Renovations and Headroom
have highly steep roof pitches, e.g. a 12/12 pitch, are ideally suited for
creating attic living space. However, even with steep roof pitches, there is
less living space that can be carved out of the attic then most homeowners
|First you need to determine the
maximum ceiling height of the attic space. You need to realize that the
higher the ceiling height the narrower the flat ceiling area. Second, knee
walls should probably be installed to the minimum headroom level required.
This height may be as low as only 2 to 3 feet, or could be as high as 6-8
feet. It really depends upon how you want to use the attic areas where the
roof line ties into the outer walls of the home. Sometimes these areas can
be used for closets or storage areas, so that the area behind the knee walls
is not totally unused space.
Renovations and Existing Attic Framing
element that needs to be evaluated when undertaking an attic renovation project
is how the attic is framed. For example, what type of ceiling joists were used
in the framing? Ceiling joists of the lower level are effectively the floor
joists of your attic area. Frequently attic ceiling joists are inadequate for
supporting the weight of a living space. Consequently larger sized lumber may
need to be sistered, or married, to the existing ceiling/floor joists. If the
existing ceiling joists are inadequate you will inevitably wind up with cracked
lower level ceilings.
framing also frequently has cross braces and collar ties running throughout
them. You may need to meet with an architect or your local building inspector to
see what you can do to replace these structural supports in a way to create a
larger unobstructed living space.
Renovations and Lighting
If you are
lucky, your attic may already have some windows in it. If not, you should
seriously consider including one or two dormers in your attic renovation
project. Dormers enable windows to be installed into the attic area allowing
natural light, as well as provide for some additional headroom space. Installing
skylights into the roof line is another great alternative.
Renovations and Heating and Cooling
be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Consequently it is
important to insulate them well. However, even with insulation installed, attic
living spaces can still be uncomfortably warm and cold, so you will also need to
carefully consider how you will heat and cool this space. Sometimes, it makes
the most sense to install a localized heating/cooling system in the attic,
versus tying the space into the main HVAC system.
Installing a Bathroom in the Attic
bathrooms in the attic can be tricky. You will need to tie it into the existing
vent and drain stacks, so you may be limited to where you can actually locate
the bathroom in your attic. In addition water filled tubs are very heavy.
Additional structural support may be required under the tub area to support this
also need to snake plumbing supply lines up into the attic. This can lead to
having to remove sheetrock in the lower level to get access to the existing
doubt, an attic renovation project is a great way to gain more living space in
your home, however planning it out first is absolutely critical in ensuring a
quality and safe living space. With the planning tips discussed above your attic
renovation project should go a lot smoother.
For help on Attic Conversion and Attic
Renovation Projects, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Attic Conversion Bid sheet. The
Attic Conversion Bid sheet will help
to ensure that you hire the right contractor so that your attic conversion
project is built
correctly, on time and budget.
How to Finance your Attic Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is