bedroom conversion project is an economical alternative to building a bedroom
addition, or buying a new and larger home. Attics above an attached garage are
often used for creating master suite bedrooms, complete with master bath and
closets. An attic bedroom remodeling project is also a great solution for dealing with a
returning family member, or a parent that is moving into your home.
Unlike a bedroom addition, an attic bedroom conversion project requires no
excavation or foundation work.
addition, typically only minor interior framing is required when undertaking an
attic conversion project. A separate bedroom addition on the other hand,
requires extensive exterior framing and roofing. Also, a separate bedroom
addition requires careful planning on how to tie it into the existing home, and
usually there are some demolishion costs involved such as removing house siding.
An attic bedroom remodeling project, however, has its challenges as well. Issues like a
shallow roof pitch, limited attic ingress/egress, undersized ceiling joists, and
roof trusses can create major challenges in converting an attic into bedroom
space. This said many of these issues can be successfully addressed with some
upfront planning and design.
considering an attic bedroom conversion project, your best bet is to meet with
an architect and/or your local building inspector to see what your best options
are for converting your attic space into a bedroom. This is a particularly
important step if your home’s roof is constructed using roof trusses. Roof
trusses are carefully designed for the specifics of your existing home, and as a
result are not designed to be cut. With careful engineering re-design, however,
the roof trusses can frequently be modified to open up some attic space.
Attic Bedroom Ingress/Egress
When considering an attic bedroom building project it is important to
determine how you will access it. An attic ladder system is insufficient, so
somehow a staircase and/or doorway will need to be integrated into your attic
bedroom addition plans. Sometimes this may mean losing some space on a lower
level to accommodate the staircase. In other cases, a separate staircase maybe
able to be incorporated into the attic bedroom addition plans via an attached
Photo by Mark Donovan
the attic bedroom remodeling addition is located over a garage, it may be possible to punch
in a doorway into the attic area on the upper level of the existing home.
Beef Up Ceiling Joists
ceiling joists are typically not designed to support the full load of a finished
attic, particularly if there is a bathtub involved. Consequently you will most
likely need to sister larger lumber to the sides of the existing ceiling joists.
Not doing so will most likely lead to cracks forming in the lower level drywall
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Photo by Mark Donovan
Incorporating Natural Light in Your Attic Bedroom Conversion
be dark places, so make sure you carefully consider the lighting in your attic
bedroom conversion project. As part of your lighting plans make sure to include
natural light into your attic bedroom conversion plans. Consider the
installation of skylights to let in natural light. Also consider incorporating
dog or shed dormers into your attic bedroom addition plans.
dormers can help bring in both natural light and ventilation into your attic
space. Shed dormers can also provide additional full headroom height and floor
Heating and Cooling an Attic Bedroom Addition
cooling are major items that need to be properly planned and addressed when
undertaking an attic bedroom conversion project. In many cases it may make more
sense to install a separate heating and cooling system for the attic bedroom
addition. Tying an attic bedroom addition into the main heating and cooling
system can often be a challenge due to the location of the existing HVAC central
system and the capacity of it. An HVAC professional is your best bet for
determining your best avenue of attack with this issue.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Incorporation of a Bathroom into an Attic Bedroom Remodeling
Incorporating a bathroom into your attic bedroom conversion plans is an
excellent idea, however it can often create a whole set of issues. For example,
how will the plumbing drain and supply lines tie into the existing system? Can
the proper drain pitch be achieved without elevating the bathroom floor? Will
the existing ceiling joists support the weight of a tub, or how much extra
lumber will be required to support the weight of a large Jacuzzi tub? These are
just a few of the questions that need to be answered when considering a bathroom
in your attic bedroom conversion plans. A plumber should be able to answer these
specific questions for you.
Attic Bedroom Conversion Safety
when planning an attic bedroom remodeling project, it is important to think
about the safety issues. This includes having a primary and secondary ingress
and egress into the attic bedroom, as well as incorporating smoke detectors and
proper bedroom electrical circuits into the plans. In addition, if your attic
bedroom conversion plans include a bathroom a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit
Interrupter) electrical circuit will be required in the bathroom.
Though an attic bedroom conversion project has its own set of challenges, a
large unfinished attic space is an ideal candidate for creating new and
economical living space within your home. With proper planning, and upfront
conversations with the right people before beginning construction, you can
dramatically improve your chances of successfully realizing your attic bedroom
For help on Attic Conversion and Attic
Remodeling 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
Bedroom Conversion Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
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