In particular, it is important to understand
potential issues such as headroom clearance heights, and structural support
locations and obstructions, such as vent stacks and chimneys. In addition, the
ceiling joists also need to be evaluated to see if they can support the extra
load of a finished attic. As part of the assessment you may need to call in a
contractor or architect to evaluate the structural parts of the attic to see
what may need to be reinforced or properly moved to create sufficient space. For
example, ceiling rafters are typically not designed to support the weight of a
finished attic. In addition, collar ties and bracing lumber commonly obstruct
head room height and attic floor space.
Common attic remodeling ideas that address structural concerns in the attic
include adding larger ceiling joists by sistering them to the existing ones,
raising collar tie heights, and redistributing the location of bracing members.
All of these solutions should be done with the guidance and input of an
architect and the local building inspector to preserve the roof integrity and
protect the occupants of the home.
Another concern when remodeling an attic is access to the attic. An attic ladder
will not cut it. Consequently there needs to be sufficient space on the lower
level to include the installation of a staircase to the remodeled attic? If
there is insufficient space then finishing the attic will not be possible.
Another attic remodeling issue is roof pitch. If the roof pitch is too shallow,
even if there are not structural obstructions, there may be insufficient
headroom height to constitute an attic living space.
remodeling idea to consider for this type of problem is to bump out a section of
the roof and add a dormer. By adding a dormer you may be able to create an
adequate living space in the attic, however an architect will need to be
Utility Service Attic Remodeling Ideas
concerns to consider when contemplating an attic remodeling project are
electrical service, heating and cooling, and plumbing.
Attic Remodeling and Electrical Service
existing electrical service is inadequate to support 2 to 4 more electrical
circuits a larger electrical service panel will need to be installed. The
installation of a larger service panel can be fairly expensive.
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Attic Remodeling and HVAC
to heating and cooling, an attic can be a real challenge. An attic has to be
tightly insulated, and cooling as well as heating is a must. Whether itís a hot
water or hot air heating system, snaking pipe or ductwork up into the attic can
be very challenging. It is further exacerbated when it comes to installing air
conditioning. Consequently the most practical attic remodeling idea to consider
when it comes to HVAC is to install a supplementary and dedicated heating and
cooling system in the attic. In addition, windows and/or skylights may want to
be considered to help bleed off summer heat and to allow sunlight in.
Attic Remodeling and Bathroom Considerations
bathroom is part of your attic remodeling ideas, there are a number of issues
that need to be considered. First, supply and drain pipes need to be brought up
to the attic. Not only is it difficult to snake in the plumbing pipes, there may
be issues with the size of your existing hot water boiler and the circulator
pump. The boiler may be insufficient for the addition of another bathroom, and
the head pressure associated with the circulation pump may be inadequate to pump
water up to the third level of a home. Consequently the boiler and water
circulation pump may need to be supersized.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Second, tubs can be extremely heavy when filled with water. As a result,
additional structural support will need to be included underneath the tub area.
Lastly, hauling shower/tub enclosures, and bathroom cabinetry up into an attic
can be difficult to impossible to do.
So before starting an attic remodeling project, consider these issues and attic
remodeling ideas first. If you do decide to move forward after evaluating these
items, chances are your attic remodeling project will go much smoother.
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
Remodeling Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
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