you may need to hire an electrician to get the lighting and electrical outlets necessary for your needs. You’ll certainly want a sufficient number of electrical outlets. Do you want overhead lighting? If your house has a security system, it might be a good idea to extend it to the top floor of your house. Whether you hire a professional, uncle Henry, or do it yourself, do insure that your electrical renovations are up to code.

6. The heat and the water. Running heating ducts up to the attic is an expensive prospect. Maybe, instead, explore other options: e.g., a ventless natural gas or propane heater. If there already is an existing heater, it could be quite old. Make sure it is working properly and hasn’t been recalled. Some people like to renovate the attic for a master bedroom. In that case you likely want an en suite bathroom to go with it. A clever plumber can get the plumbing in place without it costing you an arm and a leg. If you can manage it, the bonus bathroom can be handy and will add value to your home.

Hope these attic remodel steps help you in your efforts at finishing an attic and lead you to some great attic renovation ideas to expand your home and improve your family’s comfort.